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Policy options to disable desktop access in windows 8

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  • User profile image
    sagum

    Greetings all,

    While most people are trying to remove Metro or add the start menu back, I'm actually looking for a way to remove access to the desktop.

    Is there any policy settings or registry options to remove/restrict access to the classic desktop component of Windows 8? I'd make things much easier for things like cyber cafes, younger teens and of course my dad who, keeps getting confused when he gets to the desktop.

  • User profile image
    spivonious

    @sagum: You could always unpin the Desktop tile, but it wouldn't prevent access altogether.

    Of course, Windows RT doesn't have a desktop in it (except for Office), so maybe getting an RT device would make sense.

  • User profile image
    blowdart

    , spivonious wrote

    @sagum: You could always unpin the Desktop tile, but it wouldn't prevent access altogether.

    Of course, Windows RT doesn't have a desktop in it (except for Office), so maybe getting an RT device would make sense.

    And use restricted user accounts as well, so folks can only use what's installed. You can block desktop apps being launched via file association. And you can do it the other way around server only, stopping the start menu being shown.

    I'll ask around

  • User profile image
    AndyC

    , spivonious wrote

    Of course, Windows RT doesn't have a desktop in it (except for Office), so maybe getting an RT device would make sense.

    Yes it does. Sure you can't install other desktop apps, but everything that ships as part of the OS (such as Explorer and the command prompt) will still be there.

  • User profile image
    kettch

    @AndyC: I'm thinking that the desktop on Windows RT won't survive the next release. Keeping it there now is mostly about not having to completely rebuild every single control panel. It sucks that there's always been inconsistancy in Windows' control panels, but the sheer number of them is pretty staggering. I think that the average (i.e. not anybody here) user will be content with the Metro^H^H^H^H^H control panel that you can get to from the settings charm.

  • User profile image
    spivonious

    @AndyC: Didn't know that. I thought it only launched for the Office apps.

  • User profile image
    contextfree`

    It's not confirmed that the command prompt will really be there (or, rather, user-accessible), is it? Will be interesting to see if it and Powershell will (as well as other random stuff like, say, Task Scheduler).

  • User profile image
    vesuvius

    , sagum wrote

    Greetings all,

    I'm actually looking for a way to remove access to the desktop.

    The more you look at combining the tablet and the PC, the more the baggage from the past affects the product. Article here.

  • User profile image
    contextfree`

    @vesuvius: zzzzzzz

  • User profile image
    cbae

    , vesuvius wrote

    *snip*

    The more you look at combining the tablet and the PC, the more the baggage from the past affects the product. Article here.

    And what "baggage" is dear Timmy referring to? Poor touch sensitivity? Expensive hardware that's too bulky and heavy with terrible battery life?

    After seeing some of the devices being shown at IFA, the only baggage that I see is the extremely narrow scope in the way he thinks tablets should be used.

  • User profile image
    JohnAskew

    Kiosk.

    There should be a special version of Windows 8 for kiosks and dedicated networked devices, imho.

    http://www.microsoft.com/windowsembedded/en-us/evaluate/windows-embedded-standard-8-ctp.aspx

    The craziness required to lock away the desktop is not appropriate for full OS. Not with W7 imho.

    Is Windows embedded not sufficient for your purpose or are you a small company using PCs?

    Too often companies sell PC desktops where a more constrained device should be offered; but these companies are usually small and don't afford time or capital to design a dedicated device for the dedicated chore, be it a kiosk or an assembly line monitoring sensing device which workers shall not game or browse the internets with...

    I do not envy your objective. I'd pursue the embedded version if at all possible - I'd push hard for it.

  • User profile image
    cheong

    @sagum:First you'll need to upgrade to Win2012/Win8 forest to use the GPO template.

    Here's possibly relevent entries:
    1) Windows Components\App runtime\Block launching desktop apps associated with a file
    2) Windows Components\App runtime\Block launching desktop apps associated with a protocol

    Now just remember to block task manager as well. (killing explorer.exe and restart it brings user to desktop side)

    Not sure if that'd be enough as user may find ways to hang the explorer process and cause it to restart automatically (not sure if that would work though)

    Recent Achievement unlocked: Code Avenger Tier 4/6: You see dead program. A lot!
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