Modify Windows server 2012


  • We currently have a published desktop in Citrix for server 2008, I can assure you this topic is related to Microsoft Group Policy.

    The objective is to publish a server 20120 desktop instead of an the existing server 2008 published desktop. Internally that would be a large learning curve for the end users  SO we want to make it easily adaptive to 2008 yet it must be 2012. 

    I know that server 2012 has a toggle between tiles and the desktop and of course to add to the confusio9jn comparing this to group policy without using classic shell, I have found some information on the internet including installing feature, desktop experience and then cleaning away the tiles.

    We need group policy to have them only login to the desktop and then only allow Logoff from the Start menu or if tile switch and start menu is not available I can see that there is a group policy to remove the Do not show start menu at login, but what about removing the Tile feature altogether and the start menu?   We could put application shortcuts on their desktop and then a shortcut to logoff.

    This way they can just logoff at the desktop, but if we do that we would need to ensure that they do not delete the shortcut.  Hopefully I have defined the objective, please help.  Please let me know if you have any questions that I have not described.

    Friday, November 18, 2016 2:08 PM

All replies

  • Hi,
    As far as I know, we could enable “Remove all Programs list from the Start Menu”policy to get the following display from P1 to P2:
    Is it the target of you? And appreciate for your more detail description if not.
    And in addition to the group policy template in GPMC which you could try, we could also use some related registry entry via group policy preference to control start menu, however, it depends on the detail request and check if there is registry for it.
    Alternatively, maybe, you could rebuild the image of  profile based on your requirement before deploying to end users, it might need more technical skills, just for suggestion, and you could refer to:
    Best regards,

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    Monday, November 21, 2016 3:11 AM
  • P2 seems like it would work. however I was not able to get the Desktop Tile back, even if I search for it.  I tried to copy back the file from an existing server 2012 server to the exact path but it will still not relocate the desktop that was in your P2 picture.

    Any help or suggestions for me to relocate this desktop to pin it to the start menu would be greatly appreciated.

    Monday, November 21, 2016 3:03 PM
  • Also to add to this - After I figured out how to Pin the desktop to the start bar I have two other options I am trying to determine.

    1. I used group policy to save the layout with the pinned desktop.  All the saved apps on the start menu are there but it removes the pinned desktop? Not sure what the workaround would be.

    2. Before figuring out how to pin the desktop I created a shortcut to the, it was located in a different location.  However now I cannot remove it from the list of apps  so alphabetically on D I don't want to see the shortcut to because this launches internet explorer at the desktop location. The native desktop is the goal tile that I want to keep.

    Please help.

    Tuesday, November 22, 2016 7:21 PM
  • Hi,

    I doubt that it could be easily done via group policy, and as my first reply said, I would go to build a profile based on each detail requirement, and maybe , it need to involve a consultant for building the image.

    Best regards,


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    Friday, November 25, 2016 1:31 AM
  • Hi,

    I am checking how the issue going, if you still have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

    And if the replies as above are helpful, we would appreciate you to mark them as answers, and if you resolve it using your own solution, please share your experience and solution here. It will be greatly helpful to others who have the same question.

    Appreciate for your feedback.

    Best regards,


    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help.
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    Tuesday, November 29, 2016 4:55 AM
  • Hello,

    I have been working on this solution but I have nothing definitively yet.  Originally the export XML Microsoft GPO for Server 2012 worked.  Not including the desktop portion of course, so my journey continues.

    I am was surprised the Citrix did not have any background on shared desktops (even though it is understood 2012 was intended for sysadmins and not shared desktops for users.) Even with that being said, that is a small portion of the bread and butter for Citrix Xenapp and even Xenapp 7.9.

    I also need to prevent the right click option on the charm for the desktop view and it works for admins I created or found and not for non admins in a citrix session.

    I will definitely keep you posted if I find anything as well.  Is the consultant recommendation the only option you know of for these solutions?

    It seems like we do not know enough about how to manipulate server 2012 to our liking.


    Friday, December 16, 2016 1:41 PM
  • Hello,

    I am including a pasted document that I created.  Does anyone have any details regarding how to accomplish this?  This outlines further detail of what we are trying to accomplish.  Please help.

    We have a Xenapp environment for Xenapp 7.9

    We used a shared desktop for the server, this is using Server 2012 as the Xenapp shared desktop.  We are trying to accomplish the following as our objective. Similarly to server 2003 and 2008 shared desktops these were easily achieved but with server 2012 they should not have access to some of these features.

    *Present shortcut applications to the desktop so that are viewed to all that use a citrix sessions. Currently we can’t do that across shared server desktops.

    * We can either use the receiver to do that (above) based on user profile assignment or have it pinned to the start menu with an exported XML file.  It doesn’t matter how we do that but I think that Microsoft has a policy for the apps to be pinned to Start menu. 

    *Desktop Tile is not present in some cases, but if they need to switch to desktop view that is fine depending on what method these applications can be presented to each user.

    *Restrict the right click feature on the desktop view, so that non admin users in a citrix session can see these features.  As they appear with the right click option:

    Programs and Features, Power Options, Event Viewer, System, Device Manager, Network Connections, Disk Management, Computer Management, Command Prompt, Task Manger, Control Panel, File Explorer, Search, Run, Shut down and Sign Out.  Desktop is fine but we should remove that too!

    *I have found/created a folder policy that if these items are hidden-read disabled, hidden enabled, and archive enabled for these folder paths

    Folder (Path: c:\users\%username%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\WinX\Group2

    Folder (Path: c:\users\%username%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\WinX\Group3

    Folder (Path: c:\users\%username%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\WinX\Group1

    Group 1 only holds the desktop for the view.

    This works for some Admins with RDP but does not work with Citrix sessions.

    Most importantly we need establish that these are getting applied to the citrix sessions.

    It seems that only a few admins have this right click feature removed, but not for others.

    Here are the policies that we have in place that we are currently working for us.

    *Older Citrix user policy GPO that restricts non-admin accounts from shutdown, restart, hibernate, sleep, etc.

    * Hide Server manager from launching automatically- this is done very well with the 2012 group policy.

    *Loop back policy that does not apply to admins with RDP where they have the ability to login and restart, shutdown, etc.


    Tuesday, January 3, 2017 2:24 PM