Update GPO ADMX Templates For Windows 10 1703 Creators Update

Microsoft have released the ADMX templates for the Windows 10 1703 Creators Update. Updating your ADMX templates will allow you to configure GPO objects specific to the Windows 10 1703 Creators Update. In addition if you are using Server 2012 for example and have never installed any previous ADMX Templates For Windows 10, installing this ADMX Template update will give you the ability to configure Windows 10 Group Policy settings.

To do this first download the Administrative Templates (.admx) for the Windows 10 Creators Update

Next install the updated Administrative Templates for Windows 10 1703 Creators Update, i simply installed these to the default location.

Next navigate to C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Group Policy\Windows 10 Creators Update\PolicyDefinitions or the location you installed the templates to:

Now open C:\Windows\SYSVOL\sysvol\your-domain.local\Policies\PolicyDefinitions

If the PolicyDefinitions folder does not exist, simply create this. If you have never installed ADMX Templates before this folder will likely not exist.

Now copy all the .admx files in the root of C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Group Policy\Windows 10 Creators Update\PolicyDefinitions along with the folder for your language (for myself this was en-US) to C:\Windows\SYSVOL\sysvol\your-domain.local\Policies\PolicyDefinitions

The end result should be you have the language folder and the .admx files in C:\Windows\SYSVOL\sysvol\your-domain.local\Policies\PolicyDefinitions as shown below:

 

When you edit your group policy you will now see you can configure Windows 10 only features, for example:

Disable Action Center / Notification Icon On Windows 10

The Windows 10 Anniversary Update (1607) introduced a new annoyance for me, moving the Action Center / Notification to the right of the clock in the system tray. Maybe I’ve just used Windows for too long and am so used to the clock been in the same place, however this minor change really started to annoy me after a couple of days, especially as i’ve never had any use for the action center anyway.

disable-windows-10-action-center-notification-icon-6

Thankfully Windows 10 has some options hidden away that allow users to turn system icons on and off.

So How Can I Disable The Action Center / Notification Icon On Windows 10?

The easiest way to disable the Windows 10 Action Center / Notification Icon is to do the following.

Right click on your desktop and select “Personalise”:

Disable Windows 10 Anniversary Update Notification / Action Center Icon Step 1

Click “Task Bar” then scroll down the list of options until you get to “Notification area”, here you will see a link to “Turn system icons on and off”.

Disable Windows 10 Anniversary Update Notification / Action Center Icon Step 2

Once you click the “Turn system icons on and off” link you will be able to turn the “Action Center” off:

Disable Windows 10 Anniversary Update Notification / Action Center Icon Step 3

The end result been the clock will move back to the far right of the screen where it has always been:

disable-windows-10-action-center-notification-icon-7

This is a useful work around for people who are annoyed by the Action Center changes in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update (1607), however I would personally like to see the option to re arrange the order of system icons added. It’s possible to move some icons such as the sound and network icon, so why not the clock and action center?

Now if only the GPO to disable the lock screen still worked on Windows 10 Pro editions…

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.