Server Manager/Powershell Taskbar Icon Removal Server 2012 RRS feed

  • Question

  • After scanning for two days for a Group Policy setting that allows me to unpin these two icons from my users taskbar and browsing the support threads both here and abroad, I am at a loss as to how to do this through group policy on my terminal server.

    Situation:  I have disabled Server manager from running but the icon continues to be present on the taskbar for all of my users on the terminal server.

    Mission:  Find a way to remove the two icons using group policy.

    Execution:  Task 1:  Find Filesystem in GP.  Many suggestions have you add to the Local Computer Policy>Computer Configuration>Policies>Windows Settings>Security Settings>File System section in gpedit.msc.  This setting is simply not there.  I have found it in Local Computer Policy>Computer Configuration>Administrative Templates>System>Filesystem.

    Task 2:  Add files to Filesystem. 

    %AllUsersProfile%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Accessories\Windows PowerShell\Windows PowerShell.lnk

    %AllUsersProfile%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Accessories\Windows PowerShell\Windows PowerShell (x86).lnk

    %AllUsersProfile%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Administrative Tools\Server Manager.lnk

    %AllUsersProfile%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Administrative Tools\Windows PowerShell Modules.lnk

    In the right click menu you do not have the option to add anything to this section.

    Question:  If we are not able to add these files to the Filesystem section, how do we turn off the icons?  Is there a better way that does not involve a script?  Should the GPO be created from the DC?

    Thursday, August 8, 2013 5:05 PM


All replies

  • Hi,

    We could use below command to check those pined taskbar icons and remove them:

    File System:
    %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\User Pinned\TaskBar


    More details please refer to the below link:



    Yan Li

    Cataleya Li
    TechNet Community Support

    • Edited by Yan Li_ Tuesday, August 13, 2013 6:32 AM edit
    • Marked as answer by Yan Li_ Saturday, August 17, 2013 7:01 AM
    Tuesday, August 13, 2013 6:31 AM
  • Yan,

    I was able to go to each user's profile:

    "C:\Users\<user account>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\User Pinned\TaskBar"

    And delete the shortcuts. It doesn't remove them initially, but if they click on them it prompts and tells them that the shortcut has been removed and they have the option of making the icon go away.

    Thank you for the information!

    Friday, November 15, 2013 3:17 PM
  • I know this thread is old, but I thought others might be going through the same thing with Server 2012 RDS.

    This taskbar setup is part of the roaming profile config in the default user.  If you are just setting up your environment, like I was, then I found that modifying the default user before any standard user logged into the environment worked best.  If you go to c:\users\default\Appdata\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\, you should be able to remove the server manager Icon, or any other default configured shortcut for all users.  (Please replace C: with your OS partition)  This does not include all shortcuts like powershell and I am still to work how to stop this, but for most this will be sufficient.

    Mandatory roaming user profiles would be very useful here.


    Monday, January 13, 2014 2:34 PM
  • I did a procmon.exe on a Remote Desktop Services 2012 R2 Session Host. To check where the powershell.lnk was coming from, since most articles about hiding it didn’t work for me.

    With procmon.exe I found the following file that was read for the powershell icon.

    %AllUsersProfile%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\System Tools\Windows PowerShell.lnk

    This one is a little different than the one I see in most topics about this. So it seems that for 2012R2 (and I guess 2012) its not:

    %AllUsersProfile%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Accessories\Windows PowerShell\Windows PowerShell.lnk

    So to be clear. This is the one you need to remove the permissions:

    %AllUsersProfile%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\System Tools\Windows PowerShell.lnk

    Wednesday, February 26, 2014 10:16 AM
  • I can't believe Microsoft released Windows 2012 R2 without a GPO that allows us to remove these icons from the taskbar cleanly.  In a large organisation we can not leave these broken icons on the taskbar and expect our users to click on them to complete the removal. We can not also just spray a captured set of registry keys to remove the icon as this also would remove any taskbar customization they may make or require.

    Does anyone have a working GPO solution for removing these Taskbar icons (Server Manager.lnk and Windows PowerShell.lnk) from Windows 2012 R2 Terminal Servers?

    And does anyone know if this issue is addressed in Windows Server 2016?

    Microsoft please get your head out of the cloud and listen to and support your customers!

    Thursday, April 21, 2016 3:42 AM
  • David, 

    Did you ever find a solution for this? I'm currently deploying RDS 2012 R2 to several client's of my consultancy, and I can't believe how many 'hacks' I'm having to apply to provide a workable environment.

    Thanks in anticipation!

    Wednesday, May 25, 2016 12:06 PM