how to hide default windows icons such as my computer my network places control panel recycle bin using gpo

This article will guide you the procedure to hide My Computer, My Network Places, Recycle and prohibit Control Panel in Windows Server 2003 networking environment. We will set the application at the domain level so it applies to all authenticated users and then we will exclude the administrators.

To hide the icons, follow these steps:
1. Click Start –Point to All Programs -> Administrative Tools and click Group Policy Management. If you don not have GPMC, download it from Microsoft.com and install.

2. Click the + sign left of the Forest, then click the + sign left of the domain to expand.

3. Select a correct domain name and right click.

4. Click “Create & Link GPO here” to create and apply new GPO.

5. Type the name of the GPO in the displayed box and click ok.

6. Right click the created GPO and click Edit.

7. Expand User Configuration tree.

8. Expand Administrative Templates.

9. Select Control Panel and double click Prohibit Access to Control Panel, select Enable and click ok.

10. Select Desktop.

11. Find, double click and enable the following desktop policies.
a. Remove My Computer Icon on the desktop – Enable.
b. Hide My Network Places icon on the desktop – Enable.
c. Remove Recycle Bin from the desktop – Enable.

12. Select Start Menu and Task bar on the left Panel.

13. Find, double click and enable the following start menu policies.
c. Remove My Network Places Icon from the Start Menu – Enable.
b. Remove My Computer Icon from the Start Menu – Enable.

14. To filter so the policy so it does not apply to administrators, select the policy name from the left panel.

15. Right click the policy name, click Properties, and click on the Security tab.

16. Select the Domain Admin group from ACL.

17. In the “Permission for Domain Adman’s” section, find “Apply Group Policy” and put check mark on Deny. Click ok. Click Yes to the warning message.

18. Deny the policy to apply to the Enterprise Administrators just like we did Domains Administrators in step 17.

19. Click Start -> Run and type CMD and click ok.

20. Type GPUPDATE in the command prompt and hit enter. This will refresh Group Policy to apply the newest settings.

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