Sometimes, it’s those little nuances that can drive you crazy. Most of the time our templates are pretty spot on but every now and then, we need to create a RDS machine from scratch. In doing so, all those little tweaks have to be rediscovered. One such tweak is removing the Server Manager and Powershell shortcuts from the taskbar on Server 2012 R2 for non-admin RDP users.
Now, prior to 2012R2, there was a Group Policy setting to remove these items. However, in R2, it seems that is gone (I havn’t been able to find it again). There was also another way, by changing permissions on the source .lnk so that users didn’t have permission to the shortcut and it wouldnt be copied over to their profile upon creation. But again, in R2 the exact paths got changed and muddled, so where exactly do you change permissions?
I googled the question and eventually ended up at http://clintboessen.blogspot.com/2014/12/remove-power-shell-and-server-manager.html which solved the issue for me.
By deleting the source .lnk from C:\ProgramData…, a new user won’t get the pinned shortcut. Of course, it won’t retroactively apply either, but helps when first setting up the server. Also, it won’t create the shortcuts for admins either, but surely, hopefully, your admin users will be able to do that manually =)