Microsoft has released the Windows 10 Administrative templates. For the most part you already have them, if you have Windows 10 installed, but now you can install them even if you don’t yet have installed Windows 10 itself.
After you have them installed, you can copy them to your GPO Central Store. Besides the ones already available in Windows 10, there are some new ones in the installer below :
Click here to download the Windows 10 Administrative Templates
When you use Windows 8 in the Enterprise I can imagine that you (the IT Administrator) wants to disable some features. One of the first features (just like Windows Media Center in the Windows 7) I expect customers want to disable will probably be access to the Store.
Windows 8 Group Policies
I downloaded the proper Group Policy Settings Reference Sheet from Microsoft.com and the correct policy to disable access to the store could be a User Policy or a Computer Policy. So you can disable access to the store for the normal users and leave it accessible for the IT Administrator or Management (if you like).
Two different GPO’s at “SystemInternet Communication ManagementInternet Communication Settings”:
With the following Help Text:
“This policy setting specifies whether to use the Store service for finding an application to open a file with an unhandled file type or protocol association.When a user opens a file type or protocol that is not associated with any applications on the computer, the user is given the choice to select a local application or use the Store service to find an application.If you enable this policy setting, the “Look for an app in the Store” item in the Open With dialog is removed.If you disable or do not configure this policy setting, the user is allowed to use the Store service and the Store item is available in the Open With dialog.”
And two different GPO’s at “Windows ComponentsStore”:
With the following Help Text:
“Denies or allows access to the Store application.If you enable this setting, access to the Store application is denied. Access to the Store is required for installing app updates.If you disable or do not configure this setting, access to the Store application is allowed.”
What’s the difference?
So with the first Policy you can enable or disable the Store for finding an application to open a file with an unhandled file type or protocol association. The second Policy actually disabled access to the Store.
When you disable access to the store you will still see the Store tile on your Start Screen, but when you open the store you will see the following message:
Remove the Store Tile
To entirely remove the Store tile from your Start Screen, just remove the Store shortcut in “C:ProgramDataMicrosoftWindowsStart MenuPrograms” (thanks to Roel Janssen for posting this solution).
For a customer I’m building a custom Start Menu in Windows 7 which will be populated through Group Policy Preferences.
I know, some of you probably prefer RES Workspace Manager to manage the settings on the desktop, but Group Policy Preferences is a great alternative if the customer doesn’t want to spend a lot of money . When I was doing some tests with the Start Menu, some of the created shortcuts didn’t appear in the Start Menu.
Why use quotes?
I had to copy-paste the target path for some of the applications, because they weren’t installed on the machine where I created the GPP’s and therefore I couldn’t browse for the path. When using a path of created shortcut, the path is often started and ended with a quote.
And in the old days, you would have to use quotes when using a path with spaces in it or the entire path won’t be recognized. But when I used quotes in the target path with the GPP shortcut, the shortcut wouldn’t appear on the client….how strange is that!?
Only the shortcuts without the quoted target were published to the client, and the shortcut with quotes is skipped.
Skip the quotes!
At first I didn’t even thought of the fact that loosing the quotes would solve this issue, in the end I even thought that there was something wrong with the GPO’s itself…but thanks go to Wilbrand, who was doing a cup of tea and mentioned…that the only difference were the quotes. He was right, so when I did loose the quotes and did a gpupdate on the client, the shortcut was appearing on the client! Problem solved!
So when you are populating your Start Menu by using Group Policy Preferences, loose the quotes on the target path when using a already existing shortcut for an example. There is also another need to know when it comes to item level targeting when using the Security Group item, but more about that issue in the next blog post!