Enable Group Policy Preference logging and tracing


You’ve created and linked a new GPO that uses Group Policy Preferences to move some files. You’ve had this working before, but now find that the files aren’t being copied across on certain clients.

The Resultant Set of Policy (RSOP) tool does not show GP Preferences, so you need another way of troubleshooting this. Enter Group Policy Preference logging and tracing.

Follow the steps below to enable the GP Preferences log file(s):


  1. Create a new GPO and link it to the OU where the troublesome computers are located:
  2. Navigate to Computer Configuration > Policies > Administrative Templates > System > Group Policy > Logging and Tracing:
  3. Double-click the relevant setting eg. Configure Files preference logging and tracing.
  4. Set this to Enabled and select On for Tracing:
  5. Note the Computer trace file path %COMMONAPPDATA%\GroupPolicy\Preference\Trace\Computer.log.
  6. Run gpupdate /force or restart the client computer.
  7. Once restarted, open C:\ProgramData\GroupPolicy\Preference\Trace\Computer.log for Win7 clients, or C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\GroupPolicy\Preference\Trace\Computer.log for WinXP:

There should be more than enough information to diagnose the issue…and then some!