My Documents Desktop Icon Restricted (Greyed) – Display Properties

Windows XP My Documents Desktop Icon checkbox located in the Desktop Items properties sheet which can be accessed by the Customized Desktop… button under the Display tab in Display Properties is restricted/disabled (greyed out). The most likely cause of this is malware utilizing Group Policy Objects which enforces policies for system settings and/or user account(s) settings. The Group Policy for Remove My Documents icon from the desktop will cause the My Documents Desktop Icon checkbox to be restricted/disabled (greyed out) in Display Properties when enabled.

Group Policies are typically applied at businesses to control access to programs, system properties, and user account settings. For Home users, My Documents Desktop Icon checkbox can be restricted/disabled (greyed out) by these Group Policies but usually malware is the culprit. If you are a home user and the My Documents Desktop Icon checkbox is restricted/disabled (greyed out) from the Display Properties and looks like the pictures below then there is a good chance you are infected with malware.

NOTE

Ensure your computer is malware free before applying the following solutions.

CAUTION

Before making any changes to the Windows XP Registry, please backup your Windows XP Registry using the direction from "Using ERUNT to back up the Windows XP Registry".

Manual Steps Using Group Policy Editor

NOTE

The Group Policy Editor requires Administrative privileges and is only available for Windows XP Professional Edition. Windows XP Home users can use the Windows XP Registry method to remove the Group Policy restriction.

  1. Click Start and then Run.
  2. Type gpedit.msc in the Run dialog box.
  3. Press ENTER on your keyboard.
  4. In the Group Policy Editor navigate to:

    User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Desktop

     

  5. Double-click Remove My Documents icon on the desktop.
  6. Select Not Configured.

NOTE

If the My Documents Desktop Icon checkbox is restricted/disabled (greyed out) on a per User account basis then the above method will not work, you will need to use the Registry Editor to remove the Group Policy.

Manual Steps Using Windows XP Registry

  1. Click Start and then Run.
  2. Type regedit.exe in the Run dialog box.
  3. Press ENTER on your keyboard.
  4. Navigate to:

    HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\NonEnum

     

  5. Right-click {450D8FBA-AD25-11D0-98A8-0800361B1103} to select Modify.
  6. Change the value to 0.
  7. Navigate to:

    HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\NonEnum

     

  8. Right-click {450D8FBA-AD25-11D0-98A8-0800361B1103} to select Modify.
  9. Change the value to 0.
  10. Quit the Registry Editor (Regedit.exe).

NOTE

You may need to log off then log on to your user account or restart your computer for the changes to take affect.

Manual Steps Using REG ADD

  1. Open a Command Window.
  2. Type:

    REG ADD "HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\NonEnum" /v {450D8FBA-AD25-11D0-98A8-0800361B1103} /t REG_DWORD /d 0

  3. Press ENTER on your keyboard.
  4. Type:

    REG ADD "HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\NonEnum" /v {450D8FBA-AD25-11D0-98A8-0800361B1103} /t REG_DWORD /d 0

     

  5. Press ENTER on your keyboard.
  6. Type EXIT and press ENTER on your keyboard.

NOTE

You may need to log off then log on to your user account or restart your computer for the changes to take affect.

Automated Fix Using an Registration File

  1. Download MyDcmntsDsktpIcn.Allow.reg to a folder on your hard drive.
  2. Right-click MyDcmntsDsktpIcn.Allow.reg to select Merge.
  3. Now the registration entries are added for you.

NOTES

The MyDcmntsDsktpIcn.Allow.reg file is from my web server (http://lprf.homeserver.com).  You also can view the contents of the MyDcmntsDsktpIcn.Allow.reg file by right-clicking the file and selecting Edit. You may need to log off then log on to your user account or restart your computer for the changes to take affect.

Platforms Tested

  • Microsoft Windows XP Editions

Related Articles

Version: 2.3
Edited: May 12, 2012

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Adding Internet Explorer Icon to your Desktop

In Windows Vista, you cannot add the Internet Explorer Icon to your desktop like you did in Windows XP (Left Image) by using Desktop Properties because there is no Internet Explorer to select for Windows Vista (Right Image). Refer to Images below.

    

You could add a shortcut for Internet Explorer to your Desktop but this will give you a shortcut arrow which you may prefer. I much rather prefer the cleaner look of a Internet Explorer Icon on my Desktop without the shortcut arrow. Refer to Images below.

 

CAUTION

Before making any changes to the Windows Vista Registry, please backup the Windows Vista Registry using the directions from Create a System Restore Point". For restoring your computer with a system restore point within Windows Vista, read Restore Your System/Computer Using A User Created System Restore Point.

To Add the Internet Explorer Icon to your Desktop Using Windows Vista Registry

For a Specific User

  1. Click on the Start Orb (commonly known as the Start button).
  2. Type regedit.exe in the Start Search field on the Start Menu.
  3. Press ENTER on your keyboard. More Information, "Opening the Registry Editor without Elevated Privileges".
  4. Accept the UAC Prompt if you are an Administrative User.
  5. Navigate to:

    HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer

  6. Create a new key by right-clicking "Explorer" to select New > Key. Name the new key HideDesktopIcons.
  7. Create a new key by right-clicking "HideDesktopIcons" to select New > Key. Name the new key NewStartPanel.
  8. Right-click "NewStartPanel" to select New > DWORD (32 bit) Value. Name the new key {871C5380-42A0-1069-A2EA-08002B30309D}.
  9. Right-click an area on your Desktop to select Refresh to show the Internet Explorer Icon on your Desktop.
  10. Close the Registry Editor.
[HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\HideDesktopIcons\NewStartPanel]
Name: {871C5380-42A0-1069-A2EA-08002B30309D}
Type: REG_DWORD (32 bit)
Data: 0

For All Users

  1. Click on the Start Orb (commonly known as the Start button).
  2. Type regedit.exe in the Start Search field on the Start Menu.
  3. Press CTRL+SHIFT+ENTER on your keyboard to elevate the Windows Vista Registry. More Information, "Opening the Registry Editor with Elevated Privileges".
  4. Accept the UAC Prompt.
  5. Navigate to:

    HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer

  6. Create a new key by right-clicking "Explorer" to select New > Key. Name the new key HideDesktopIcons.
  7. Create a new key by right-clicking "HideDesktopIcons" to select New > Key. Name the new key NewStartPanel.
  8. Right-click "NewStartPanel" to select New > DWORD (32 bit) Value. Name the new key {871C5380-42A0-1069-A2EA-08002B30309D}.
  9. Right-click an area on your Desktop to select Refresh to show the Internet Explorer Icon on your Desktop.
  10. Close the Registry Editor.
[HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\HideDesktopIcons\NewStartPanel]
Name: {871C5380-42A0-1069-A2EA-08002B30309D}
Type: REG_DWORD (32 bit)
Data: 0

To Add the Internet Explorer Icon to your Desktop – Using Reg Add

For a Specific User

  1. Click on the Start Orb (commonly known as the Start button).
  2. Type cmd.exe in the Start Search field on the Start Menu.
  3. Open a Command Prompt:
  4. Type the following in the commands prompt window:

    reg add HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\HideDesktopIcons\NewStartPanel /v "{871C5380-42A0-1069-A2EA-08002B30309D}" /t REG_DWORD /d 0

  5. Press ENTER on your keyboard.
  6. Type EXIT and press ENTER on your keyboard to close the Command Prompt.
  7. Right-click an area on your Desktop to select Refresh to show the Internet Explorer Icon on your Desktop.

For All Users

  1. Click on the Start Orb (commonly known as the Start button).
  2. Type cmd.exe in the Start Search field on the Start Menu.
  3. Press CTRL+SHIFT+ENTER on your keyboard to elevate the Windows Vista Command Prompt. More Information, "Opening an Elevated Command Prompt".
  4. Accept the UAC Prompt.
  5. Type the following in the commands prompt window:

    reg add HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\HideDesktopIcons\NewStartPanel /v "{871C5380-42A0-1069-A2EA-08002B30309D}" /t REG_DWORD /d 0

  6. Press ENTER on your keyboard.
  7. Type EXIT and press ENTER on your keyboard to close the Command Prompt.
  8. Right-click an area on your Desktop to select Refresh to show the Internet Explorer Icon on your Desktop.

To Add the Internet Explorer Icon to your Desktop – Using a Registration File

For a Specific User

  1. Download IE.Icon.Desktop.reg to a folder on your hard drive.
  2. Right-click IE.Icon.Desktop to select Merge.
  3. Accept the UAC Prompt if you are Administrator.
  4. Now the registration entries are added for you.
  5. Right-click an area on your Desktop to select Refresh to show the Internet Explorer Icon on your Desktop.

For All Users

  1. Log into an account with Administrative Privileges if you are not an Administrator.
  2. Download IE.Icon.Desktop.All.reg to a folder on your hard drive.
  3. Right-click IE.Icon.Desktop.All.reg to select Merge.
  4. Accept the UAC Prompt.
  5. Now the registration entries are added for you.
  6. Right-click an area on your Desktop to select Refresh to show the Internet Explorer Icon on your Desktop.

NOTES

The IE.Icon.Desktop.reg and IE.Icon.Desktop.All.reg files are from my web server (http://lprf.homeserver.com).  You also can view the contents of the IE.Icon.Desktop.reg and/or IE.Icon.Desktop.All.reg files by right-clicking the file and selecting Edit. You may need to log off then log on to your user account or restart your computer for the changes to take affect.

Platforms Tested

  • Microsoft Windows Vista, x86 versions

Version 2.1
Edited: May 3, 2012