Lock Desktop Wallpaper

By jlevin2 ·
Can anyone tell me how to lock desktop wallpaper for the user account? I am the Computer administrator in a high school and while this may seem trivial, it poses a serious problem for us and consumes an enormous amount of time. Thanks for any help you can provide.

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domain GPO

by pc21geek In reply to Lock Desktop Wallpaper

Using the GP on the domain controller, you can accomplish this. You can set the background to whatever you like.

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No domain controller

by jlevin2 In reply to domain GPO

Thanks for your reply.
We are planning on a DC for the future but can't afford one now. Is there a way to lock the desktop on individual computers without a DC?

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Sure is!

by pc21geek In reply to No domain controller

If you are using XP pro, go to this in the run box
" gpedit.msc " without the quotes.
That will open the local security policy settings. Under User Configuration, choose Administrative Templates, then under that choose Desktop. Then under that choose Active Desktop. There will be some settings in that area that i believe is what you are looking for.
If you click on the settings once, it will tell you what each one does.

Good luck,


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by jlevin2 In reply to Sure is!

thanks. I'll give it a try.

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by jlevin2 In reply to Sure is!

thanks. I'll give it a try.

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What about WIN2k

by aaron.irby In reply to Sure is!

Hey pc21geek,
Is there a way to lock the wall paper down on individual computers that are running the Win2K OS?

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Same as XP

by pc21geek In reply to What about WIN2k

The same instructions for XP apply to win2k.
If you have a domain, i would suggest using the GP templates to do that. If not follow the instructions i posted above.


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Welcome to my world

by aaron.irby In reply to Lock Desktop Wallpaper

Sorry, If there's a way to lock the wall paper down then every single person that works at my company hasn't found it yet.
If it is possible then it is going to envolve editing the registry. I have the same problem at my job. I am a network administrator for a detachment of Marines at Camp Fuji and I always come across desktop paper that could be concieved as pornographic or at least on the verge of pornographic all the time. As of yet we don't know how to lock it down or even if it is possible. If you find the answer please post it up here. E.D.S. would love to find out how to do that.

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by milos.hyravy In reply to Lock Desktop Wallpaper

To lock the Desktop Wallpaper run GPEDIT.MSC and in User Configuration>Administrative Templates>Control Panel>Desktop click Prevent changing wallpaper setting to Enabled.

Run GPUPDATE in command line straight afterwards. You need to do that as Local Admin or using account from Administrators group. As soon as users do not have rights as Admins they will not be able to set that GPEDIT.MSC settings back and annoy.

If you need to run it on more pcs, the best way will be to create a batch file and distribute it onto computers and set registry to run it as administrators when computer starts next time.

It is bit more time-taking but as soon as you master it any Group Policy settings can be done in seconds on hundreds of PC at once.

Good luck!

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GPEDIT alone won't do it...

by hammerv In reply to GPEDIT.MSC + GPUPDATE

Hello -

Unfortunately you can't bloack all wallpaper changes with GPEDIT.
The setting mentioned above, coupled with: User Configuration>
Administrative Templates>
Control Panel...,
and then enabling "Prevent access to Control Panel", will stop most wallpaper changes.

However, In My Computer or Windows Explorer or whatever, Click "View" and set that to "Thumbnails", right-click on a picture thumbnail, click the choice "Set as Desktop Background and this will change the wallpaper to that picture regardless of the Group Editor setting mentioned in this thread.

Still working on it though! I'll post if I figure it out and would appreciate anyone me and the original post author would appreciate hearing anyone else's full solution to this!


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