Configure security on multiple computers

How to propagate security settings.

When you get new computers in, you have to install the operating system, assuming it didn't come on the computer from the manufacturer, and you have to start its security settings. That's a lot of key presses and menu staring. Why not do it automatically? This tip, excerpted from Windows 2000 Pro, the Missing Manual, by Sharon Crawford, offers a way to do just that.


If you're part of a workgroup and have several computers to configure, you can set up one machine and create a template to use on the other computers, saving you the trouble of adjusting the same sets of security checkboxes over and over again.

To do so, set up the security settings on the first computer, then highlight Security Settings in the left pane. Choose Action/Export Policy/Local Policy. Give the template a descriptive name with the filename extension .inf -- securitypolicy.inf for example -- in a shared folder. Then log on to each computer in turn (as an administrator) and open Local Security Settings. Select Action/import Policy. Locate the template in the shared folder and select Open.


To learn more about from Windows 2000 Pro, the Missing Manual, click here.


This was first published in August 2002
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