Prevent Users changing Desktop Wallpaper with Group Policy

KB ID 0000461 Dtd 08/06/11

Problem

If you need to lock down your client machines desktops and prevent your users from changing the wallpaper, then here's a run through on how to do it.

Solution

1. On your domain controller , Start > Administrative Tools > Group Policy Management Console > Either create a new policy and link it to your targeted USERS or edit an existing one, then navigate to;

User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Control Panel > Personalization

Locate "Prevent Changing Desktop Background".

Prevent Changing Desktop Background

2. Set the policy to enabled, then either reboot the clients, wait a couple of hours, or manually run "gpupdate /force" on them.

GPO Desktop Backgroud

3. Your users will no longer be able to select the "Desktop Background" link to change it.

Lock Desktop Wallpaper

4. If your users locate a picture on the internet they cannot select "Set as Background".

Stop internet Wallpaper

5. If your users download a graphic and preview it, the option to "Set as desktop Background" is there but it no longer works.

Set as Desktop Background

My users can still "Set as Background" and "Set as desktop Background"

The above procedure works fine with Windows 7 and 2008, however some older versions of Windows still have access to these options. To fix that you need to lock active desktop then disable it.

If that's the case, in addition to the above also do the following.

1. On the policy you edited above, navigate to;

User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Desktop > Desktop

Locate "Desktop Wallpaper".

Wallpaper Policy

2. Enable the policy > Set the wallpaper name to ??? (a value that does not exist) > Set the wallpaper style to Stretch.

Stop users changing Wallpaper

3. On the policy you edited above, navigate to;

User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Desktop > Desktop

Locate "Disable Active Desktop".

GPO Disable Active Desktop

4. Set it to enabled, then either reboot the clients, wait a couple of hours, or manually run "gpupdate /force" on them.

Stop html wallpaper

 

Related Articles, References, Credits, or External Links

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Author: Migrated

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