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We like to manage Microsoft Office with Group Policy. To do that, we have to install Administrative Template files for Microsoft Office. Good to know is that this will work for Microsoft Office and Microsoft 365. If you like to install different Administrative Templates, the steps are the same.
Table of contents
Download Administrative Template files for Microsoft Office
First, we have to download Administrative Template files (Microsoft). The files are regularly updated to have the latest settings.
Administrative Templates (ADMX/ADML) for Microsoft Office and Microsoft 365 are not installed by default.
Choose whether you want to download the 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) files, or both. For example, if you’re using the Office Customization Tool (OCT) to customize the 64-bit version of Office installations, download the 64-bit (x64) files. If you need the ADMX/AMDL files, you can download either the 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) files. The ADMX/ADML files are the same for both.
In our example, we did select the 64-bit. Click Next.
Extract Administrative Template files
Right-click the downloaded file and run as administrator.
Accept the Microsoft Software License Terms and click Continue.
Make a new folder with the name Office ADMX and select the folder. Click OK to start the extraction.
Extracting the files to the folder, give it a couple of seconds.
The files did extract successfully. Click OK.
Administrative Templates extracted files
Do you have a Central Store for Group Policy Administrative Templates? Place the files in there. In our example, we only have one domain controller running, and we will place the Administrative Templates in the local store of the Domain Controller.
We recommend having at least two domain controllers running in an organization for High Availability. A central store will make it easier because you don’t have to place the files in both of the domain controllers. It will load the administrative templates from the central store.
Go to the extracted folder, and you will see two folders and one file.
Open the folder admx.
ADMX files that you will see:
|lync16.admx||Lync/Skype for Business 2016|
|office16.admx||Microsoft Office general settings|
In the next step, we will install Administrative Templates for Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Office.
Copy ADMX files to Windows PolicyDefinitions folder
Copy all the ADMX files to install the Administrative Template of all the Office applications (recommend). If you like to have the group policy of only one application, copy only the ADMX file that you need. For example, outlk16.admx (Microsoft Outlook).
The ADMX file defines the Group Policy settings.
Start File Explorer and go to the path C:\Windows\PolicyDefinitions. Have a look at the items count. The items count can show differently on your end, but in our example, the count is 196 before pasting the ADMX files.
Paste the ADMX files that you copied in the folder C:\Windows\PolicyDefinitions. The total item count is 208 items. That’s correct because we did copy and paste 12 items. If you already have files with these names, a prompt will show you to overwrite the files. Click Yes to All.
Overwrite the files to have the latest Microsoft Office and Microsoft 365 Policy settings.
Copy ADML files to Windows PolicyDefinitions language folder
Go back to the extracted ADMX template files. Open the language folder that you want. It depends on which Microsoft Office language you have installed. In my example, it’s en-us (English – United States). Select all the files and click Copy.
The ADML file contains the language to be used with the ADMX file.
Go back to the folder path C:\Windows\PolicyDefinitions. Open the language folder. In my example, en-US. The total count is 195 items.
Paste the copied ADML language files. The total count is 207 items. That’s correct because we did copy 12 items. If you already have files with these names, a prompt will show you to overwrite the files. Click Yes to All.
Overwrite the files to have the latest Microsoft Office and Microsoft 365 Policy language settings.
In the next step, we will verify that we did install Administrative Templates correctly.
Verify Administrative Template files in Group Policy Management Editor
It’s always good to verify that the Administrative Templates installation went successful. Start Group Policy Management. Right-click the Default Domain Policy and click Edit.
Expand the folders:
- Computer Configuration > Policies > Administrative Templates
- User Configuration > Policies > Administrative Templates
Before installing Administrative Template files
Before copy and pasting the ADMX and ADML files, no Microsoft Office folders are showing.
After installing Administrative Template files
After copy and pasting the ADMX and ADML files, we do see the Microsoft Office folders.
We did install Group Policy Administrative Template files for Microsoft Office. In the next step, we will configure a policy for a Microsoft Office application.
Read more: Manage Microsoft Office with Group Policy »
In this article, you learned how to install Administrative Template files for Microsoft Office. Download Administrative Templates setup and extract the files. After that, copy ADMX and ADML Administrative Template files to the local or central store PolicyDefinitions folder. As of last, you can verify the Administrative Templates in Group Policy Management Editor. Keep an eye on the Administrative Templates download link because Microsoft keeps the setup up to date with the latest Microsoft Office features.
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