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I'd like to limit what appears on the desktop of a computer running Windows XP Professional for one user account. The account will be used by young children to play simple educational games in a play area within a local hospital, so I'd prefer it if the only visible items on the desktop were icons for the various games (and a shortcut to shutdown.exe \l for logging off).

The computer will have Faronics Deep Freeze installed, so it's not essential to completely lock down the account (if a particularly enterprising youngster manages to cause problems we can just restart). However, ideally I'd like to have the following limitations in place (some of which I already know how to implement):

  • Taskbar is disabled or permanently hidden (permanently hidden is preferable, but I could probably get by with a heavily restricted taskbar using the Group Policy Editor settings in Administrative Templates > Start Menu and Taskbar; a hidden taskbar would be nice just to avoid confusing young children)
  • Start menu cannot be opened (there are lots of options to remove items from the Start menu in the Group Policy Editor, but I can't find an option to disable it entirely)
  • Icons on the desktop cannot be deleted
  • Right-click context menu is disabled (this can be set in the GPE under Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Explorer > Remove Windows Explorer's default context menu)
  • Windows logo key shortcuts are disabled (this can be set in the GPE under Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Explorer > Turn off Windows+X hotkeys)

I realize that it may not be possible to implement all of the above measures (particularly those for which there appear to be no associated entries in the GPE), but any suggestions as to how they might be done (preferably without the use of third-party software) or information about their feasibility would be appreciated! Any general recommendations about preparing an account for use by young children would also be welcome.

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IMO, it's probably be easier to just make a custom menu program and replace Explorer.exe with it as the shell. – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Feb 24 '14 at 21:09
Agree with the comment above. Check out key HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon and the hkcu equivalent. As for the icons you should be able to do that with file permissions on the .lnk files. – sahmeepee Feb 24 '14 at 22:01

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