Windows Windows Server

How to fix Computer Policy could not be updated successfully

Computer policy could not be updated

Group Policy is a Windows feature that contains a variety of advanced settings. The Local Group Policy Editor is an inbuilt tool used by System Administrators to make changes to Windows in order to behave in a certain way. The changes sometimes affect the system immediately when the “gpupdate” command is run. In this article, you will learn How to fix Computer Policy could not be updated successfully. Please see Fix Windows cannot check for updates in Windows 8, 7, and 10, How To Configure a Domain Password Policy, and Why Group Policy is not the best solution for managing Windows Updates.

Below is the error message that was prompted when the group policy update command was run. As mentioned above, in order for changes to apply immediately, you can use this command “gpupdate” or “gpupdate /force” as the case may be. You may want to learn about the various “Group Policy GPUpdate Commands“.


As you can see, this error is self-explanatory and does not relate to a corrupt Registry.pol file. Therefore, there isn’t any need to determine the instance of Group Policy processing that failed via the EventViewer etc. Here are some exciting articles: How To Configure a Domain Password Policy, and How to fix “DriveLock Error: The push installation of the agent failed for the computer – Error message (67) The network cannot be found“.

User and Computer Policy Settings

As you can see from the image above, the User Policy Update was completed successfully.

Therefore, it is worth differentiating between a computer and a user policy. The behaviour of a client PC falls into two categories: user policy settings, and computer policy settings.

Note: If the network isn’t available, a Domain Controller won’t be located, and Group Policy processing will fail as you can see. Once the operating system has loaded and a network link is negotiated and established, background refresh of Group Policy will succeed.

According to Microsoft, user policy settings specify behaviour for interactively logged-on users. It can potentially affect different users who are logged on to the same computer. There are also settings that affect that user no matter what computer the user logs on to. Such settings include the desktop background image for a user or the user’s default location for saving documents.

If you want to update the User Policies only, you can use the below command. Keep in mind that the below command will not update the Computer Policies.

gpupdate /target:user

Computer policy settings are behaviour that can affect the computer (even when no users are logged on to the computer). Or settings that globally affect every user who is logged on to the computer. Examples of such settings include a setting that enables a computer to host a web server. Another is one that schedules automated disk backups of the computer, or that specifies a standard web home page for all users of the computer.

If you want to update the Computer Policies only. You can use the below command but keep in mind that the command below will not update the User Policies.

gpupdate /target:computer

Reason for the error “Group Policy Processing Failed”

Computer policy could not be updated successfully because the policies could not be applied due to network issues.

The following errors were encountered: The processing of Group Policy failed because of lack of network connectivity to a domain controller. This may be a tran sient condition. A success message would be generated once the machine gets connected to the domain controller and Group Policy has successfully processed. If you do not see a success message for several hours, then contact your administrator

As you can see below, the network isn’t available for this PC.


Solution to fixing Computer Policy could not be updated successfully

For me, all I needed to do was to plug in the network cable and the network connection was restored.


Upon restoring the network connection, initiate the Gupdate command again. This time, it should be successful as shown below.

Please see Prevent the Saving of RDP Credentials in Windows 10. Also see how to add a second Domain Controller, and How to fix your device cannot use a Trusted Platform Module: Allow BitLocker without a compatible TPM.


Why did the User Policy succeed and the Computer Policy failed?

User Policy application is triggered when a user logs in to their account. The Group Policy client processes these policies using the user’s credentials and doesn’t necessarily require a network connection during the entire process. If the user’s account is in an OU with assigned User Policies, those policies will be applied locally on the computer, even if the computer lacks network connectivity.

On the other hand, the Computer Policy application occurs during system startup or boot. For Computer Policies to be successfully applied, the computer needs to have a network connection to communicate with the domain controller and fetch the required Group Policy settings. If the computer doesn’t have network connectivity during startup, it won’t be able to process the Computer Policies, leading to their failure.


User Policies can be applied successfully even when there is no network connection, as they are processed during user login using cached credentials. However, Computer Policies require network connectivity during system startup, and their application may fail if the computer cannot reach the domain controller or the Group Policy settings are unavailable due to network issues.

Note: You don’t have to restart your computer every time to apply policies. To update the group policy, the above steps should help without restarting the PC.

I hope you found this blog post helpful on how to fix Computer Policy could not be updated successfully. Please let me know in the comment section if you have any questions.

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