I use Group Policy Editor to configure a lot of settings on Windows 11 or Windows 10. Recently when I tried opening it from Run prompt or directly through Control Panel, I received an error stating—Failed to open the Group Policy Object on this computer. You might not have the appropriate rights — unspecified error. If you get the same error, then here is how you can quickly fix the issue and gain back access to the Group Policy Editor.
Failed to open the Group Policy Object on this computer
The message was surprising because I had not changed anything that could have resulted in the error message. When I navigated to C:\Windows\System32\GroupPolicy, it had all the policies intact, but the Group Policy Editor wasn’t working. So here is what I did to resolve the issue. Make sure that your user account has Admin privileges.
- Set Windows to show hidden files and folders
- Navigate to the Group Policy folder
- Select Machine folder, and press F2 to rename it
- Rename Machine to Machine.old
- It will prompt for admin permission.
- Click on the Continue button.
- After the folder is renamed, open Group Policy Editor by typing gpedit.msc in the Run prompt followed by pressing the Enter key.
- Group Policy Editor will launch without a problem.
- Go back to the C:\Windows\System32\GroupPolicy folder, and you should see a new Machine folder.
- Now whatever changes you will make will be available in this folder.
There is one more way to fix this.
You can choose to delete all the files inside the Machine folder instead of renaming it. Windows will automatically recreate the required files when you relaunch the policy editor.
The reason behind Failed to Open Group Policy Object error
After going through Microsoft and Technet forums, I noticed some users reporting about the same, and one of them shared about the corruption of Registry.pol with Event ID 1096. The file stores Registry-based policy settings, which include Application Control Policies, Administrative Templates, and more. There was a log in the Event Viewer which pointed towards this corruption. The description stated:
The processing of Group Policy failed. Windows could not apply the registry-based policy settings for the Group Policy object LocalGPO. Group Policy settings will not be resolved until this event is resolved. View the event details for more information on the file name and path that caused the failure.
It affirms the user’s report, and what you can do is delete the Registry.pol file available inside the Machine folder, and launch Group Policy again.
I hope this helps you resolve the error.
Now read: How to reset all Local Group Policy settings to default in Windows 11/10.