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I’ve been asked this question a few times by people who want to update their Central Store with the latest ADMX files for Windows 7.

Where Are The ADMX Files

If you are running Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise or Ultimate you’ll find the ADMX files under %WINDIR%\PolicyDefinitions.  It’s simply a matter of copying all files from the PolicyDefinitions folder on a Windows 7 client computer to the PolicyDefinitions folder on the domain controller contained in the SYSVOL folder:  \\FQDN\SYSVOL\FQDN\policies

What’s the Central Store

Central Store is a file location that is checked by the Group Policy tools. The Group Policy tools use any .admx files that are in the Central Store. The files that are in the Central Store are later replicated to all domain controllers in the domain.

In earlier operating systems, all the default Administrative Template files are added to the ADM folder of a Group Policy object (GPO) on a domain controller. The GPOs are stored in the SYSVOL folder. The SYSVOL folder is automatically replicated to other domain controllers in the same domain. A policy file uses approximately 2 megabytes (MB) of hard disk space. Because each domain controller stores a distinct version of a policy, replication traffic is increased.

Windows 7 uses a Central Store to store Administrative Template files. In Windows 7, the ADM folder is not created in a GPO as in earlier versions of Windows. Therefore, domain controllers do not store or replicate redundant copies of .adm files.

How Do I Configure The Central Store?

To take advantage of the benefits of .admx files, you must create a Central Store in the SYSVOL folder on a domain controller.  It’s pretty straight forward , just check out my video on Technet Edge: How To Configure the Central ADMX Store.