"Force Classic Start Menu" policy causes unwanted icons on the Windows 7 dekstop


When the "Force Classic Start Menu" group policy setting is applied to a user logging on to a Windows 7 or Windows 2008 R2 computer, the following items are added to the users Desktop: 

  • Libraries
  • Control Panel
  • User's Profile Folder


The "Force Classic Start Menu" group policy setting is enabling the desktop icons for Libraries, Control Panel, and the user's Profile Folder. 

The "Supported On" section of the policy in the Group Policy Management Console lists Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003, and Windows XP, but does not include Windows Server 2008 R2 or Windows 7. 

The Classic Start Menu is not available in Windows 7, but the policy setting is also responsible for adding the standard desktop icons to the desktop.  Below is an excerpt of the description text from the policy:

"The classic Start menu in Windows 2000 Professional allows users to begin common tasks, while the new Start menu consolidates common items onto one menu. When the classic Start Menu is used, the following icons are placed on the desktop:  Documents, Pictures, Music, Computer, and Network.  The new Start menus starts them directly. 

If you enable this setting, the Start menu displays the classic Start menu in the Windows 2000 style and displays the standard desktop icons."

 The description for the policy does not explicitly list the Windows 7 icons, but the behavior in Windows 7 is consistent with the description.


To prevent the Libraries, Control Panel, and Profile folder from being displayed on the desktop of users on Windows 7 or Windows 2008 R2 computers, set the "Force Classic Start Menu" policy setting to "Disabled" or "Not Configured."