Customizing the Desktop

As with most Group Policy settings, Active Desktop policy settings can have multiple effects. For example, if you set the Enable Active Desktop Group Policy to Enable , users cannot disable Active Desktop. When you right-click the desktop and point to Active Desktop , the Show Web Content command is unavailable; when you right-click the desktop, click Properties , and then click the Web tab, the Show Web content on my Active Desktop check box is unavailable; and on the General tab of Folder Options in Control Panel, the Use Windows classic desktop option is unavailable.

Other Group Policy settings you enforce can affect how Active Desktop Group Policy settings work. For additional information, right-click the Group Policy setting, click Properties , and then click the Explain tab, or refer to the Group Policy Reference on the Windows 2000 Resource Kit companion CD.

The Group Policy settings listed in Table 8.3 are located in the Group Policy snap-in under Local Computer Policy\User Configuration\Administrative Templates\Desktop\Active Desktop.

Table 8.3 Group Policy Settings That Can Affect Active Desktop

Group Policy Setting


Enable Active Desktop

Prevents users from disabling Active Desktop.

Disable Active Desktop

Prevents users from enabling Active Desktop.

Disable all items

Removes all Active Desktop items from the desktop, but does not disable Active Desktop.

Prohibit changes

A comprehensive Group Policy setting that locks down an established Active Desktop configuration.

Prohibit adding items

Prevents adding Web pages or pictures from the Internet or intranet.

Prohibit deleting items

Prevents removing Web content from Active Desktop items.

Prohibit editing items

Prevents changing the properties on Web content desktop items.

Prohibit closing items

Prevents Active Desktop items from closing.

Add/Delete items

Add or delete specific Web-based items or shortcuts to the desktop each time the Group Policy setting is refreshed.

Active Desktop Wallpaper

Prevents changes to the wallpaper image.

Allow only bitmapped wallpaper

Prevents the use of JPEG, GIF, PNG, or HTML wallpaper files.