The GPUPDATE command is used in Windows CMD to force a refresh of Group Policy settings and apply new settings immediately without needing to reboot the computer. This command helps administrators maintain centralized management of settings on Windows computers within a domain-based network. It can be effectively used to quickly propagate policy changes to clients and ensure compliance with organizational policies.


The basic syntax of the GPUPDATE command is:

GPUPDATE [/Target:{Computer | User}] [/Force] [/Wait:<value>] [/Logoff] [/Boot] [/Sync]
  • /Target: {Computer | User}: Specifies which policy settings to update either Computer or User. If omitted, both the computer and user policies are updated.
  • /Force: Reapplies all policy settings regardless of whether a change has been detected, potentially increasing command execution time.
  • /Wait: Specifies the number of seconds to wait for policy processing to finish before returning to the command prompt. The default is 600 seconds. A value of 0 means return immediately after initiating policy processing.
  • /Logoff: Logs off the user after policy processing, which is necessary for some policy effects to take place (such as folder redirection).
  • /Boot: Restarts the computer after policy processing, required for some policies to take effect (e.g., software installation).
  • /Sync: Causes the next foreground policy application to be done synchronously.


  • /Target: Use this option to specify if only user-specific or computer-specific group policies should be updated. This can reduce the processing time if you know only one of these needs refreshing.
  • /Force: Useful when changes might not be detected but need to be reapplied to ensure policy consistency.
  • /Wait: Control over command execution wait time can be critical in scripts or batch operations where subsequent commands depend on policy application.
  • /Logoff and /Boot: Critical in deploying new or updated policies that require a logoff or restart to apply correctly.
  • /Sync: Ensures policies are applied immediately and in the foreground before the user can start working with the system, ensuring all settings are in place right from login.


  • Basic Update: Refresh both user and computer policies.
  • Force Update: Forcefully reapply all policy settings.
    GPUPDATE /Force
  • Update Computer Policies Only:
    GPUPDATE /Target:Computer
  • Combined Command: Update user policies and log off the user immediately to enforce the policy:
    GPUPDATE /Target:User /Logoff

Common Issues

  • Group Policy Not Applying: Sometimes, the GPUPDATE command might seem to run but does not apply policies as expected. Using /Force can often help resolve these kinds of issues by applying all policies anew.
  • Timeout Errors: When the /Wait parameter is set too short, policies might not finish applying. Setting this to a higher value or 0 (for immediate return) can mitigate this problem.


GPUPDATE can be combined with other administrative tasks or scripts for larger-scale operations such as system updates or software deployments:

REM Update Group Policy and then clean up event logs
GPUPDATE /Force /Boot
WEVTUTIL CL Application
  • GPRESULT: Display Group Policy settings and Resultant Set of Policy (RSoP) for a user or a computer.
  • SECEDIT: Configure and analyze system security by refreshing policy settings.

For more information, the Microsoft documentation provides detailed guidance on the use of the GPUPDATE command:
Microsoft Docs – GPUPDATE