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How to Enable or Disable Changing Desktop Icons in Windows


Windows includes the common This PC, User's Files, Network, Recycle Bin, and Control Panel shortcuts that you can add or remove as icons on your desktop.

By default, users can use the Desktop Icon Settings dialog to show, hide, or change the desktop icons.

This tutorial will show you how to enable or disable changing desktop icons for specific or all users in Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10.

You must be signed in as an administrator to enable or disable changing desktop icons.


 CONTENTS:

  • Option One: Enable or Disable Changing Desktop Icons in Local Group Policy Editor
  • Option Two: Enable or Disable Changing Desktop Icons for All Users using a REG file

EXAMPLE: Changing desktop icons enabled and disabled
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Size:  25.1 KB Name:  desktop_icons_disabled.png
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Enable or Disable Changing Desktop Icons in Windows OPTION ONE Enable or Disable Changing Desktop Icons in Windows
Enable or Disable Changing Desktop Icons in Local Group Policy Editor


In Windows 7, the Local Group Policy Editor is only available in the Professional, Ultimate, and Enterprise editions.

In Windows 8, the Local Group Policy Editor is only available in the Pro and Enterprise editions.

In Windows 10, the Local Group Policy Editor is only available in the Pro, Enterprise, and Education editions.

All editions can use Option Two.

1. Open the all users, specific users or groups, or all users except administrators Local Group Policy Editor for how you want this policy applied.

2. In the left pane of the Local Group Policy Editor, click/tap on to expand User Configuration, Administrative Templates, Control Panel, and Personalization. (See screenshot below)

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3. In the right pane of Personalization, double click/tap on the Prevent changing desktop icons policy to edit it. (see screenshot above)

4. Do step 5 (enable) or step 6 (disable) below for what you would like to do.


 5. To Enable Changing Desktop Icons

A) Select (dot) either Not Configured or Disabled, click/tap on OK, and go to step 7 below. (see screenshot below)

Not Configured is the default setting.


 6. To Disable Changing Desktop Icons

A) Select (dot) Enabled, click/tap on OK, and go to step 7 below. (see screenshot below)

Name:  Prevent_changing_desktop_icons_gpedit-2.png
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7. When finished, you can close Local Group Policy Editor if you like.






Enable or Disable Changing Desktop Icons in Windows OPTION TWO Enable or Disable Changing Desktop Icons in Windows
Enable or Disable Changing Desktop Icons for All Users using a REG file


The downloadable .reg files below will add and modify the DWORD value in the registry keys below.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System

NoDispBackgroundPage DWORD

(delete) = Enable
1 = Disable


1. Do step 2 (enable) or step 3 (disable) below for what you would like to do.


 2. To Enable Changing Desktop Icons for All Users

This is the default setting.

A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 4 below.

Enable_changing_desktop_icons.reg

download


 3. To Disable Changing Desktop Icons for All Users

A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 4 below.

Disable_changing_desktop_icons.reg

download

4. Save the .reg file to your desktop.

5. Double click/tap on the downloaded .reg file to merge it.

6. When prompted, click/tap on Run, Yes (UAC), Yes, and OK to approve the merge.

7. You could now delete the downloaded .reg file if you like.


That's it,
Shawn