windows snippets

Centralised Group Policy with ADMX files

Looking in the events viewer on one of my windows 8 clients I noticed an Office 2013 Licensing Service error. After some research I found that this is related to SkyDrive trying to sign into the cloud. The fix is to "Block signing into Office" with group policy.

This can be done with Local Group Policy or with Group Policy Management on a Domain Controller, obviously if there is more than one client it makes sense to use a centralised policy.

Firstly, if not done already we must download the Office 2013 Administrative Template (ADMX/ADML) application, on clicking on this exe it will extract the files to a folder that you will be asked to create.

We must now copy these files (all .admx and en-us folder or your particular local language folder) to C:\Windows\SYSVOL\domain\Policies\PolicyDefinitions on your DC, this will allow for propagation to all other DCs.

When that is done open Group Policy Management and click right on Group Policy Objects to create new (Office2013 Block Sky Drive), when it is created right click on it and choose Edit which will open the Group Policy Management Editor.

Go to User Configuration\Administrative Templates\Microsoft Office 2013\Miscellaneous and open Block signing into Office and enable it.

To check that this works use an elevated powershell or command prompt with gpupdate /force, the error will no longer appear.

You can also stop Sky Drive from appearing in the Open/Save As of Office documents with the following fix. Open a Word or other Office App and on the left hand side you need to click on Options and in the window that opens click on Save then untick "Show additional places for saving, ..." and tick "Save to Computer by default". Sky Drive will no longer be available.