Recommended Group Policy Settings
User Configuration – Administrative Templates – Desktop:
Hide and Disable All Items on the Desktop – This will remove everything from the desktop, and you can’t even right-click on it any more. Follow the on-screen advice for removing the Desktop option from the Places menu so that users won’t have the option to access the Desktop from Open/Save menus.
User Configuration – Administrative Templates – Desktop – Active Desktop:
Enable Active Desktop – You need to first enable this in order to set a desktop background.
Active Desktop Wallpaper – Enable this and then set your own wallpaper. This will make the Desktop wallpaper the same no matter who is logged in. Users may complain about not being able to set their own background, but having a nice company logo is often better than the family photos, comic book characters, or scantily clad women that often end up on machines.
User Configuration – Administrative Templates – Control Panel – Display:
Prevent Changing Wallpaper – Enable this option so that the user can’t change the wallpaper. If they go into the Display properties, the window and buttons will be grayed out. Be sure to enable this option if you are manually setting your own wallpaper with Active Desktop.
User Configuration – Administrative Templates – Control Panel – Display – Desktop Themes:
Remove Theme Option – Enable this option to keep people from changing the theme, which controls the look of nearly everything in Windows. This will help to prevent people from setting weird color schemes and other customized looks that some people like to put on their machine.