Display Computer Name in Start Menu and Windows Explorer with GPO

Update 05/05/2020 – Method explain below works on Windows 10 as well.

Handy Tweak with GPO for showing Computer Name in Start Menu and Windows Explorer.

To do that we need to modify Registry Key, we can easily modify registry with GPO and apply to all Desktop PC.

To start from PC with RSAT installed open Group Policy Management console, expand your Domain. We can create new GPO in two places, first right-click Group Policy Object container and select New after finish we can link this GPO to correct OU.


Create New GPO

Or select OU which we want this policy to apply right-click and choose Create GPO in this domain, and link it here… either way we will have Policy to work with. I called mine Change Computer name in Start Menu. 


Create New GPO under OU

After New GPO is created we can proceed to next step by right clicking GPO and selecting Edit.

The first setting we need to apply is security setting for Registry Key. As this key is located under HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT by default even Administrator cannot modify it. To do this we open Computer Configuration > Policies > Windows Settings > Security Settings > Registry right-click empty Registry and select Add Key.


Registry Security Location

In Select Key window navigate to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-80002B30309D} click OK and in security window click OK again.


Selecting Registry Key

Next right-click new create object and select Properties, select Replace existing permissions on all subkeys with inheritable permissions. This will allow the key to be change by GPO


Replace Security

Next step is to update required key to show Computer Name. Open Computer Configuration > Preferences > Windows Settings > Registry, right-click and select New > Registry Item


Registry Key location

In New Registry Properties select HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT under Hive:. For Key Path click the … to open Registry Item Browser


Registry Properties

Expand HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-80002B30309D} and click LocalizedString name and click Select to close Item Browser


Registry Item Browser

All date will be populated to Registry Properties window, replace Value Date: with %COMPUTERNAME% string, click Apply and OK to close the window.


Updated Registry String

Now we just need to Link to correct OU and force or wait for GPO replication which is by default every 90 minute. If you are running AD server on Windows Server 2012 R2 from Group Policy Management console we  can force GPO Update for OU which contain Computer Object. Select OU right-click and choose Group Policy Update.. 


Server 2012 Update Policy

Force Group Policy update window will open with information how many Computer object will be updated. Click Yes to proceed, next Result window will open showing progress and errors if any.


Force Group Policy update window


Group Policy update results

Users should be able now to see Computer name in Start Menu and Windows Explorer


Start Menu


Window Explorer

This setup works for Windows 8.1 for Windows Explorer window.

Thank you for reading.

3 responses to “Display Computer Name in Start Menu and Windows Explorer with GPO

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.