April 2004 Reader Challenge

The Problem:

An administrator of a 2000-seat domain told me his users were threatening him. They were tired of opening My Network Places and seeing an impossibly long list of shares. The users wanted to choose which shares are displayed in My Network Places on their individual systems. They told the administrator to find a way to stop Windows from creating a share listing whenever they accessed a shared folder on the network or they would park in his special parking spot, steal his computer books, and do various other things to make his life miserable. My administrator friend really loves his next-to-the-door parking space, especially when it rains or snows, so what can he do to keep it for himself?

The Solution:

You can stop Windows from enumerating every accessed share as a shortcut in My Network Places by applying a domainwide policy. Here are the steps:

1. On the domain controller (DC), open Active Directory Users and Computers.

2. Right-click the domain object in the left pane, and choose Properties.

3. In the Domain Properties dialog box, click the Group Policy tab. Select Default Domain Policy and click Edit, to open the Group Policy snap-in.

4. In the left pane, navigate to User Configuration, Administrative Templates, Desktop.

5. In the right pane, double-click the policy labeled Do Not Add Shares Of Recently Opened Documents To My Network Places. Select Enabled.

Tell users to delete the listings they don't want and to use the Add Network Place wizard to add their own shortcuts to My Network Places.

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