Access Denied to gpedit.msc – Fix

by on April 28th, 2010

Ever encountered a problem in which you can’t open Group Policy Editor even using administrator account. When you try the command gpedit.msc or other commands with msc extensions like services.msc, devmgmt.msc, compmgmt.msc etc. simply an error message shows up which says:

Access is denied.

Try opening the editor by double clicking the gpedit.msc inside the system32 folder but you will encounter the same error message.


System Restore is one solution but for that you have to create a restore point when the system is fine.

Installing Microsoft Management Console (MMC) for Windows XP also works.

Download MMC

Another way is to do it using registry tweak.

  • Open Registry Editor (Run > regedit.exe)
  • Go to the key HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT -> .msc and delete the registry entry on the right side
  • After deleting it type gpedit.msc in Run, it will open an “Open with” dialog
  • Select the second option and browse to get a custom option
  • Browse to C:\Windows\system32\mmc.exe
  • New option “Microsoft Management Console” will appear in the window
  • Select this option
  • Check the box below to ‘always use the selected program to open this kind of file’
  • Problem fixed