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Create same desktop for all users in OU

Posted on 2016-10-09
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Last Modified: 2016-10-11
Have a client that would like the user's in the OU to have all the same desktop view. All clients are Windows 7. We'd like just to have the icons for a few apps like Office and Firefox and a few URLs. We don't want users to be able to save to the desktop. This is a mix of new and existing user accounts, and nothing saved on the desktop currently is necessary (extra programs they don't need to see). So we'd like the GPO to essentially remove all the icons and add the ones that we want. But I know the icons vary and creating a delete policy for every possibility is not administratively efficient. Is there any way to do this by GPO so that the Desktop is wiped clean and they just get the icons we want them to have?

Thanks!
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Question by:Casey Weaver
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Adam Brown earned 1800 total points
ID: 41836098
Yes, you can do this. What you can do is create a Folder Redirection policy that redirects the Desktop Folder to a single location that has all the shortcuts you want to appear on the desktop. https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc732275(v=ws.11).aspx has details on this. You would basically create a network share somewhere that has the icons you want, then create the redirection policy using the Redirect to the following location as the redirect action. Make sure the option to move their data to the new location is *not* enabled, and when they log in and apply the policy, it will replace their desktop with whatever Icons are on the shared folder.

Note that you'll probably also want to set the policy to prevent users from making changes to the desktop. The settings to do this are in User Configuration\Administrative Templates\Desktop.
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by:No More
No More earned 200 total points
ID: 41836300
Also you should set the security permission to read and execute for that folder to specific users / group
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Author Closing Comment

by:Casey Weaver
ID: 41839379
This solution worked perfectly. We also secured the share to prevent users from accessing the share directly and doing modifications.
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