We have a particular machine that is joined to our domain, and no matter which user logs onto that machine, they all need to have access to a common shortcut (on the desktop).

If any user logs onto a different machine, they do not need to see that shortcut on their desktop.

How can I implement this using GPO?

I have tried creating a GPO that targets the specific machine, and creating the shortcut in both the Computer and User policy branches, but despite the policy being applied, the shortcut never appears. Thanks!


In response to the comment below from @phuclv, yes you can use GPO to create shortcuts ... https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/askds/2014/02/17/adding-shortcuts-on-desktop-using-group-policy-preferences-in-windows-8-and-windows-8-1/

  • GPO deals with policy and not shortcuts. Why don't just put those into %PUBLIC%\Desktop? – phuclv Sep 8 '18 at 3:31
  • Because in future, there may be multiple computers that require this same setup, and rather than logging into each computer and adding them manually, I would like to use GPO to automate the process as much as possible. – 3-14159265358979323846264 Sep 8 '18 at 10:13
  • you said you "have a single machine", which means that it's unlikely there's a domain to join, and it'll be easier to just create the shortcut in the public desktop – phuclv Sep 8 '18 at 10:17
  • A single machine that is domain joined! Sorry for not being clearer. Will add that to my question! – 3-14159265358979323846264 Sep 8 '18 at 10:19

Here's what I did to make it work!

  • Create a new GPO "Test GPO"
  • "Test GPO" > Computer Configuration > Preferences > Windows Settings > Shortcuts > Add >
    • { Replace, "Test Shortcut", File System Object, All Users Desktop "\\Path\To\Folder" }
  • Delegation > Advanced > Authenticated Users > Apply Group Policy > Unchecked/Unticked
  • Delegation > Advanced > Add > TESTCOMPUTER
  • Delegation > Advanced > TESTCOMPUTER > Apply Group Policy > Checked/Ticked

Pretty sure I tried this combination before(!) but it's working now so who knows!

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