Want more Win2K tips and tricks? Automatically sign up for our free Windows 2000 Professional newsletter, delivered each Tuesday!

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.