Group Policy Objects (GPOs) reflect an organization's policy needs on security, printer management, power settings, and so on. These existing organizational policies may undergo changes as new policies come up, forcing admins to create new GPOs or change existing ones. GPOs that were previously in use, GPOs created for testing purposes, and other unwanted GPOs can accumulate in Active Directory (AD) over time.
Two typical reasons for GPO clutter in AD are unlinked GPOs and empty GPOs. Whether these GPOs aren't linked to any nodes or they simply don't have any settings, they take up unnecessary space in your AD database. From a security perspective, removing unwanted GPOs is critical, especially since these GPOs could later be wrongly linked to an AD object and cause issues. Routine AD cleanup can help you optimize your database by removing the GPO clutter that has developed over time.
Identify long-forgotten test GPOs using ADManager Plus' All GPOs & Linked AD Objects report. View all the GPOs in your AD, including their linked objects and settings. Wondering how to detect empty GPOs? If a GPO's Computer Version and User Version are listed as zero, that GPO doesn't have any settings. Once you've identified empty GPOs, you can easily delete them from the GPO reports console itself.
GPOs in your AD that were previously linked to containers but are now unlinked due to policy changes can cause issues, especially if they're relinked to some other important container with malicious intention. ADManager Plus' Unlinked GPOs report makes it easy to find and delete unlinked GPOs.