MS GPO

 

 

With the new Office getting pushed out, I was running into problems with PST files, namely I didn’t want them in my environment cluttering things up and causing a ruckus on local computers. After a bit of research I found a way to use Group Policy to change this, and multitude of different options within the MS Office Suite.

First, you’ll need the MS Office 2013 administrative template (you are given a choice between 32bit and 64bit.  Do keep in mind that as of this writing, Adobe Reader hasn’t gotten around to creating a 64bit reader plugin, so I’m sticking with 32bit installs).

Once downloaded, extract somewhere and copy the *.admx files and EN-US directory to:

%SYSVOL%/domain/Policies/PolicyDefinitions
Otherwise you can go into

\\DOMAIN\SYSVOL\DOMAIN\Policies\PolicyDefinitions
I didn’t actually have a PolicyDefinitions directory so I manually created one and raised my domain functional level up to 2008 due to one pesky 2003 server in the environment that’s since been phased out.

 

Copy these files to your \\Sysvol\ directory where the rest of the domain policies exist

Copy these files to your \\Sysvol\ directory where the rest of the domain policies exist

 

once done copying, goto your Group Policy and create a new object (something relevant to your office suite) and take a look under 
User Configuration -> Administrative Templates:
MS Office 2013 GPO Admin Template expanded
You now have a large grouping of new Office objects you can manipulate.
Create a new Group Policy (name it something relevant) and look at the Administrative Templates.
The settings I was looking for were:
User Configuration->Policies->Administrative Templates: Policy definition->MS Outlook 2013->Miscellaneous->PST Settings
MS Office 2013 GPO-PST settings
Now you can add all PST files to the network instead of bogging down a local PC as potential pain point in case of a local computer crash.
Otherwise, you can take PST’s right out of the picture by Disabling the AutoArchive Settings:
User Configuration->Policies->Administrative Templates: Policy definition->MS Outlook 2013->Outlook Options->Other->AutoArchive
MS Office 2013 GPO-disable AutoArchive
Lastly, apply to the proper OU’s and do a GPUpdate /force on the domain controller and the client machine.
These screencaps were done within a Server 2008 R2 environment with a fresh deployment of Office 2013 Professional.  The same steps can be applied for Office 2007, and Office 2010.