Easy Group Policy Update from Start Menu

Save yourself and your users time and frustration by implementing this Start Menu shortcut to help them run a Group Policy update quickly and easily.

This is handy if you deploy network drives, printers, etc. to your users automatically via Group Policy. If for any reason they’re missing when the user logs on to Windows, they can usually make them appear just by getting the Group Policy processed again.

Once implemented, users can just click Start and type “group”, “policy”, or “update” to make the shortcut show up, or find it under “G”.

The shortcut then runs a gpupdate /force (why would you ever NOT do /force?), and pauses for a key to be pressed so that you or your user can verify that the updates completed successfully:

How to do it

  1. Open Group Policy Management Console (gpmc.msc), and navigate to a GPO that applies to the computers (or users) that you want to put the shortcut onto. I’m deploying this to the computer, and putting it into the All Users Start Menu, so that I only have one copy of it on the machine, rather than a copy in every user profile.
  2. Go to Computer Configuration, Preferences, Windows Settings, Shortcuts.
  3. Right-click and create a new shortcut with the following settings:
Action:      Replace
Name:        Group Policy Update
Target Type: File System Object
Location:    All Users Start Menu
Target:      %WindowsDir%\System32\cmd.exe
Arguments:   /c title Group Policy Update & gpupdate /force & pause
Start in:    %WindowsDir%\System32
Icon file path: %SystemRoot%\System32\SHELL32.dll
Icon index:  46

Then on the Common tab you can tick the box for Remove this item when it is no longer applied. This is why I chose the Replace action, rather than Update. Just in case you ever want to easily remove this from your machines – just remove the shortcut from the GPO and the icon will go from your machines too.

You can obviously change the icon to whatever else you want.

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