Server 2012 – Ribbon UI: Disable Add a Network Location and Other Icons

This one task took me days of research online and a lot of trial and error to figure out and you won’t find this answer anywhere else on the net (except for another forum I posted the solution in), so I hope some server admins out there will really find this useful (and I know you will).

My initial conquest began as a search for the “Add Network Location” CLSID {D4480A50-BA28-11d1-8E75-00C04FA31A86} in the registry after learning how to disable the other icons in File Explorer. My first attempts to disable this shortcut followed this same procedure but failed miserably and I couldn’t understand why. I tried at least a dozen different locations in the registry to no avail but eventually I found a post on stackexchange that sort of pointed me in the right direction and gave me an idea of what to search for in the registry and then I started to make some connections in my head.

I finally figured out that all of the icons were actually part of the stupid ass Ribbon UI in Windows but unfortunately, Microsoft doesn’t provide a way to edit the Ribbon in any way, so I began hacking my way around the registry. All of the icons in the Ribbon UI can be found in the CommandStore at these two locations but you only need to edit the first one it seems:


I found that simply deleting the keys does work but it leaves strange gaps and spacing issues in the Ribbon where the icon used to be. I wasn’t really happy with this solution so I kept digging. Eventually, I came up with the solution below, and in theory, this process can be used to disable any of the other icons that normal users shouldn’t have access to in an RDS environment. Ideally, I was hoping to find a solution that worked on a per user basis but I have already wasted so much time on this issue and sometimes as a network admin, you gotta cut your losses and move on to other projects.

In order to edit any of the registry entries, you will first have to take ownership of the keys, edit the permissions, and then give yourself full control. Also, don’t be stupid and back up your registry first.

To effectively disable the “Add a Network Location” button in the Ribbon UI, create the following registry keys:


Set the REG_DWORD value to “00100000” hexadecimal.


Set the REG_DWORD value to “00100000” hexadecimal.


Set the REG_DWORD value to “00000000” hexadecimal.

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