Failed to Connect to a Windows Service

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Windows-Couldnt-Connect-to-the-Group-Policy-Client

As soon as you boot your Windows 10 computer, it throws away a balloon notification stating one of the vital Windows services, called Group Policy Client, has failed to execute with the following description:

Windows couldn’t connect to the Group Policy Client service. This problem prevents standard users from signing in.

Notification-Balloon-Failed-to-Connect-to-Windows-Service

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As the error clearly indicates, Group Policy Client (GPC) is stopped and is no longer running in the background. First and foremost, let me make it very clear, do not mistaken this a minor issue. GPC is a critical service responsible for retrieving and applying the system settings configured by the computer administrator. It also ensures smooth functioning of the dependent applications and Windows components. If the service isn’t running, your computer may not work correctly. Any services or Windows components dependent on the GPC will not function. Interestingly, this is not a one time error that can be resolved after a mere system reboot. You’d encounter the same issue over and again, unless you fix the root cause. Worry not, we’re here to guide you through the troubleshooting steps to get it fixed in a secured manner.

How do I Confirm if Group Policy Client is Running or Stopped?

1. Type Services.msc in the Search Box on your Taskbar.

2. Open it from the Search Results.

3. Scroll down the services list.

Group-Policy-Client-is-Not-Running

4. Right-click the Group Policy Client, select Properties.

5. When the service is not running, the service status would appear “Stopped.”

Group-Policy-Client-is-Stopped

Note: Unfortunately, you cannot simply re-start this service using the Services tool.

Resolution: Fix Registry Corruption

Once my Lenovo laptop had got infected by a virus/ malware. I ran a full scan with Kaspersky Internet Security and disinfected the system. However, the next time I reboot my laptop, my system threw the error. As you can see, in my case, the error was caused due to corruption of the Registry entries by a virus/ malware infection. The actual reason may vary in your case though. Nevertheless, the following guidelines worked for me and many other people.

1. Fire up the Run box by pressing Windows Key + R simultaneously.

2. Type in RegEdit, and hit ENTER.

3. Locate the following sub-key:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE | SOFTWARE | Microsoft | Windows NT | CurrentVersion | SvcHost

SvcHost-Registry-Key

4. Right-click an empty area on the right hand side panel, choose New | Multi-String Value.

Creating-a-New-MultiString-Value

5. Name the new string GPSvcGroup.

6. Double-click the newly created string, and enter GPSvc as the String Value. Click OK.

MutliString-Value-GPSvcGroup

7. Now, move on to the left hand side panel. Right-click the sub-key Svchost, select New | Key.

Creating-a-New-SubKey

8. Specify GPSvcGroup as the name of your new key.

Rename-the-New-Key-as-GPSvcGroup

9. In the right-panel, right-click an empty area on your screen, and choose New | DWORD (32-bit) Value.

Creating-a-New-DWORD-32-Bit-Value

10. Name your DWORD as AuthenticationCapabilities.

11. Double-click the newly created DWORD, select Decimal option and enter 12320 as the value.

Name-the-DWORD-as-AuthenticationCapabilities

12. Click OK.

13. Again, create a new DWORD (32-bit) Value named CoInitializeSecurityParam.

14. Double click it to modify. Select Hexadecimal option, enter the value 1, and click OK.

CoInitializeSecurityParam

15. The final outcome will look like the one in the screenshot.

New-Registry-Changes

16. Exit the Registry Editor and restart your computer for the changes to take effects.

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