Friday 6 May 2011

Removing Items from Navigation Pane.

The other week I happened to be testing the pupil lockdown of Windows 7, and realised that users could access things in the navigation bar that I didn't want them to access. Things like computers on the network, favourites (not IE favourites), Homegroup (which is empty, so is pointless being there) and Libraries.

No problem I thought, it must be a Group Policy I've overlooked...Nope. It seems that microsoft don't want Network administrators to be able to remove these from the end users. Not easily anyway. So I turn to my tried and trusted friend, Bing (You were expecting Google, right?), and found the answers. I provide a quick explaination here, mainly for my own benefit, and the original source is linked at the bottom, there you will also find a way of removing computer from the Navigation Pane, and the pane itself if you wish to go down that route.

To modify items in the navigation pane, you must first give administrator full control to the following registry keys:

For x32 and x64 Systems.
Favourites: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{323CA680-C24D-4099-B94D-446DD2D7249E}\ShellFolder
Libraries: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{031E4825-7B94-4dc3-B131-E946B44C8DD5}\ShellFolder
Homegroup: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{B4FB3F98-C1EA-428d-A78A-D1F5659CBA93}\ShellFolder
Network: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{F02C1A0D-BE21-4350-88B0-7367FC96EF3C}\ShellFolder

Additional for x64 Systems Only.
Favourites: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Classes\CLSID\{323CA680-C24D-4099-B94D-446DD2D7249E}\ShellFolder
Libraries: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Classes\CLSID\{031E4825-7B94-4dc3-B131-E946B44C8DD5}\ShellFolder
Homegroup: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Classes\CLSID\{B4FB3F98-C1EA-428d-A78A-D1F5659CBA93}\ShellFolder
Network: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Classes\CLSID\{F02C1A0D-BE21-4350-88B0-7367FC96EF3C}\ShellFolder

Theoretically administrator accounts should already have full control to these keys, but I found that without doing the above, the items were not modified. It may also turn out that you do not need to add the first set of registry keys for a x64 system, but I have not tested that yet, if I ever get around to it I will update this post accordingly.

Now for adding/removing the items. Please modify the Attribute Values below the above keys as required below:

Favourites On: a0900100 (Default Setting)
Favourites Off: a9400100
Libraries On: b080010d (Default Setting)
Libraries Off: b090010d
Homegroup On: b084010c (Default Setting)
Homegroup Off: b94010c
Network On: b0040064 (Default Setting)
Network Off: b0940064

I made the necessary modifications using a combination of Group Policy (for the registry permissions) and Preferences (for modifying the value), but feel free to make the changes how you feel most comfortable.

The original information found at:

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