Enable Group Policy Settings with Visual Studio Administrative Templates (ADMX)

Edward Skrod

Christine Ruana

IT Administrators often want to control, via group policy, certain aspects of Visual Studio behavior to achieve consistency, compliance, and compatibility across their organizations.

One challenge has been that there was no easy way to discover what global policies exist for Visual Studio. Because there was no centralized repository that captured the Visual Studio policy options, there was also no consistent method to deploy settings using standard management and deployment tools such as the Group Policy Editor or Microsoft Endpoint Manager, resulting in duplicated, inefficient, and sometimes incorrect effort.

To address this issue, we are very happy to announce the release of Visual Studio Administrative Templates (ADMX/ADML), which enables you to easily discover, manage and control Visual Studio behaviors governed by group policy settings. With this release, you will be able to configure settings for Visual Studio feedback, Live Share, install, update, and privacy settings such as those around the Customer Experience Improvement Program and Intellicode remote analysis.

The Visual Studio group policy settings contained in the ADMX file are machine-wide for all users, meaning they intend to cover all applicable installed instances, versions, and SKUs of Visual Studio. Sometimes a policy is particular to a specific version of Visual Studio, and the template clearly calls this out.

To get started enabling group policy settings for your organization, download the ADMX template package and select where you would like to install the template files. Installing to the default location ‘C:\Windows\PolicyDefinitions’ will enable the Group Policy Editor (gpedit.exe) tool to easily discover and edit available Visual Studio group policies.


Visual Studio Administrator Templates within Group Policy Editor tool

Visual Studio Administrator Templates within Group Policy Editor tool

Alternatively, you can also import Visual Studio’s ADMX file into Microsoft Endpoint Manager (Intune), create a profile, and then use the policies included in the imported ADMX to configure your organization’s client machines.

Visual Studio Administrator Templates within Microsoft Endpoint Manager

Visual Studio Administrator Templates imported into Microsoft Endpoint Manager

In the near future, Microsoft Endpoint Manager will natively include Visual Studio Administrative Templates alongside other configuration policies such as those defined by Windows, Office and Edge. The documentation for using Visual Studio Administrative Templates to configure group policy settings in Microsoft Intune is available at Microsoft Learn.

For more information, please refer to the Visual Studio Administrators Guide.  As always, we welcome your feedback.  For problems or suggestions, please let us know by submitting your feedback at Visual Studio Feedback.