Group Policy (GPO) is a powerful function of Active Directory, allowing IT Pros to manage almost every aspect of Windows and installed Software for the computers and users connected to the company domain. But, as powerful as it is, there is a problem. Over time, the number of policies available has grown exponentially, so trying to locate just the right setting for just the right solution can be overwhelming.

Periodically, Microsoft will offer update document downloads when new policies are made available, but even those can result in extreme brain numbing due to their complexity and size.

Fortunately, there's a better solution. The folks at MSDN put together a Microsoft Azure–powered Group Policy site that includes all current GPOs for browsing and searching, and also offers some other unique, valuable features to simplify GPO management. The site has been around since late 2012, but with updates for Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 on the way next week, the site should get updates soon.

Here's some of the additional features I'm sure you'll appreciate.

Tree Menu

The Tree menu allows you to modify the view to show either a Policy View or a Registry View. Or to Reset the view completely.

Filter Menu

The Filter menu provides toggling capability to block out or add only the OS and application policies you're interested in seeing.

Copy Menu

The Copy menu contains probably the neatest features, allowing you to copy pieces of content from the GPO search directly to your clipboard, or to send it directly through email.

Misc Menu

The Misc (Miscellaneous) menu provides some odd and ends for consuming the information in different ways. The menu has links to a Facebook page, a Windows Phone app, a GPO download in Excel format, and the capability to add the site directly as a Windows component in various ways.

Though a Windows Phone app exists, a Windows 8.x app has been promised but not yet delivered.

The site's link is here: http://gpsearch.azurewebsites.net/