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GPUpdate Force not working on Windows computers [Fix]


Organizations can set up centralized management and configurations for computers and users in an Active Directory environment using the Windows function known as Group Policy. With this, administrators can easily have central control over a sizable number of users and computers connected to a domain without physically going to each one to make changes or updates. However, in some situations where a local machine doesn’t immediately or rapidly check with and apply the settings provided in the Group Policy Object (GPO), you may use the GPUpdate command to effect the changes.

GPUpdate Force not working on Windows computers

The update may sometimes fail even after running the GPUpdate command. In this case, you will need to use the GPUpdate Force command to forcefully apply updates to the local machine that is not getting the GPO update automatically. The GPO modifications will be applied, and all user preferences will be overridden with this command, regardless of whether they have previously been cached on the client computer. Some users have reported that the GPUpdate Force is not working on their PC. Fortunately, there are various fixes you may use to resolve the issue, and we’ll go over them in this article.

What causes the GPUpdate Force command not to work?

If you’ve been running the gpupdate/force command on your local machine but it is not working, there are several variables that may be causing this, and these includes:

  • Incorrect or corrupt registry entry
  • Corrupt user profile
  • Local machine not connected to the domain
  • Malware
  • No Group Policy Object (GPO) to be applied
  • No privilege to execute the command

Related: Computer policy could not be updated successfully, The processing of Group Policy failed

Fix GPUpdate Force not working on Windows computers

Before you begin, make sure the local machine is actively connected to the network and that you are running the command with admin rights before proceeding if the gpupdate /force command is not functioning properly on your computer. However, if the problem persists even after all of these requirements have been met, you should attempt the following solutions:

  1. Perform DISM and SFC scan
  2. Rename the Group Policy Machine folder
  3. Restart Group Policy Service
  4. Delete & Recreate missing registry.pol file
  5. Reset Group Policy
  6. Make sure you are using the correct User Profile
  7. Contact Admin

1] Perform DISM and SFC scan

Since this issue could have been caused by corrupt or missing system files, you should run the SFC and DISM scans on your computer. This method will assist in system repair, hence resolving GPUpdate Force is not working. Here’s how to perform the scans:

Press Windows + S to open the Windows Search.

Type cmd into the search box and select Run as administrator.

After the Command Prompt opens, type the commands below one by one and hit Enter after typing each of them.

sfc /scannow

Make sure you are connected to the internet when you run this command:

DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

Now, you should close the Command Prompt and try running the gpupdate/force command to see if the solution worked.

2] Rename the Group Policy Machine folder

Your computer has a folder designated for Group Policy that contains the necessary subdirectories for the function’s proper operation. If there is a problem with one of these subdirectories, Group Policy on your local computer will also start to have problems, and this could be the cause of the issue you are presently experiencing. The Machine folder is a common folder that usually causes this issue, and most people who have encountered it have been able to fix it by just renaming it. The steps to follow in order to do this on your local machine are outlined below:

  • Press Windows + E to open File Explorer on your computer.
  • Click on This PC and select the disk where your operating system is saved.
  • Then click on Windows > System32 > GroupPolicy.
  • Now right-click the Machine folder and select Rename on the drop-down menu.
  • Change the folder name to Machine.old and save it.

Afterward, you can restart your computer and try running the command again.

3] Restart Group Policy Service

Group Policy Client

  • Press Windows + R, type services.msc, and hit Enter.
  • On the Windows Services window, navigate to Group Policy Client and right-click it.
  • Select Properties on the resulting drop-down menu.
  • Now click on the General tab and change the Startup type to Automatic.
  • Tap on Start on the same dialogue box, then hit Apply and OK.

4] Delete & Recreate the missing registry.pol file

All Group Policy settings are stored in registry.pol file. If this file is missing, any changes pushed to the client will not reflect at all. The good news is that you can recreate it. Just to make sure delete the file, even if it exists.

Navigate to C:WindowsSystem32GroupPolicyMachine.

Check if it has the registry.pol file. Delete it permanently using Shift + Delete.

Now to recreate it, execute the following command to refresh Group Policy settings:

gpupdate /force

See if this has worked.

Read: How to repair a corrupt Group Policy in Windows

4] Reset Group Policy

Performing a Group Policy reset on your computer can also be helpful in fixing this issue.

  • Open the Windows Search and type cmd.
  • Select Run as administrator under the matching result.
  • Now type the command below one after the other and press Enter right after each one.
RD /S /Q "%WinDir%System32GroupPolicyUsers" && RD /S /Q
gpupdate /force

Restart your computer and check.

5] Make sure you are using the correct User Profile

The gpupdate force command will not function if you are using a user profile other than the one designated for applying GPO settings. As a result, you should check your user profile and ensure that it is configured to receive updates from the network.

6] Contact Admin

In some cases, when the solutions above don’t work, it is best that you contact your IT admin for help, as this may be an issue that can only be resolved from their end.

Read: How to block EXE files from running using Group Policy

How do I run the GPUpdate /force command?

To run gpupdate /force command:

  1. Open Windows Search and type cmd.
  2. Click on Run as administrator on the matching result.
  3. On the Command Prompt windows, type gpupdate /force and hit Enter.

Does GPUpdate Force require a reboot?

The gpupdate force doesn’t actually require a reboot to work. However, in some situations when you have made a change that can only be applied after startup, you may need to reboot your computer for the GPO settings to apply

Can I run GPUpdate Force without admin rights?

The gpupdate command, as well as the gpupdate force, can be run on a local computer, hence they don’t necessarily require admin rights. However, in some cases, due to GPO settings, you may not be able to run the command on your local computer, and you will need to contact your admin to force changes.

How long should a GUpdate force take?

When you run the GPUpdate /force command, the changes to the Group Policy aren’t implemented right away; instead, they may take up to 2 hours.

Gpupdate force is not working

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