Troubleshooting Group Policy events

(Last updated on February 5, 2021)

Walking through the basics in troubleshooting anything is a good process to follow.

In a previous post I talked about the four areas where you should start your Group Policy troubleshooting:

  • Install state of Client Side Extension (CSE)
  • GPResult
  • Events
  • CSE Registrations

Getting a bit deeper into the Events can be super helpful. This post will provide some guidance to navigating Group Policy related events.

There is a very logical organization to Windows events. Understanding the organization is really helpful when troubleshooting Group Policy issues. In the previous post we mentioned Events with IDs 4016 and 5016. They represent the start of a Client Side Extension (CSE) and the Success Events of those CSEs respectively.

That’s good for a specific example. But what about Group Policy service issues? What about errors? Warnings? Information? The following table is taken from a TechNet article on sorting out Group Policy events. Understanding the high level can really speed up the process of figuring out what is the culprit when something goes awry.

Event ID RangeDescription
4000–4007Group Policy start events: These informational events appear in the event log when an instance of Group Policy processing begins.
4016–4299Component start events: These informational events appear in the event log when a component of Group Policy processing begins the task described in the event.
5000–5299Component success events: These informational events appear in the event log when a component of Group Policy processing successfully completes the task described in the event.
5300–5999Informative events: These informational events appear in the event log during the entire instance of Group Policy processing and provide additional information about the current instance.
6000–6007Group Policy warning events: These warning events appear in the event log when an instance of Group Policy processing completes with errors.
6017–6299Component warning events: These warning events appear in the event log when a component of Group Policy processing completes the task described in the event with errors.
6300–6999Informative warning events: These warning events appear in the event log to provide additional information about possible error conditions with the action described in the event.
7000–7007Group Policy error events: These error events appear in the event log when the instance of Group Policy processing does not complete.
7017–7299Component error events: These error events appear in the event log when a component of Group Policy processing does not complete the task described in the event.
7300–7999Informative error events: These error events appear in the event log to provide additional information about the error condition with the action described in the event.
8000–8007Group Policy success events: These informational events appear in the event log when the instance of Group Policy completes successfully.

The table by itself can be incredibly helpful. Check out the TechNet article mentioned above. Mastering reading Group Policy events can dramatically speed up your troubleshooting efforts.

P.S. There is an incredible developer at Microsoft who dedicated many of his years to the Group Policy area. His name is Rajive. Rajive took a weekend a few years back and came up with an incredible tool that every Group Policy administrator should have in their tool belt, Group Policy Log View. (Thanks Rajive!) Make sure to go download this free tool from Microsoft. You can find it here.

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