Display Computer Name in Start Menu and Windows Explorer with GPO

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.

gpoobjectnew

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. 

OULInk.png

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.

securitygpo

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.

selectregistrykey

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

SecurityGPOEdit.JPG

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

RegistryPreference.jpg

Registry Key location

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

RegistryB4Change.JPG

Registry Properties

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

registrybrowser

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.

registryafterchange

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.. 

screen-shot-2016-10-02-at-10-16-20

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.

policyforce

Force Group Policy update window

policyforceresult

Group Policy update results

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

startmenu

Start Menu

windowsexplorer

Window Explorer

This setup works for Windows 8.1 for Windows Explorer window.

Thank you for reading.

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