Example: Using Wildcards and Variables in Policy Rules

The following table displays examples of using wildcards and variables to specify a filename (regardless of location), a file located within a specific folder or folder path, or any file within a specific folder or folder path.
Example
Result
C:\temp\a.exe
Matches only the a.exe file and only if launched from the C:\temp folder
%TEMP%\a.exe
Matches only the a.exe file and only if launched from the C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Temp folder on Windows Vista and later machines or C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Local Settings\Temp on Windows XP machines
C:\temp*
Matches any file launched from the C:\temp folder or from any folder or subfolder in a filepath that begins with C:\temp (for example, C:\temp\folder\a.exe, C:\temp1\a.scr, and C:\temporary\folder\b.exe)
C:\temp\*
Matches any file launched from the C:\temp\ folder or subfolder (for example: C:\temp\a.scr and C:\temp\temp2\b.exe)
C:\temp\a?.exe
Matches any file beginning with a and followed by a second character launched from the C:\temp\ folder (for example: C:\temp\a1.exe and C:\temp\az.exe)
C:\temp*.exe
Matches any executable file with an .exe file extension, a filename that begins with temp, and that is launched from the C:\ drive (for example, C:\temp1.exe and C:\temporary.exe) and matches any executable file with an .exe file extension that is launched from any folder or subfolder in a filepath that begins with C:\temp (for example, C:\temp\folder\a.exe, C:\temp1\b.exe, and C:\temporary\folder\c.exe)
C:\temp\*.exe
%SystemDrive%\temp\*.exe
Matches any executable file with an .exe file extension that is launched from the C:\temp\ (or equivalent %SystemDrive%\temp\ folder) or from any folder or subfolder in a filepath that begins with C:\temp\
*\a.exe
Matches only the a.exe file regardless from which location it is launched
%SystemDrive%\%MyVar%
When %MyVar% is equal to a filename, for example myfile.exe, this matches that filename when launched from the %SystemDrive% folder (in most cases C:\)
a.exe
(Java restriction rules only) Matches only the a.exe file regardless from which location it is launched
Java restriction rules require you to include the .exe at the end of the filename.
C:\temp
C:\temp\
Does not match any executable files because the path is not a full path (partial paths must contain at least one wildcard to be useful)

Related Documentation