Disable Active Desktop

Many people are finding themselves installing Internet Explorer 4.x to gain the benefits of the optional Desktop Update Component (not available in version 5 and later). Most people still see the Active Desktop as a bad thing due to the instability experienced by many who have used it. If you are enforcing system policies, you can disable the Active Desktop from users and still gain the benefit of having the Desktop Update Component installed by making the following registry edits...

Create/Update the following registry entries:

HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion Policies\Explorer

NoSetActiveDesktop = 1

HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion Policies\Explorer

NoFolderOptions = 1

HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion Policies\Explorer

NoActiveDesktop = 1

Using KiXtart you would enforce this using the following lines:

$ = AddKey ("HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows \CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer")

$ = WriteValue ("HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows \CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer\", "NoSetActiveDesktop", "1", "REG_SZ")

$ = WriteValue ("HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows \CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer\", "NoFolderOptions", "1", "REG_SZ")

$ = WriteValue ("HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows \CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer\", "NoActiveDesktop", "1", "REG_SZ")

One negative to performing these changes is that the "Folder Options" item under "Tools" is removed in the process. This sufficiently hides the Active Desktop items from users, but keeps you from accessing associations, viewing extensions, setting if you want to hide known file extensions, and hiding system files. Weigh which is more important to you before implementing this change, remember you can enforce many of these things with System Policies as well.


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