Set a desktop wallpaper using Group Policy

So, we are in an Windows Active Directory environment and we want to deploy the same wallpaper for all the users in the domain.

First, we need the create a share, readable by all the users, and put the wallpaper image inside that share. The share can be on the DC itself or on another domain-joined server.

Next step, we go to the DC, open Group Policy Management, select the domain and create a new GPO:

We give a name to the GPO and save it. Next, we right click on the newly created GPO and select Edit:

In the editor, we navigate to User Configuration – Policies – Administrative Templates – Desktop – Desktop:


On the list of policies, we open the one called Desktop Wallpaper and do two things:

  1. indicate the path and the name of the image
  2. enable the policy

Click OK and we’re done.
Note that it will take a log off / log on cycle on the client pc to see the policy in action.
The policy can be further customized according to some specific needs, but the basics are here.

Have fun!

Create a shortcut with Group Policy

In this post, we will create a shortcut to an internet address and place it on the desktop for all the users in a Windows  domain.

First, connect to the Domain Controller, and open Group Policy Management. Right click on the domain name, and select Create a GPO in this domain and link it here.

Give it a name and click OK. Then, right click on the newly created GPO and select Edit.

Navigate to User Configuration – Preferences – Windows Settings – Shortcuts and select New Shortcut.

Then, populate the fields to match your requirements: the name of the shortcut, the target type (URL), the location where it will appear on user’s computers, and, if you have a customized icon, the file path for it.

Also, in the Common tab, make sure to select Run in logged-in user’s context.

Click OK, close GPO Management and restart your computer, NOT the domain controller.

Map a shared folder with Group Policy

In this post, we will see how we can map a shared folder for all the users in an Active Directory domain, using Group Policy Objects.

First, we need to have a domain controller and a computer join to the domain.

Next, we create the shared folder, that must be on the DC itself or on another server joined to the domain. A standard way to allocate the sharing permissions is to give domain users Read/Write rights and domain admins Full rights. Both tabs, Permissions and Share, should have the same two entries.

Next, connect to the Domain Controller, and open Group Policy Management. Right click on the domain name, and select Create a GPO in this domain and link it here.

Give it a name and click OK. Then, right click on the newly created GPO and select Edit.

Navigate to User Configuration – Preferences – Windows Settings – Drive Maps

Select New – Mapped Drive and click OK.

Type the location of the shared folder, chose a letter for the drive and select Show this drive, on the left side.

After that, go to the Common tab, and select Run in logged-on user’s context.

Click OK, close, and restart the computer, NOT the domain controller.