The Local Security Policy is a built-in editor on Windows that includes the security policy settings. It is available in Windows Professional and Enterprise editions but not in Windows Home Editions.
You can use it to configure different types of security options for your computer by creating restrictions for particular users, networks, or software applications. Many users also use this tool to deal with certain system issues.
In this article, we briefly explain this program and provide various ways to open it on a Windows system. Apart from that, we have also explained how you can download and use the utility in Windows Home edition.
What is Local Security Policy?
The Local Security Policy is an administrative tool that shows the security policies on your local device and allows modifications to such policies. Along with the account and user-level security options, you can also set the configuration for accessing other resources such as servers, domains, domain controllers, and so on.
It includes the following categories of policies:
- Account Policies: Interaction of user accounts with the computer or domain
- Local Policies: Various audit, user rights, local account, device, logon, network, and user account control policies
- Windows Firewall with Advanced Security: Advanced firewall configuration
- Network List Manager Policies: Identification and configuration of networks
- Public Key Policies: Encryption and data protection policies
- Software Restriction Policies: Configuration of permissions for software
- Application Control Policies: User-level application permissions
- IP Security Policies on Local Computer: Establishing trust over IP networks
- Advanced Audit Policy Configuration: Management of security event logs
The policies are mostly self-explanatory. Additionally, you can double-click on them and go to the Explain tab to get more information. These policies apply to all the users in the local system, not individual ones. So, they offer a nice way to restrict permissions for certain users.
However, one thing you need to keep in mind is that if your computer is part of a domain, any security policy applied by the domain controller or admin overrides the security settings for your local computer.
If you wish to configure your security options, you need to have access to the domain controller and edit the security settings of the Group Policy Object (GPO), which is imposing those.
How to Open Local Security Policy?
Below mentioned are all the possible methods to open the Local Security Policy on Windows. You can pick any method according to your preference.
Using Run or Other Command Line Tools
The easiest way to open this utility is by using the Run command. Here’s what you need to do:
- Open Run by pressing Win + R.
secpol.mscand press Enter.
You can also use the
secpol.msc shortcut on the following Command tools:
- Command Prompt and Windows PowerShell.
- The address bar of file explorer.
- File > Run new task on Task Manager (Ctrl + Shift + Esc).
From Local Group Policy Editor
The Local Security Policy comes as the Security Settings extension of the Local Group Policy Editor snap-in. So you can access the security policies through the Local Group Policy Editor. Here’s how you can do so:
- Open Run.
gpedit.mscto open Local Group Policy Editor.
- Expand Computer Configuration > Windows Settings > Security Settings.
Here, you’ll see the same settings as that inside the Local Security Policy.
Using Search Bar
Another method to open this program is to search for it on the search bar. To do so,
- Press Win + S to load the search bar.
security policyand click on Local Security Policy.
Through File Explorer
The Run or command line shortcuts open the Local Security Policy file present in the
%SystemRoot%\System32 folder. So, you can also directly go inside this folder and open the file on your computer. Here are the necessary steps:
- Press Win + E to open the File Explorer.
- Navigate to
- Look for
secpol.mscand open it.
By Creating Shortcuts
You can also create shortcuts for the Local Security Policy on the Desktop so as to open it more quickly in the future. To do so,
- Open the File Explorer and go to
- Right-click on
secpol.mscand select Send to > Desktop (create shortcut) or Show more options > Send to > Desktop (create shortcut).
However, keep in mind that you can’t drag the icon to the Taskbar to create a Taskbar shortcut.
Through Windows Tools
Windows Tools is a collection of all administrative tools on Windows, which also includes the Local Security Policy Editor. You can access it from the start menu or the control panel. Here’s what you need to do:
From Start Menu
- Click on the Start icon to open the menu.
- On Windows 10, scroll down and click on Windows Tools.
- On Windows 11, select All apps, scroll down and then click on Windows Tools.
- Search for and double-click on Local Security Policy.
From Control Panel
- Open Run.
controland press Enter to open the Control Panel.
- Set View by to Large icons or Small icons.
- Look for and click on Windows tools.
- Double-click on Local Security Policy.
How to Open Local Security Policy on Windows Home?
Local Security Policy is a part of the Local Group Policy Editor, and this administrative tool is not present on Windows Home editions. So, if you want to open them in such a system, you need to use the Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) tool to download the Group Policy Editor package from Microsoft. To do so,
- Open Run.
cmdand press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open the Elevated Command Prompt.
- Enter the following commands:
for %i IN ("%SystemRoot%\servicing\Packages\Microsoft-Windows-GroupPolicy-ClientTools-Package~*.mum") do (DISM /Online /NoRestart /Add-Package:"%i")
for %i IN ("%SystemRoot%\servicing\Packages\Microsoft-Windows-GroupPolicy-ClientExtensions-Package~*.mum") do (DISM /Online /NoRestart /Add-Package:"%i")
Alternatively, you can create a batch file to easily install the Local Group Policy Editor. To do so,
- Open Run.
notepadand press Enter to open this text editor.
- Enter the following lines in the text editor:
@echo off pushd "%~dp0" dir /b %SystemRoot%\servicing\Packages\Microsoft-Windows-GroupPolicy-ClientExtensions-Package~3*.mum >List.txt dir /b %SystemRoot%\servicing\Packages\Microsoft-Windows-GroupPolicy-ClientTools-Package~3*.mum >>List.txt for /f %%i in ('findstr /i . List.txt 2^>nul') do dism /online /norestart /add-package:"%SystemRoot%\servicing\Packages\%%i" pause
- Press Ctrl + Shift + S to save the file with a different extension.
- Set your save location to any folder you want.
- Set File type to All files and File name to
enable_group_policy.batand click Save.
- Open the File Explorer and navigate to the save location.
- Double-click on
After installing the package, you can use the methods in the previous section to open the Local Security Policy.