Solution: Windows could not connect to the Group Policy Client service

Under specific circumstances, I’ve encountered this message following a reboot on systems I am repairing/setting up:

Failed to connect to a Windows service

Windows could not connect to the Group Policy Client service. This problem prevents standard users from logging on to the system. As an administrative user, you can review the System Event Log for details about why the service didn’t respond.

The System Event Log also logs an event regarding the service timing out.  When attempting to stop/restart/configure the service, none of the options are available; they’re merely greyed out, though the service is present.

The solution is pretty simple:

  1. Change the permissions on the relevant keys configuring the Group Policy Client service to allow Full Control to Administrators.
    1. Open regedit (Start > type regedit in the search box) and navigate to:
      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\gpsvc
    2. Right-click the registry key and choose Permissions.
    3. Click Advanced, then click Owner.
    4. Choose Administrators and check the Replace owner on subcontainers and objects box.
    5. Exit the permissions dialog and then open it again.
    6. Click Advanced, then choose Administrators and click Edit…
    7. Check Allow underneath Full Control, then click OK.
    8. Check Replace all child object permissions with inheritable permissions from this object.  Click OK and confirm; exit.
  2. Download the default gpsvc configuration information corresponding to your version of Windows:
  3. Back at the Registry Editor window, click File > Import… and choose the .reg file you downloaded above.
  4. Merge the changes with the registry.  Reboot.

Problem solved!

Donate to say "Thanks" if this post has helped save you time and money! 🙂

42 thoughts on “Solution: Windows could not connect to the Group Policy Client service

  1. Well I must have tried 6 different ways of fixing this error and all have failed for me. Unfortunately, this one included. It’s frustrating, because I’m pretty sure this error is causing every one of my browsers to crash on opening……they work ok on safe mode, just not normal mode. I’m about ready to throw up my hands and just reimage the damn thing.

  2. I would check and ensure that they’re clear of any malware or dangerous BHOs also. You can use ADWCleaner ( http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/download/adwcleaner/ ) in Safe Mode to detach most unwanted BHOs and add-ons. You can also try ComboFix in more serious circumstances if you suspect you may still be infected, but be advised that it’s riskier.

    If the Group Policy service is still failing, something is very likely intentionally stopping it from working.

  3. I have been following those steps for serveral times without luck. I already reinstalled the OS. My problem occured after I reinstalled the OS, before doing it the problem was not there, so in my case it is not a virus problem.

  4. Hey Alejandro,

    Just a couple questions:

    1) Did you reinstall from an official OS disc or was it an OEM (Dell, etc.) disc or something different?

    2) Have you installed anything different software-wise since you reinstalled? Specifically, security. Are you using different security than before?

  5. Hi Steve,
    Yes, I reinstalled the OS from the official CD.
    I still have the original CDs, because they are 3(Camara driver, OS and other drivers)
    I reinstalled the OS again, and now it is working without problem, so I am guessing that there was a problem with the first reinstallation.
    So yes, reinstalling the OS will take care of this problem.

  6. Pingback: Es konnte keine Verbindung mit dem Dienst “Gruppenrichtlinienclient” hergestellt werden | Andys Blog – Linux, Mac, Windows

  7. I have widows security warning saying that “unable to save permission changes on gpsvc Access is denied.”

    Please give me advice how to change this setting.

  8. Your solution works great. I went through the steps outlined above, and it worked the first time through. Thank you very much for posting the resolution to this issue.
    Cheers!!

  9. For mimi.
    Download .reg file, try booting into safe mode and double-click the file to import it.

  10. I got as far as D, but there is no “Replace owner on subcontainers and objects” box there to check. Is there somewhere I’m just not seeing?

  11. Spot on – we experienced this issue this morning, following a reboot of several clients on our domain. We were able to log in as local admins but not as standard users, and the service was greyed out.

    Applied this fix – worked perfectly. Good work chap!

  12. I can’t even log into my frontpage, I cant press anywhere no button to press on, I AM SO FRUSTRATED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! PLEASE HELP

  13. Hi, great work.

    I focus this error on Windows 10 Preview (9926). Do you have a new default gpsvc configuration information for Win 10 also?

    Thanks
    Michael

  14. Can’t complete 1.H step 🙁 It says I don’t have a permission after clicking OK. I also ran regedit as Administrator. My user is also Administrator. Any solution? Thanks!

  15. This worked like a charm.
    I must say I compared my registry keys with the ones provided for Windows 8 and they were the same – I’m always concerned when changing keys.
    Thanks. I will donate, not much but still :/

  16. Hi Steve Schardein, can you please report this problem to Microsoft’s relevant people? I have tried to do this but it seems to be very difficult to email them about a specific problem (I just get redirected to all sorts of never-ending FAQ type webpages). This screwed up my PC two times in a row over the past few weeks. I have tied reinstalling Windows, no luck there, this problem just came back (out of nowhere) after 2 weeks – after I painstakingly reinstalled everything. We all pay Microsoft our hard earned money for their Windows OS, so I recon that they owe it to all of us to fix this problem for us in one of their many bi-weekly Windows Auto-Updates. Steve, can you please do all of us a huge favor and please report this specific problem to Microsoft’s people? Please reference this blog’s URL with all it’s posts as supporting evidence that many paying Microsoft customers are being seriously inconvenienced by this problem. It is stuff like this that motivates people to buy an Apple iMac instead of a PC.

  17. Johan,

    It is likely that the problem is not caused by Windows itself, but rather by extraneous factors such as third-party software or malware. Thus, technically it is not Microsoft’s problem.

    Steve

  18. Great, thanks – upgrade to Windows 10 knocked out Group Policy Client service. Didn’t need to do second bit (gpsvc.reg) – rebooted and everything came back to life.

  19. This simple clicking ‘Restart’ instead of ‘Shutdown then Power On’ solved the problem for me yesterday. Credit to Yaniv Meoded (see below)- saw his post on another site. Looks like another ‘voodoo’ solution or ‘Thank you, Bill Gates’.

    “Yaniv Meoded 3 months ago
    Thanks, Eugene! Helped me as well!

    My 2 cents:
    1. As many others here, I followed the video and nothing was wrong in my registry per Eugene’s video. I shut it down, turned on again, and still got the message about the Group Policy Client service (and also not “Running” in the services.msc). I tried several shutdowns. Then I tried a RESTART, and problem was gone. => Sorry for the voodoo suggestion, but if shutdown doesn’t solve it for you, try a restart… :/”

  20. Or you could just go in the cmd window and type “netsh” then….”winsock reset”…. then restart. That simple!

  21. thanks for the voodoo fix.
    my system also had this error.
    none of these things would fix it, till I simply selected ‘restart’.
    Then all good.
    amazing. thanks.

  22. Restart was the first thing I tried. Didn’t work. Is the solution the “netsh / winsock” one or the reinstall?

  23. Not helpful. Even as administrator, in a “home” edition you do not have the permissions to change the relevant registry keys. Shame on Microsoft to even consider this set up. Leaves me furious. Time to change to an open source system.

  24. Your frustration becomes you. Changing the permissions is absolutely possible; you simply have to carefully read through the procedure to accomplish it. I should know; I perform similar fixes literally on a daily basis. Start from the top and try again.

    If you still have no success, you will need to explore performing a “full permissions reset” on all registry keys. The easiest method involves using tools such as Tweaking.com’s Windows Repair or subinacl.

  25. Login as localadmin
    remove password for affected user
    restart
    login as affected user
    goto settings and enter new password
    restart system and login with new password
    THIS RESOLVED FOR ME…

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