Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Configuring performance options of Windows 7 by Group Policy

By default, performance options of Windows 7 is best appearance.

However, domain users cannot modify the performance settings. I should assign the Group Policy to modify performance options for all users.

1. At Domain Controller, log in as Domain Administrator.
2. Launch "Group Policy Management".
3. Right-click a group policy which is assigned to the users, select "Edit".
4. Expand "User Configuration > Policies > Administrative Templates > Control Panel > Personalization".
5. At right pane, double-click "Load a specific theme".
6. Select "Enabled".
7. Under "Path to theme file", type "%Systemroot%\Resources\Ease of Access Themes\basic.theme".

8. Click "OK".
9. At left pane, expand "Preferences > Windows Settings > Registry".
10. Right-click "Registry", select "Registry Item".
11. Next to "Action", select "Update".
12. Next to "Hive", select "HKEY_CURRENT_USER".
13. Next to "Key Path", type "SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\VisualEffects".
14. Under "Value name", type "VisualFXSetting".
15. Next to "Value type", select "REG_DWORD".
16. Next to "Value data", type "2".

17. Click "OK".
18. Close "Group Policy Management Editor".

As a result, when a domain user logs in the Windows, the user will be assigned best performance setting of performance options.

Remark: "Windows 7 basic theme" will be applied to a domain user who first logs in.

Remark: If the "Load a specific theme" setting is not applied correctly on a computer, please read the following web site and install the Hotfix.

The "Load a specific theme" Group Policy setting is not applied correctly on a computer that is running Windows or Windows Server 2008 R2

This posting is provided “AS IS” with no warranties, and confers no rights!


  1. great thanks for the post
    how do you set it so that the last 2 items are ticked, drop shadow and visual style?

    1. Hi,
      Please read the following web site for your information:


      I hope this can help you.


  2. Hi Terry,

    I've done all exactly as you advised. But unfortunately this GPO does not affect to the performance settings of any domain user. By default "best performance" settings is applied, though all "System performace" checkbox really become unchecked. If I reapply "Best performance" setting manually, settings applies, but at next logon "performance settings" returns to "Best" again, despite the unchecked checkboxes.
    Have you any ideas or advices to workaround my problem.
    Domain functioning level: Win 2008R2
    Client desktops: Win 7 Pro SP1

    Thank you in advance for feedback

    1. Hello Alexander,
      Sorry for late reply. You can try to perform "gpresult /h gpresult.hrml" to verify the GPO result of "Best performance". You can add a user to local administrator group.
      Use the user account change the best performance to best appearance and then perform "gpupdate /force" to verify the result.


  3. Worked perfectly, thanks!