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Remove/Disable Add a Network Location

Posted on 2014-12-28
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Last Modified: 2015-01-07
I am looking for a way to disable the Add a Network Location found in File -> Add Network Location in Windows 7.  I am looking to do this via Group Policy.  
Screenshot

I have enabled the following GP: Prohibit Access to the New Connection Wizard (this is the wizard that appears when someone selects Add a Network Location) but I am still able to add a Network Location despite this.

Any idea where I can prevent access to this feature?

Thank you.
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Question by:arkhaminmate11n
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Expert Comment

by:VB ITS
ID: 40521094
You'll need to disable users from adding or disconnecting to a network drive altogether if you want to disable this feature.

To do this, go to User ConfigurationPoliciesAdministrative TemplatesWindows ComponentsWindows Explorerenable the Remove "Map Network Drive" and "Disconnected Network Drive" setting.

This will remove any buttons and abilities to map and disconnect network drives. Users can still see the options in the context menu when they right click on Computer in the navigation pane but they will not be able to map to anything apart from (I think) FTP and external sites.

Alternatively you can look at just removing the File option from the menu bar in Explorer.
To do this, go to User ConfigurationPoliciesAdministrative TemplatesWindows ComponentsWindows Explorerenable the Remove File menu from Windows Explorer setting.
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Author Comment

by:arkhaminmate11n
ID: 40521144
Thanks.  I have also enabled the Remove Map Network Drive and Disconnected Network Drive as well.  Users can still map FTP/External sites as you noted.  Is there a registry key that will just disable the Add a Network Location?  I would prefer not to disable the File menu from Windows Explorer.
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by:VB ITS
ID: 40521236
Is there a registry key that will just disable the Add a Network Location?
Unfortunately I haven't been able to find any registry key which will remove this option from the File menu.

The File menu does very little in Explorer anyway so I don't see the harm in removing it. When you select a file then click on the File menu, the options you see are the same options you would get when you right click on the item. The options you get for a folder are even less.
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Author Comment

by:arkhaminmate11n
ID: 40522542
Unfortunately, when you disable File from Windows Explorer, this removes File from Internet Explorer too.  Any other suggestions?
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Expert Comment

by:VB ITS
ID: 40527200
In that case, no. I do recall looking for a way to remove the command a fair while back when I began locking down Terminal Servers but could never find anything that would actually remove this one entry, unlike removing entries from the right click context.

In the end I decided to just remove the File menu as mentioned above as it's not entirely needed. There are other ways to use the functions provided by the File menu.
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Accepted Solution

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arkhaminmate11n earned 0 total points
ID: 40527806
I figured out a way to work around the problem where if you use the GP, User Configuration > Policies > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Explorer > enable the Remove File menu from Windows Explorer, the File menu is also hidden in Internet Explorer.

To accomplish this, I used this GP: User Configuration > Policies > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Internet Explorer > Toolbars > Hide the Command Bar > Disabled

Then I added a registry key so I could display only the commands I wanted.

Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\LowRegistry\CommandBar\CommandBandLayout

To get the Command Bar exactly the way you want it so the Command Bar just displays the commands you want, first configure a machine with the Command Bar the way you want it.  Then, go to the registry on this machine and copy the data.  Use this data string when you deploy the registry key in GP.

Here is an example:
Registry.png
So here are the GPs I used:

User Configuration > Policies > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Explorer > enable the Remove File menu from Windows Explorer

User Configuration > Policies > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Internet Explorer > Toolbars > Hide the Command Bar > Disabled

Registry Key

For my setting, I also used

User Configuration > Policies > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Internet Explorer > Toolbars > Configure Toolbar Buttons> Enabled > Show All Text Labels

and

User Configuration > Policies > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Internet Explorer > Turn on menu bar by default > Enabled

Here is the end product:

IE-Command.png
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Author Closing Comment

by:arkhaminmate11n
ID: 40535213
I had to dig deeper to actually find a solution that would work for me.  The workaround I figured out should help others as well.
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