SIMPLIFY AND LOCK DOWN THE USER INTERFACE
Most users only use a small percentage of the features on their computers;
they never touch many of the items in the Start menu, on the Desktop,
or in other aspects of the user interface. By removing items that
don't get used, you simplify the user's computing experience. You
can also remove access to items the user shouldn't be able to access,
helping them avoid potential user-inflicted problems.
One of the easiest ways to remove interface items is through group
policy settings. In a domain environment, you can configure these
policies at a domain or organizational unit level to control GUI roperties
across the network. On smaller networks or individual computers in
a workgroup, you can use local policies.
Go to Start | Run, and enter GPEDIT.MSC to open the Group Policy console
focused on the local computer. The User Configuration | Administrative
Templates policy branch contains several policies that affect Windows'
appearance. For example, the Windows Explorer branch enables you to
hide drives in My Computer, change the items that display in Network
Places, and make many other changes.
Likewise, the Start Menu and Taskbar branch offer many policies that
let you control the appearance of the Start menu and the Taskbar.
For example, you can force the addition or removal of items from the
Start menu, prevent logon from the Start menu, disable drag-and-drop
for the Start menu, and make many other changes.
If you want to control the user interface for novice or problem users,
take some time to explore the policies in the User Configuration |
Administrative Tools branch. You'll find a wealth of policies to put
you back in control.