The System Policy Editor is a tool that comes with NT 4.0 and allows you to make conditional changes to the registry. For example you can set up a policy so students can not make changes to the registry. Other policies could be to remove the control panel.
Policies come in three forms user, group or computer. There is a default user and also a default computer policy. These policies apply to all users and all computer respectively. You can modify these default policies using the policy editor. You can also create a new user policy that will over ride the default user policy. The user policy is associated with a user by setting the name of the user policy to the name of the user. This can also be done with computer policies. If you want to set up policies for a group of users, you can create group policies. Group policies can only be applied to Global Groups.
User and group policies have the same attributes, called policy items, but computer policies have different policy items. Each item can be in one of three states: checked, cleared, or gray. These states help resolve any problems when group, user and computer policy items overlap. The following list indicates the precedence of user environment options.
User & Group Policy Catagories
The policy items are organized into several catagories. Here is a brief examination of the user and group policy catagories.
Computer Policy Catagories
Here is a brief examination of the computer policy catagories.
For more information about hiding items using policies see the Knowledge Base Article on What is your Hiding or Removing Items issue?