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.
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Server 2012/Windows 8 – Complete File Explorer Icon/Shortcut/Folder Removal List

I thought I would share with you the master icon removal list for File Explorer that I’ve compiled from various sites. All of the articles I’ve come across tend to delete the icons for all user’s, but I’ve found that it is possible to delete some of them on a per user basis by creating the key structure in the HKCU section of the registry instead. You’ll just have to fiddle around with them if you want to try it.

HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\CLSID\{CLSID}\ShellFolder

My biggest bitch by far about Server 2012 is that it doesn’t appear to even be a finished product in regards to Group Policy lockdown procedures. On almost every account, you have to hack the damn registry to get rid of unwanted items from File Explorer not to mention the god damned Ribbon UI which I’m going to do a whole nother post to rant and rave about and explain how to customize/remove icons from it. I’m not going to go into great detail here on how to add them through Group Policy Preferences or anything so if you need to know how to do that, check out some of my other articles where I explain how to do it.
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Exchange 2010 OWA – Remove Cached Email Recipients/Auto Complete Entries

If you have any Active Directory users that have been deleted out but the addresses still show up in OWA or if you changed somebody’s user/email attributes and emails bounce back as undeliverable, this article is for you. I found this info here, the entries are stored in the user’s mailbox so the you can only delete them by doing one of the following:

  1. Delete an entry from the list using OWA
    1. Login to mailbox via OWA
    2. Create a new meeting request (Has to be a meeting request only!)
    3. Begin typing the entry you want to delete until you see it in the Auto Complete list
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