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Prevent Users From Editing The Tasklbar Toolbars

The Taskbar that's located at the bottom of your computer screen, allows you to perform a variety of tasks, such as viewing minimized windows, access Task Manager, add or remove toolbars and a lot more. In terms of the latter (Toolbars), If you customized It suited to your overall usability, you'd want It to remain that way. As such, In this tutorial, I will show you how to prevent users from editing the Taskbar toolbars.

Before I make a start, the toolbars are accessed by simply right-clicking on the Taskbar, and selecting the Toolbars option at the very top, precisely as Illustrated In the Image above. By default, Windows 10 has three toolbars, namely Address, Links and Desktop. You can also add your own, by selecting the New toolbar option.

Depending on your needs, It may take a while to customize and set the toolbars exactly how you'd like them. Anyone with physical access to your PC, can add & remove them as they please. To prevent this from happening, I will be using the good old Group Policy Editor, which will disable the Toolbar functionality, hence keep your settings Intact.

Do note that the Group Policy Editor, Is only available In Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise and Education editions. So without further ado, let's get this tutorial started.

Step One:
To access the Group Policy Editor, open the Run menu, enter gpedit.msc and hit OK.

Step Two:

The Group Policy Editor will now open, so navigate to the following directory.
User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Desktop 

Then on the right pane, double-click Prevent adding, dragging, dropping and closing the Taskbar's toolbars as Illustrated below.

Step Three:
To the left of the window, click the Enabled radio button, and then hit OK to finalize the process.

Step Four:
Let's give It a test. I've right-clicked on my Taskbar, and moused-over Toolbars. As you can see, It's options are grayed out, hence Inaccessible.

Last Step:
Prior to applying the above setting via the Group Policy Editor, I've added the Address toolbar. After applying It, the Address toolbar option Is there (to the left with a tick), but grayed out and cannot be removed.

Final Thoughts:
The good thing about this setting, Is not only the fact that changes Immediately take effect without the need to reboot your system, but also the majority of computational users are not aware that It actually exists In the Group Policy Editor. As per the above step, do remember that this also prevents changes to your existing toolbars after the setting Is applied via the Group Policy Editor.

You can easily reverse the change, by referring to Step Three above, and select the Not Configured radio button.


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