Can’t display desktop icons in Windows Server 2016.

One of the first things I do once I’m done installing Windows Server 2016 Operating System is displaying the desktop icons. For those unfamiliar with Windows you just right click on the Desktop, Personalize, Themes, Desktop icon Settings, and select the desired icons to be displayed.

Although this is almost an automatic function for system admins that we have done since Windows is Windows you may experience some issues after a fresh install and when logged in as the built-in Administrator account, a seemingly small issue that rapidly becomes a frustration that end up you almost braking the mouse out of frustration, by the way is not only that you can’t change the system icons but also other system functions. As annoying as it is you haven’t done anything wrong nor your system corrupted, it’s simple a Microsoft feature that affects various Windows Operating system, including the desktop versions.

I’ll show you how to fix this in Windows server 2016, in this case my sever is a Domain controller but it’s a similar process for standalone or workstation with the exception that you’ll be modifying the local policy for them instead of the domain policy.

For Windows Domain Controllers:

  • Edit the Default Domain Controller (or Local for standalone servers) Group Policy, you can get to it by simply typing Group Policy in the Search box and select Edit Group Policy.

If you want the policy to apply to all Domain Controllers open Group Policy Management, Expand you Forest, Domains, Expand your Domain (in the example is JD-STD.local), Group Policy Objects, Default Domain Controllers Policy.

  • Right click on the Default Domain Controller Policy option, select Edit.

  • Under Default Domain Controller Policy expand Computer Configuration, Windows Settings, Security Settings, Local Policy, Security Options.

  • Locate “User Account Control: Admin Approval Mode for the Built-in Administrator Account”, open it and enable it.

  • Click OK, close the Windows, Reboot and attempt to open run the app again. You should be able to do it.

Done, you can now have your desktop icons or run your apps for that matter.

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For Windows Standalone or Windows Desktops:

For Standalone server or Windows 10 workstation you simply have to edit the local policy and enable the same setting.

  • Open Local Group Policy Editor, you can do it by typing Local Security policy on the search box. Expand Local Computer Policy, Windows Settings, Security Settings, Local Policies, Security Options.

  • Locate “User Account Control: Admin Approval Mode for the Built-in Administrator Account”, open it and enable it.

  • Click OK, close the Windows, Reboot and attempt to open run the app again. You should be able to do it.

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There you go.. Need help with your Windows Server in your small business? Here we are, if you are a company needing Windows Server support in Secaucus, or Windows Server support in Jersey City, Hoboken Windows Server help, or anywhere in Hudson or Bergen County here we are.. Contact us at 888-580-4450 or info@jdtechsolutions.net

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