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XCLN: How to Manage Outlook 2000 with System Policies

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This article was previously published under Q234899

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System policies for Outlook 98 are a powerful mechanism for increasing control and management of Outlook 98 client computers across a network. System policies allow network administrators to provide greater consistency among client computers and to centralize support and maintenance efforts. Defined in a policy file, system policies can be used to enforce user and computer settings by overriding default registry values.

NOTE: This article does not discuss how to set up and enforce system policies in detail.
System policies are supported by Microsoft Windows 95, Microsoft Windows 98, and Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 Workstation only. The Macintosh and Microsoft Windows NT 3.51 Workstation operating systems do not support system policies.

On Windows 95 and Windows NT 4.0, the registry settings are copied to the user's registry hive at logon time. A user who is experienced with editing the registry can modify the registry manually to avoid any administrator-defined policy for the current logon session. To prevent this policy hole, the administrator can set a policy on Registry Editor so that the user cannot run Registry Editor. This makes the hole smaller but it is still not foolproof because there is no way to restrict programmatic access to the registry. Windows 98 is a little more robust in that the registry settings are reset from the server on an administrator-defined interval (every 10 minutes, for example).

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More information

System policies are defined by a system policy template file that associates each policy with the registry keys used by the application for the option that the policy represents.

Outlook 2000 System Policy Template

The System Policy Editor settings specific to Outlook 2000 are in the Outlk9.adm file. This template can be obtained from the Microsoft Office 2000 Resource Kit. For Windows 95 and Windows 98 system policies, copy this template to the Windows\Inf folder. For Windows NT, copy this template to the Winnt\Inf folder.

For additional information about managing Outlook with system policies, click the article numbers below to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
234898� XCLN: How to Manage Outlook 97 with System Policies
234896� XCLN: How to Manage Outlook 98 with System Policies

How to Create a New Policy File

When you use System Policy Editor to create system policies, you first choose which templates you want to use, then create a new policy file, and then you set policies for your users. You cannot add templates after you have created the policy file.

NOTE: When you create a system policy file for a client computer, you must run System Policy Editor on the same operating system that the client computer is running. For example, to create a policy file for Windows NT 4.0 clients, you must run System Policy Editor on Windows NT 4.0. This limitation results from the fact that Windows 95 and Windows 98 operating systems have different registries from Windows NT.

The Windows 95 System Policy Editor does not work with Office 2000. Be sure to install the latest version of System Policy Editor from the Microsoft Office 2000 Resource Kit or from Windows NT Server version 4.0 Service Pack 4.

To Open the Outlk9.adm Template

  1. Start System Policy Editor, and make sure that all policy files are closed.
  2. On the Options menu, click Template for Windows 95 or Windows 98, or Policy Template for Windows NT.
  3. For Windows 95 or Windows 98, click Open Template. For Windows NT, click Add.
  4. Click the Outlk9.adm file, and then click Open.
  5. Click Close to return to System Policy Editor.
  6. On the File menu, click New Policy to create a new policy file.

To Add Users, Groups, or Computers to the Policy File

System policies can apply to all users, to a specific user, or to a group of users. They can also apply to a single computer or to all the computers on your network.

The Default User icon and the Default Computer icon are included in your policy file. To apply a system policy to all the users or all the computers on your network, start System Policy Editor, and then double-click the Default User or Default Computer icon.

You can also add specific users, computers, or groups to your policy file by using the Add User, Add Computer, and Add Group commands on the Edit menu in System Policy Editor. When you add a user, computer, or group, a new icon appears in System Policy Editor. Use this icon to set policies for the new user, computer, or group.

NOTE: The group names or computer names that you specify in System Policy Editor must reference user groups or computers that already exist on the network. You cannot create new groups or computer names from within System Policy Editor.

After you have selected the users, groups, or computers to whom your policy applies, set the policy or policies that you want by using the corresponding Properties dialog box in System Policy Editor. Sometimes a user is a member of more than one group. To avoid potential conflicts between group policies, you can set relative priorities so that group policies are applied in a particular order. To set group priorities, on the Option menu, click Group Priority.

Setting the Policy

In System Policy Editor, when you double-click one of the user, group, or computer icons, the Properties dialog box appears, listing the available system policies. You scroll through the list of categories in the Properties dialog box to find the policy you want. You expand or collapse categories by clicking the plus sign (+) or minus sign (-), similar to expanding or collapsing folders in Windows Explorer. When you find the policy that you want, set the policy by clicking the check box next to the policy name. After you select the policy that you want, you must specify additional information under Settings to determine what is enforced by the policy.

Saving and Distributing the Policy File

After you set the policy values that you want, you are ready to save and distribute the policy file. For Windows 95 or Windows 98 clients, save the policy file as Config.pol. For Windows NT 4.0 clients, save the policy file as Ntconfig.pol. Then, quit System Policy Editor.

Next, you need to store the policy file on the network, where it can be downloaded to users' computers when they log on.

For networks running Microsoft Windows NT Server, copy the Config.pol file or the Ntconfig.pol file to the Netlogon folder of the primary domain controller, as defined for your client computers. When your users next log on, the system policies are automatically downloaded to their computers, and their registry settings are updated with the policy settings.

On Novell NetWare networks, copy the Config.pol file to the Public folder of the preferred server, as defined for your client computers.

NOTE: For more information about Outlook 2000 system policies, see the Microsoft Office 2000 Resource Kit documentation.

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Keywords: KB234899, kbinfo

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Article Info
Article ID : 234899
Revision : 7
Created on : 9/30/2007
Published on : 9/30/2007
Exists online : False
Views : 308