Hardware

Control the desktop with local or group policies

Is your IT department always looking for new ways to decrease the number of unnecessary support calls? Then check out this tip on how you can use group and local policies to prevent inexperienced users from accessing desktop features.

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One way to decrease unnecessary support calls is by keeping inexperienced users from accessing desktop features that can cause security and data loss problems. You may find that it's as simple as hiding items from the desktop or changing the way Windows enables the user to interact with the desktop. You can use group and local policy to not only control the way the desktop appears, but also control the way it works. For instance, it's possible to hide items from the desktop or change the way Windows enables the user to interact with the desktop.

To configure policies at the local level go to Start, Run, and enter GPEDIT.MSC in the Run dialog box. Expand the Users\Administrative Templates\Desktop branch. The Desktop branch includes several policy settings that let you accomplish such changes as removing specific items from the desktop, removing commands from context menus related to My Computer and My Documents, restricting changing the path to My Documents, and more.

The Active Desktop sub-branch lets you configure settings that control Active Desktop behavior for the target computer. Use this branch to enable/disable Active Desktop, control the user's capability to control Active Desktop settings, add and remove Active Desktop items, and set the active wallpaper.

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