When installing software using group policy, what file or files does an administrator use?

When installing software using group policy, what file or files does an administrator use?

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When installing software using group policy, administrators rely on specific files to streamline the deployment process. These files play a crucial role in ensuring that the software is installed correctly across multiple computers in an organization. In this article, we will explore the file or files that administrators use when installing software using group policy.

Group Policy and Software Installation

Group Policy is a feature in Microsoft Windows that allows administrators to manage and configure settings for multiple computers within a network. It provides a centralized way to enforce security policies, manage user configurations, and deploy software across the organization. When it comes to software installation, Group Policy allows administrators to push software packages to targeted computers or users, ensuring consistent deployment and management.

MSI Files: The Key to Software Installation

The primary file used by administrators when installing software through Group Policy is the Microsoft Installer (MSI) file. MSI files are database files that contain all the necessary information and instructions for installing software on a Windows system. These files are specifically designed to facilitate software installation and configuration.

MSI files include details such as the software’s name, version, installation location, required dependencies, and any custom settings or configurations. Administrators can create or obtain MSI files for the software they want to deploy and then use Group Policy to distribute and install these files on targeted computers.

Creating MSI Files

To create an MSI file, administrators can use various tools and software, such as the Microsoft Visual Studio Installer Projects extension or third-party applications like Advanced Installer or InstallShield. These tools provide a user-friendly interface to define the software’s installation parameters, customize settings, and generate the MSI file.

Once the MSI file is created, administrators can configure Group Policy to deploy the software package across the network. This involves specifying the network location of the MSI file and defining the target computers or users that should receive the software installation.

Additional Files and Dependencies

In some cases, software installations may require additional files or dependencies to be included along with the main MSI file. These additional files can include DLLs, configuration files, scripts, or other resources necessary for the software to function correctly. Administrators can package these files together with the MSI file to ensure a complete and successful installation.

When deploying software through Group Policy, administrators can specify the additional files or dependencies that need to be included. Group Policy takes care of distributing these files along with the main MSI file, ensuring that all required components are available during the installation process.


When installing software using Group Policy, administrators primarily rely on MSI files. These files contain all the necessary information and instructions for software installation and configuration. By leveraging Group Policy, administrators can efficiently deploy software packages across multiple computers or users within an organization. Additional files and dependencies can also be included to ensure a complete installation.


– Microsoft Docs: Group Policy Overview – https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/client-management/group-policies/group-policies-overview
– Microsoft Docs: Group Policy Software Installation – https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/win32/msi/group-policy-software-installation
– Advanced Installer – https://www.advancedinstaller.com/
– InstallShield – https://www.flexera.com/products/installation/installshield-software-installer.html

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