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I have Windows Server 2008 and Windows 7. We need to run an application on certain computers with very restricted access to other Windows functions.

Is there a way to disable the taskbar for client users on Windows 7 computers?

  • I looked in the Group Policies but it's not there.
  • I am aware of Taskbar Eliminator, but it doesn't remove the Start button which is not good for me.
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Hey good to know ! Yes you're right about the Windows key. But that can be disabled somehow.. Regedit? Still I rather find a solution that doesn't involve any 3rd party app. Thanks for the comment ! – ToastMan Feb 1 '10 at 22:03
Right, added info how to kill the windows key and made it an answer instead :) – Molly7244 Feb 1 '10 at 22:16
up vote 3 down vote accepted

You probably want is to replace explorer with a different shell. There are a few out there, I'll try and post some links when I find the one I was thinking of.

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That would be really great taspeotis, I was thinking about the same thing but couldn't find any explorers out there. Something "blank" would be great, no taskbar or desktop, just run a startup script and that's all. Thanks. – ToastMan Feb 1 '10 at 21:56
Well if you want a "blank" experience then you can do what we do with our kiosks and use a launcher application for the shell. All the app does is launch the application and closes. Users can still start explorer.exe, so you may need to lock it down a bit more. As for the types of shells you would be interested in, see and (it says Windows Vista but I believe it should work with Windows 7). – Feb 1 '10 at 22:37
I just made an empty exe file and pointed to it using the "Custom User Interface" GPO for the desired OU, worked perfect, I started the application I need using Logon script. Thank you so much for your help! – ToastMan Feb 2 '10 at 16:42

There isn't a simple way to just "remove" the taskbar.

The two things you may want to look at is Group Policy as you said, in order to severely limit what the taskbar can do, and after that, maybe replacing the shell with your custom application so that the machine will boot straight in to your application and not launch explorer at all.

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You can remove the start orb if you set the taskbar to autohide BEFORE activating Taskbar Eliminator.

However, the start menu will be accessible via the Windows key, which you can disable, here's a tutorial:

How To Enable/Disable Windows Key

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simple, get ObjectDock and make the program have special privileges so you can not turn it off.

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