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Firefox is able to change the desktop background, despite that feature being blocked by my admin. How do they do it?

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The more relevant question is how your admin did it. Just blocking the default UI method obviously is not sufficient. –  MSalters Jan 23 '13 at 15:49
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closed as not a real question by Dave Rook, Sathya Jan 23 '13 at 17:16

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

The Group Policy setting locks the user interface so you cannot change the wallpaper via the normal route, but does not prevent a registry key modification via other means (such as Firefox or Paint).

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\Wallpaper is set to %AppData%\Mozilla\Firefox\Desktop Background.bmp directly by Firefox.

I guess users can be denied write permission to the registry entry, but I wouldn't really recommend it.

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