Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Using Group Policy Preferences to configure Windows Explorer

One of the great new features in Windows 7 are “Preferences”. This are files, folders, registry values etc. you can easily configure using an GPO to set values on the client.

As these are called “Preferences” the purpose of it is to allow the the administrator to configure something but still allow the user to change it later on. When using an policy, the user can change anything.

Preparing the Windows 7 rollout, I found that some settings inside the Windows Explorer should be changed, but I only wanted to change certain values, not the entire “Folder Options” (which is also possible).

Here are the list of values I’m changing using the Registry preference on all of the Windows 7 machines (all these are user settings, so the root is always HKEY_CURRENT_USER):

Folder Options -> Search -> Always search file names and contents (ON)

Path: Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Search\PrimaryProperties\UnindexedLocations
Name: SearchOnly (REG_DWORD)
Value: 0

Folder Options -> Search -> How to search -> Don't use the index when search in file folder for system files (ON)

Path: Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Search\Preferences
Name: WholeFileSystem (REG_DWORD)
Value: 1

Folder Options -> View -> Hide extensions for known file types (OFF)

Path: Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced
Name: HideFileExt (REG_DWORD)
Value: 0

Folder Options -> Navigation Pane -> Show all folders (ON)

Path: Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced
Name: NavPaneShowAllFolders (REG_DWORD)
Value: 1

Folder Options -> Navigation Pane ->Automatically expand to current folder (ON)

Path: Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced
Name: NavPaneExpandToCurrentFolder (REG_DWORD)
Value: 1

1 comment: