Would you like to learn how to configure a group policy to enable the controlled folder access feature? In this tutorial, we will show you how to enable the Windows Defender feature named controlled folder access using a GPO.

• Windows 2012 R2
• Windows 2016
• Windows 2019
• Windows 10
• Windows 7

Equipment list

The following section presents the list of equipment used to create this tutorial.

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Tutorial GPO - Controlled folder access using Windows Defender

On the domain controller, open the group policy management tool.

Windows 2012 - Group Policy Management

Create a new group policy.

Windows 2012 - Group Policy Objects

Enter a name for the new group policy.

Windows - Add GPO

In our example, the new GPO was named: MY-GPO.

On the Group Policy Management screen, expand the folder named Group Policy Objects.

Right-click your new Group Policy Object and select the Edit option.

Windows - Edit GPO

On the group policy editor screen, expand the Computer configuration folder and locate the following item.

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Access the folder named Controlled folder access.

GPO Windows Defender - Controlled Folder access

Enable the option named Configure controlled folder access.

GPO - Configure controlled folder access

Enable the option named Configure protected folders.

GPO - Protected folders defender

Click on the Show button and enter a list of folders.

GPO - Protected folders example

By default, the following folders are protected.

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Enable the option named Configure allowed applications.

GPO Defender - Configure allowed applications

Click on the Show button and enter a list of additional applications allowed to access the folders.

Windows defender - allowed applications

To save the group policy configuration, you need to close the Group Policy editor.

Congratulations! You have finished the GPO creation.

Windows Defender - Controlled folder access

On the Group policy management screen, you need to right-click the Organizational Unit desired and select the option to link an existent GPO.

Windows-2012-Applocker application

In our example, we are going to link the group policy named MY-GPO to the root of the domain.

GPO- tutorial linking

After applying the GPO you need to wait for 10 or 20 minutes.

During this time the GPO will be replicated to other domain controllers.

In our example, we enabled the Windows Defender feature named Controlled folder access on all domain computers using a GPO.