Steps to Fix Access Denied to gpedit.msc Problem

My PC was working all fine until I figured out that Group Policy gpedit.msc was not opening on my system. I wanted to open the Group Policy editor for some work and I was shocked to find that not only the gpedit.msc, even the other commands with msc extensions, were not working like services.msc, devmgmt.msc, compmgmt.msc etc.

Then I tried opening the editor by double clicking the gpedit.msc inside the system32 folder and I got the same error “Access is Denied”. What was strange was that I was accessing the editor from my Administrator account only.

I tried following things:

•    The first suspect is, of course, Virus, thus I scanned my whole system with the updated Anti Virus but it didn’t find any.

•    Then I scanned it with Windows Defender but it also didn’t find any malicious software.

•    I rebooted the system and entered in the Safe Mode but the commands were not working in that either.


Then I finally decided to run System Restore and restored the system to some safe state I created when the PC was working all fine (good practice to create a checkpoint when the system is fine, isn’t it). I was relieved when this solved my problem.

Note: Try to Restore the system to a restore point created long ago.


since the problems vary for different users, installing Microsoft Management Console 3.0 for Windows XP again (as suggested by one of our viewers) may also work for you.

Download MMC

UPDATE 2 (Best Solution Working):

After all the efforts to find out the solution, we have been able to find the solution to this problem (Thanks to our alert reader Dickens). I am describing the solution given by him and is working all fine (i have tested myself on my PC)

  • Open Registry Editor (regedit.exe).
  • Now traverse to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.msc and delete the registry entry on the right side.
  • After deleting it when you again type gpedit.msc in Run box, it will open an “Open with” dialog.
  • Now select the second option and browse to get a new option; browse to C:\Windows\system32\mmc.exe
  • A new option “Microsoft Management Console” will appear in the window.
  • Select this option and remember to check the box below to always run the command without doing this again and again.
  • That’s it, all .msc extensions will now open.

Any feedback?

65 Replies to “Steps to Fix Access Denied to gpedit.msc Problem”

  1. Hey man, this thing did work for me. So try to restore your PC to some safe point created long ago and also try out the update

  2. I was also facing the same problem and as per my finding solution is to download “Microsoft Management Console 3.0 for Windows XP” and install it. Installing this mmc for winxp will allow accessing all *.msc snapin. This solution worked for me. let ke know if you get success.

    Trilok Khanna

  3. i guess what u told should also work. 🙂
    Thanks buddy for sharing the info with us!! I have updated the post again.

  4. 1.) Clean any adware/malware

    2.) Remove Registry Entry for .msc from

    3.) Double click
    Open with C:\WINDOWS\system32\mmc.exe

    Enjoy 🙂

  5. I must admit I haven’t tried any of the above yet, but an identical issue I’m having led me to this page, I’ll check current ‘background’ settings and decide which is best for me…

    BUT… I did find a ‘workaround’… Bizarre as it might seem running the msc (a shortcut on the desktop)with ‘Run as’, as THE SAME USER, with IDENTICAL credentials as logged into the PC allows it to run, no problems !!

    I thought it might have stemmed from a Group Policy security setting, even though using ‘Run as’ seems to counter this view… The user is a member of several groups…

    So, I’ll go through the solutions above and post back, but it would be interesting to know if anyone else has a similar problem and ‘workaround’ as myself…??


  6. Hey its really great and thq for the tip
    I was tryingt to do a system restore and it is not working and I was worrying since 2 days and it was a great step
    thq again

  7. I had the issue with a SBS 2003 and I did the registry key delete per Dickens and it worked perfectly.
    Thank you so much.

  8. how can i disable gpedit.msc because where using only one account only the administrator account so i want to disable the gpedit.msc with password so that i am the one can access the gpedit.msc. hope you will reply my message thanks.

  9. Thanks for this great tip!

    I did only the Update 2, and everything worked fine!
    To Eic: Using RunAs is only a temporary solution, Update 2 should solve the problem itself.

    Thanks again!

  10. This post is one of the Best I’ve read . Its of great help especially when it comes to dop changes in system 32 services. This post saved me from a big trouble. Thanks for it. Cheers

  11. Thank you very much for the solution. I was facing very difficult to work without Terminal Service. Now, deleting the entry from registry has solved my issue. Once again, Thanks for the solution provided.

    Deepak Mohan

  12. Thanks for the solution, it worked! but I am curious to know the reason why .msc services are denied access.

  13. There can be several reasons from virus infection, spyware modifications to changes done by some software in the registry. Well great to know that you are really interested to know the reason behind 🙂

  14. Yes it is working, but In administrative Tools, icons of all elements (eg. dns icon ) has been changed. what to do to restore original icons.

  15. just do an “open with” on the msc file in explorer
    chose mmc.exe program from windows/sytem 32
    and that’s all

  16. Hey!! thanks a lot….this really works….otherwise I was thinking of formatting my operating system….u saved my operating system..

  17. Hi Thanks Alot , it works.

    Hi Teman ikuti saja intsruksi ini:
    1.) Run REGEDIT
    2.) Remove Registry Entry for .msc from
    3.) Double click : salah satu Icon misalnya di Control Panel–> Administratif Tools–> Computer management –> keluar wizard “Select Program fromt the list” –> kemudian browse c:\windows/system32/MMC.EXE ( management console) pastikan Always use box tercentang.

  18. Thanks, fix it. It happend to me after Norton Detected a Infostealer.Gamepass adware came up on one of my usb memories.

  19. I downloaded Microsoft Management Console
    then deleted the value in reg edit
    then gpedit.msc is working now well with me.

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