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Set default keyboard layout through registry

There are ADM templates circulating on the Internet to configure your default keyboard layout by policy. These solutions work, but there are easier ways. Since Group Policy Preferences is here, which can be used from XP to Windows 7, importing registry settings was never this easy. So, follow these steps to import your keyboard layout in GP Preferences:

Keyboard settings through group policy preferences

1. Configure your computer with the appropriate keyboard layout settings

2. Open regedit.exe

Skip step 3 to 5 if you’re configuring your policy on the same system and the same username on which you configured your keyboard layout.

3. Navigate to HKCU\Keyboard Layout

4. Export the key by right-clicking the key Keyboard Layout

5. Import this key on the system where you are configuring your Group Policy

6. Open the desired Group Policy Object where you want to import the keyboard setting

7. Navigate to User Configuration / Preferences / Registry

8. Right-click Registry and choose New > Registry Wizard. Navigate to HKCU\Keyboard Layout and select the keys Preload and Substitutes. Also select every string value (REG_SZ) and click Finish.


9. Right-click the registry values and choose Properties. Select ‘Run in logged-on user’s security context (user policy option)’. Make sure you are doing this for every registry value.


Keyboard settings through registry import

You can also import registry settings by logon scripts, for example by using regedit /s. After you configured your computer with the appropriate keyboard layout settings, just export the key HKCU\Keyboard Layout and save the .reg file. You can import this on another system or automatically import by using the cmd command-line:

regedit /s keyboard_layout.reg


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