GPO – Unhide the Public Desktop folder

This one falls under the category of things that I wanted to do, just to see if I could.  Or more accurately, what the process would be.  Sometimes it’s more about the journey than the destination.

For some reason, Microsoft decided the the public desktop folder in windows needed to be a hidden folder.  Not sure why this is.  It doesn’t seem like much of a security issue, but that’s not really the point of this article anyway.

Recently, I found myself cleaning up some issues on a handful of computers that did not receive a software deployment correctly.  This deployment was supposed to put some shortcuts on the public desktop for the end users, and fixing these issues had me messing around in the public desktop folder of a lot of these computers manually.  This got me to thinking, what would it take to unhide this folder via group policy?  As it turns out, not much.  I created a Group Policy that runs the file attribute editor command at startup (attrib.exe) and removes the hidden attribute from the desktop folder.

desktop1Create a new Group Policy Object, and edit it.  Go to Computer Configuration > Policies > Windows Settings > Scripts.  Right-click on Startup, and click on Properties.

In the Startup Properties box, click on Add.  Under script name, enter attrib.exe.  Under Script Parameters, enter -h c:\users\public\desktop.

Click OK a couple of times, and apply your newly created policy accordingly.  At the next reboot, the public desktop folder will no longer be hidden.