Deploying a Desktop Background to your domain with GPO (Group Policy Object)

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In this lecture, we will create a GPO that will configure our desktop background for all our Domain Users. This is not a Computer configuration, it is a User Configuration. So, when we want to link the OU we will do it to an OU that contains User accounts or you can link it to the root of the Domain and will apply all Users inside the domain.

Steps 1 - Create a File Share

  1. Right-click on Windows Explorer under the E:\ drive and choose to create a New > Folder.
  1. Name the folder Desktop Backgrounds and add the instructorpaul.com.jpg image inside it.
  2. Share the folder by right-clicking it and selecting Properties.
  3. Under the Desktop Background Properties Window select the Sharing Tab and click on the Advanced Sharing button.
  1. Click on the Share this folder checkbox and then click on the Permissions button.
  1. By default, Everyone has Read permissions. To be a little bit more secure let’s delete the group by highlighting Everyone group and clicking on the Remove button.
  1. Now let’s click on Add to add our Authenticated Users. 
  1. Type in the Authenticated Users name and click on the Check Names button to resolve the name. If it is underlined it should be fine and click the OK button.
  1. Make sure Authenticated Users have Read Permissions and click on Apply and OK buttons.
  1. Now at the last window, we can see the network path. Click Close.
  1. Now we are going to test the network path login from member server IPMS01 and we are attempting to access the file share.
  2. Open File Explorer and type in the address bar \\IPDC01\Desktop Backgrounds. We can see it is accessible for a domain user account and the desktop background image. Double click the file to make sure we can open it.
  1. Now let’s go to the Domain Controller to configure the policy. 

Step 2 - Configure the Group Policy Object

  1. Open Server Manager  > Tools >  Group Policy Management. Now we need to choose where to link the policy.
  2. Right-click instructorpaul.com and choose to Create a GPO in this domain, and Link it here...
  1. Let’s call the GPO Desktop Background and click OK.
  1. Right-click the newly created Desktop Background policy and choose Edit.
  1. Under User Configuration navigate to Policies > Administrative Templates > Desktop > Desktop. Double click on Desktop Wallpaper to edit the setting.
  1. Click on the Enabled radio button and enter the UNC path of the Wallpaper and select Center and click OK.
  1. Open a command prompt and type gpupdate /force.
  1. We can also type gpresult /r to see if the group policy has been applied.

Step 3 - Testing

  1. Log out and log back into the computer or server and you will see the Desktop Background wallpaper

That is how you deploy a desktop background with Group Policy.

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dustenm(@dustenm)
Member
Points: 913
1 month ago

I did these steps exactly in the itlab but it keeps saying otherwise… I verified and the new backround was indeed applied to other workstation. What is going on here????!!!!!!! Very frustrated

profile avatar
Ricardo P(@ricardop)
Admin
Power Student
Points: 17376
Reply to  dustenm
1 month ago

Hi profile avatar Dusten Maxwell

I was checking the lab and it happened to me that the name of the GPO was not the same. The title should be “Desktop Backgrounds”. After fixing the name and having the shared folder ‘E:\Desktop Backgrounds’.

Something else I experienced was that the member server was authenticated with the local administrator, not the domain administrator. Additionally, the user Paul Hill can log in on three to test.

Group Policy & Security with Windows Server

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0/1 Lessons

Course Introduction

• 2min

0 / 1 lessons complete

Introduction to Group Policy Management

• 1hr 24min

0 / 6 lessons complete

Manage Your Workstations

• 1hr 46min

0 / 7 lessons complete

Securing Your Domain

• 1hr 1min

0 / 5 lessons complete

Group Policy Troubleshooting

• 53min

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Course Conclusion

• 1min

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