Explorer Group Policy: Disable Recent Files / Frequent Folders & Open To This PC

It’s easy to customise Windows explorer to your linking on a single PC, however if you want to make these changes for multiple users using multiple computers on a domain you really need to be making the change though group policy.

Windows 10 gives you the option to open new explorer windows to “This PC” instead of the quick access layout and also gives you the option to disable showing recently used files in Quick access and showing frequently used folders in Quick access, however their is no GPO to easily configure any of these settings.

However you toggle these settings with a registry entry, meaning you can still easily make changes to these settings for the users on your domain with ease, which i’m going to show you how to do:

windows-10-explorer-folder-options

 

How to open file explorer to this PC and hide recently used files / folders on Windows 10 using group policy:

You are going to want to open up Group Policy Management (gpedit.msc) for your domain and either create a new Group Policy Object (GPO) or edit an existing one. I’m going to edit the “Desktop” GPO i’ve already created, this GPO contains all my settings related to the users desktop experience:

open files explorer to this PC and hide recently used files / folders on Windows 10 using group policy

With your GPO open navigate to Users Configuration > Preferences > Windows Settings > Registry

You then want to right click and create a new Registry Item:

open files explorer to this PC and hide recently used files / folders on Windows 10 using group policy

 

To make explorer open to this PC you want to create the following registry item:

Action: Replace
Hive: HKEY_CURRENT_USER
Key Path: Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced
Value Name: LaunchTO
Value Type: REG_DWORD
Value Data: 1
Base: Decimal

GPO Open Explorer In This PC

To hide frequently opened folders from quick access in explorer you want to create the following registry item:

Action: Replace
Hive: HKEY_CURRENT_USER
Key Path: Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer
Value Name: ShowFrequent
Value Type: REG_DWORD
Value Data: 0
Base: Decimal

GPO Hide Frequent Folders

To hide recently used files from quick access in explorer you want to create the following registry item:

Action: Replace
Hive: HKEY_CURRENT_USER
Key Path: Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer
Value Name: ShowRecent
Value Type: REG_DWORD
Value Data: 0
Base: Decimal

GPO Hide Recent Files

 

That’s it, really simple to achive once you know how! I hope this helps somebody else out.

Use TweetDeck Web as a Twitter Desktop App

As you are probably aware if you are reading this Twitter are closing down the TweetDesk desktop application, however fear not. TweetDeck Web looks exactly the same as the desktop application and you can essentially emulate how the old TweetDeck app worked using Google Chrome and a bit of trickery. Essentially you can create a shortcut that will run TweetDeck website in a borderless web browser window, complete with its own icon.

As you can see below from the screenshot comparison below running TweetDeck in a borderless web browser window looks exactly like the TweetDeck desktop app.

tweetdesk-chrome-web-app-desktop

Your TweetDesk desktop web app can even have its own icon on the taskbar, just like the old TweetDesk desktop app did:

tweetdesk-chrome-web-app-desktop-2

How to Use TweetDeck Web as a Twitter Desktop App:

If you’d like to set TweetDeck Web up as a Chrome desktop app you first need to have downloaded and installed Google Chrome: Download Google Chrome

Before getting started its worth mentioning this could used to do this directly in Chrome, however i no longer see the option in any of my current Chrome installs. The option used to be under Tools > Create application shortcuts, from here here you could add a frameless webpage to the desktop, startm menu or pinned to the taskbar.

Once you have Google Chrome installed go to C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs and find the Google Chrome shortcut, you want to make a copy of this and rename it to something like TweetDeck.

tweetdesk-chrome-web-app-desktop-3

Now you want to right click on the TweetDesk shortcut, go to properties, click the shortcut tab, then in the target box you want to add a space after chrome.exe” and type

–app=https://tweetdeck.twitter.com/

tweetdesk-chrome-web-app-desktop-4

The end result should be your target box in the shortcut looks like this: “C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe” –app=https://tweetdeck.twitter.com/

Please note your Google Chrome could well be installed in a different location to the above, if you have the 64bit version installed for example, however all you need to do is add a space then  –app=https://tweetdeck.twitter.com/ to the end of the target in the shortcut properties.

If you now double click on your TweetDeck shortcut the TweetDeck website should load in Google Chrome, however will have no frame around the website, essentially looking the exact same as TweetDeck for Windows did. You can re-size the window however you desire, or even maximize it, without it interfering with your normal Chrome browser session.

tweetdesk-chrome-web-app-desktop-5

Optional Step: Pin TweetDeck Web To The Taskbar With An Icon:

If you want to pin your new TweetDeck web app to the taskbar you sort of have to go through the above process again, however in a slightly different way.

Open the TweetDeck shortcut you just made, right click on it then select “pin this program to the taskbar”:

tweetdesk-chrome-web-app-desktop-6

You will then end up with another Google Chrome icon which opens Google Chrome and not TweetDeck.

To fix this open the following folder: C:\Users\Matt\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\User Pinned\TaskBar – be sure to change Matt in the file path to the username you use to log on to Windows with.

Right Click on the Google Chrome (2) shortcut and go to “Properties”, as we previously did:
tweetdesk-chrome-web-app-desktop-7

Add a space then  –app=https://tweetdeck.twitter.com/ to the end of the target in the shortcut properties, like we did previously:

tweetdesk-chrome-web-app-desktop-8

If you also click change icon you can then change the default Google Chrome icon to a Twitter icon, you can Download the TweetDeck Icon here and unzip it somewhere on your system, e.g. the Documents folder, then simply click “change icon” and browse to the location of the TweetDeck icon you saved, selecting this as the new icon. You can then press ok and rename “Google Chrome (2)” to TweetDeck if you wish.

Note: Be aware if you rename the Google Chrome (2) shortcut you will need to log off and log back on again for the changes we just made to be reflected in the Task Bar.

That’s it, you can essentially use TweetDeck as you always have, without having to keep a tab in your web browser open all the time! (woohoo!)

FAQ:

Q: I don’t get desktop notifications from TweetDeck

A: You might need to add a new column to TweetDeck and ensure popup alerts is ticked, like so: tweetdesk-chrome-web-app-desktop-9

Google Chrome will then ask if you wish to allow TweetDeck to show desktop notifications, you simply need to click allow:

tweetdesk-chrome-web-app-desktop-10

Join The Outlook.com Office 365 Exchange Preview

Exchange access to your Outlook.com or Hotmail.com inbox is now possible if you apply to join the new Outlook.com preview program.

As mentioned above joining the Outlook.com preview program gets your email account converted in to an Exchange Inbox, meaning you can fully take advantage of Microsoft Outlook on the desktop. Changes you make to your inbox, calendar and contacts will sync in real time just like your Exchange inbox you might have at School or Work, as will the mail rules you create and so on.

If you happen to be using Mac OS you can finally use your Outlook.com or Hotmail.com email account in the OSX Mail app or even Outlook for OSX without having to resort to using IMAP, meaning everything will sync and not just your email.

If you have always wished your Outlook.com / Hotmail.com was a Microsoft exchange inbox then follow this link Outlook.com Preview Program Request Signup and get yourself on the list today.

If you want to learn more about the new Outlook.com powered by Office 365 have a read of the New ways to get more done in Outlook.com blog by the Office 365 time.

Outlook.com / Hotmail.com Exchange Inbox