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Auditpol.exe: What is It and How to Enable It on Windows 11

Demystifying Auditpol.exe: Unveiling its Significance and Enabling it for Enhanced Security on Windows 11.


In the intricate world of Windows operating systems, numerous processes work behind the scenes to ensure smooth operation and security like auditpol.exe. Previously, we explored the functionalities of sihost.exe and poqexec.exe, shedding light on their significance within the Windows environment.

In this article, we focus on another vital tool: auditpol.exe. Join us as we unravel the mysteries of this file, understand its purpose, and learn how to enable it on Windows 11. Understanding this powerful tool will enhance your knowledge of the security of your PC and give you valuable insights into system events.

What is Auditpol EXE used for?

Auditpol.exe is a command-line tool used in Windows operating systems to manage and control audit policies. It allows system administrators and security professionals to configure auditing settings and monitor various events and activities on a Windows system. Here are some key uses of Auditpol.exe:

  • Viewing and modifying the system audit policy.
  • Viewing and modifying the per-user audit policy.
  • Adjusting auditing options to customize the auditing behavior.
  • Managing the security descriptor used to delegate access to an audit policy.
  • Generating reports or creating backups of audit policies in a comma-separated value (CSV) text file format.
  • Importing an audit policy from a CSV text file.
  • Configuring global resource SACLs (System Access Control Lists) to monitor access and events related to system resources.

Where is the Auditpol EXE file?

The Auditpol.exe file is typically located in the C:\Windows\System32 directory on a Windows operating system. This is the default location where system executables are stored.

However, please note that the exact file path may vary depending on the specific version of Windows you are using and any customizations made to the system configuration.

How do I enable Auditpol?

  1. Press the Win + R together on your keyboard to open the Run dialog box. Once the Run dialog box opens, type secpol.msc and click OK.
  2. When it opens, click Local Policies followed by Security Options.
  3. Then, in the right pane, double-click on Audit: Force audit policy subcategory settings (Windows Vista or later) to override audit policy category settings.
  4. Finally, click Enabled and click Apply followed by OK.

How do I set subcategory in Auditpol?

To set a specific subcategory in Auditpol, you can use the auditpol /set /subcategory:<subcategory>: command followed by the desired parameters. Here’s how you can set a subcategory:

  1. Press the Windows + S keys together, type cmd, and click Run as administrator to open the Command Prompt as an administrator.
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  2. Then, run the command auditpol /list /subcategory:* to see the list of available subcategories and their corresponding IDs.
  3. You can also use the auditpol /set /subcategory:<subcategory>: command, replacing <subcategory> with the name or ID of the desired subcategory. For example, to enable auditing for the Account Lockout subcategory, use auditpol /set /subcategory:"Account Lockout".
  4. You can further specify auditing options for the subcategory using the /success:<option> and /failure:<option> flags. Replace <option> with one of the following:
    • enable: Enables auditing for successful or failed events.disable: Disables auditing for successful or failed events.inherit: Inherits the auditing settings from the parent category.
    For example, to enable auditing for successful events and disable auditing for failed events within the “Account Lockout” subcategory, use auditpol /set /subcategory:"Account Lockout" /success:enable /failure:disable.
  5. In addition, run the auditpol /get /subcategory:* command to verify that the desired subcategory has been set with the appropriate auditing options.
  6. Finally, type exit and press Enter to close the Command Prompt.

What does the Windows command Auditpol clear do?

The Windows command auditpol clear clears or removes all configured audit policies from the system. When you run the auditpol clear command, it deletes all existing audit policy settings and reverts the system to its default auditing configuration.

This command is beneficial when you want to remove all custom audit policies configured on the system. Note that running auditpol clear is permanent. Therefore, exercise caution before using this command and ensure you have a backup or documentation of your existing audit policy settings.

To conclude, auditpol.exe, a critical tool in the Windows operating system, provides advanced security auditing capabilities, allowing users to monitor and track system events effectively. Enabling audit policies through auditpol.exe on Windows 11 helps users enhance the security of their system.

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Richard Omachona
Richard is a techie in providing fixes and solutions for computer issues of various kinds. Among his contemporaries, he is a preferred choice. His experiences are vast in Windows operating systems, and several other skills in programming such as Python, Web Frontend designing implementing at industry standards, best practices in HTML, CSS and JavaScript. and basics in Web Backend. He also loves traveling, gaming and music.