Environment Manager powered by AppSense

Windows Personalization

Windows Settings, such as wallpaper selection, mouse options and accessibility features, can be personalized for managed users through Environment Manager Windows Personalization. This is achieved by personalizing the appropriate registry keys and values, files and folders. The settings a user applies to their desktop are saved to the personalization database when a user logs off and restored when the user logs onto any managed endpoint.

In this section:

Windows Settings Groups

Windows Settings can be grouped together in Windows Settings Groups and added to Personalization Groups in order to personalize the appropriate settings for groups of users. This allows a higher level of granularity, enabling settings to be personalized and rolled back in individual groups. Further control can be achieved by adding conditions that specify how groups of Windows Settings are applied.

Environment Manager contains default Windows Settings Groups that personalize the most common Windows Settings. When you expand Windows Personalization, the pre-configured Windows Settings Groups are displayed with any groups you have added yourself.

All groups can be used as they are, edited to your requirements or new groups, containing existing or Custom Windows Settings, can be created. Groups can also be cloned to create a new group based on the settings of an existing one.

Windows Settings Groups and Inclusion Logic

When you assign a Windows Settings Group containing registry or file inclusions to a Personalization Group, this automatically excludes those included locations from application virtualization for that Personalization Group. When a condition has been configured for a Windows Settings Group, the following logic applies on the endpoint:

  • If the condition evaluates as True, the Windows Settings Group data is applied to the user's session and the inclusion paths are excluded globally from application virtualization.
  • If the condition evaluates as False, the Windows Settings Group data is preserved in the database but is not applied to the user's session. The inclusion paths in the Windows Settings Group are still excluded from the app bubble. When the user roams back to the machine with a passing condition, the data is applied.

Create a Windows Settings Group

  1. In the User Personalization navigation tree, select Windows Personalization.
  2. From the Personalization ribbon, click Add Windows Settings Group.
  3. Enter a name and an optional description and click OK. The Windows Settings Group name must not be a duplicate of an existing group or a reserved name, for example, W7 and W8.

    The Windows Settings Group displays in the work area.

  4. Click Add/Remove.

    The Add/Remove Items dialog displays.

  5. Select the required settings from the left pane and click the right arrow to add them to the Windows Settings Group.
  6. Multiple settings can be selected using the Ctrl or Shift keys.

    Add Windows Settings

    An emboldened setting means that the setting is used in another Windows Settings Group. To see which groups it is used in, highlight the setting and select the In Groups tab at the bottom of the dialog.

    Windows Settings In Groups

    To see which registry keys and values, files and folders are personalized, highlight a Windows Setting on either side of the dialog and select the appropriate tab.

    If the setting you want to personalize is not available, click the Create Windows Setting link to configure a Custom Windows Setting.

  7. Once you have added all the required settings, click OK to save the Windows Settings Group.

The settings you have added for the group are displayed in the work area.

Settings can be deleted from the group or you can click the Add/Remove button to fully edit the group.

Add Conditions to a Windows Setting Group

  1. Create conditions to determine when Windows Settings are applied, for example, when a particular registry key or folder exists.
  2. Select a Windows Settings Group.
  3. Click AddCondition.
  4. Enter a name for the Windows Settings Group Condition. If you want to use the condition in another Windows Settings Group, you must enter a name. If you are adding conditions for this group only, a name is not required.
  5. Select the Make available for reuse checkbox if you want the condition to be available for other Windows Settings Groups.

    To apply an existing Windows Settings Group Condition, select the Use existing condition radio button and choose the required condition from the drop-down. The list includes conditions you have already configured and built-in conditions for Windows 7 and Windows 8. Conditions for Windows 10 operating systems are only available as custom conditions.

  6. Click the Conditions drop-down and select a Closedcondition.
  7. You can add multiple conditions and utilize AND/OR statements to create a configuration of conditions to apply to the Windows Settings Group as required. Move, remove and edit conditions using the toolbar.
  8. Click OK to save the Windows Settings Group Condition. The condition is applied to the Windows Settings Group and displayed in the work area.
  9. Edit a Windows Settings Group
  10. Select a Windows Settings Group to edit the settings managed by that group and to manage its conditions. The following options are available:
  11. Add/Remove - Open the Add/Remove Items dialog to configure the Windows Settings for the group.
  12. Delete - Delete the selected Windows Setting.
  13. Delete All - Delete all Windows Settings for the group.
  14. Edit Condition - Open the Windows Settings Group Condition dialog to configure conditions for the group. If there are no current conditions for the group, the click the Add Condition button.
  15. Remove Condition - Remove the condition that applies to the Windows Settings.

Clone a Windows Settings Group

Select a Windows Settings group and click Personalization > Clone Windows Settings Group.

A copy is made of the selected group and can be edited as required.

Custom Windows Settings

Using the Custom Windows Settings Editor, you can create your own Windows Settings by selecting registry keys, values, folders and individual files to personalize or exclude from personalization. Once created, the setting can be added to Windows Settings Groups.

From the Personalization ribbon, select Custom Windows Settings Editor. The Custom Windows Settings dialog is displayed. Any existing custom settings are listed.

The following options are available:

  • Add - Configure a setting which can then be added to Windows Settings Groups and personalized.
  • Edit - Update the selected custom setting.
  • Remove - Delete the selected setting from the list. If you attempt to remove a setting which is referenced in a Windows Setting Group, you will be asked to confirm the delete. Each group in which the setting is referenced is listed. This helps to ensure that a setting is not removed in error.
  • Clone - The clone function makes a copy of an existing Windows setting and allows the configured registry keys and folders to be updated as required.

    Certificate, Credentials and Start Menu Windows Settings cannot be cloned.

Windows Settings are configured using the following properties:

Property Description
Name The name that appears in the Windows Personalization list.
Description An optional description used to tell users more about the setting and what it does.
OS The operating system to which the setting applies. Separate tabs are created for each selected operating system so specific folders and keys can be configured for each. This allows differences between operating systems can be taken into account when the setting is applied. If you want to configure one setting, managing the same folders and keys across all operating systems, select All. If you change a setting from individual operating systems to All, select whether to inherit the settings applied to one of the operating systems or configure new settings. The All tab and individual operating system tabs cannot be displayed simultaneously. However, when you clone some Windows Settings, multiple OS tabs, including the All tab, may initially be shown. Before you save the setting either keep the All tab and remove the individual operating systems tabs or remove the All tab. If you do not remove any of the tabs, the OS tabs are automatically removed leaving only the All tab.
Folder The folder to personalize or to exclude from personalization. Enter a folder path or select the ellipsis (...) and browse to the folder. Folder paths must start with a CSIDL, a system variable, or a letter. Wildcards are not supported.

If an item is required for more than one operating system, highlight the required item select an operating system from the drop-down and click Copy To. If you do not want to personalize an item and it is included in personalization because a parent item it its folder or registry path is included, select the Exclude checkbox for that item.

File Name The file to personalize or to exclude from personalization. Click the ellipsis in the File Name field to browse to a file or enter the folder path and file name manually. You can use the following wildcards in the file name: *, ?, and [ ].

When using wildcards to include or exclude items, be aware that the more specific folder or registry path takes priority. If paths are of equal length, the exclusion takes priority. For more information see, Inclusions and Exclusions.

Key The registry key to personalize or to exclude from personalization. Click the ellipsis in the Key field to open a registry browser and select the key. Or enter the registry key path manually. You can use the following wildcards: *, ?, and [ ].
Value Enter the registry key value to personalize or to exclude from personalization. You can use the following wildcards: *, ?, and [ ].

It is not possible to enter the backslash character \ in the registry key Value text.

Default Windows Settings Groups

The following Windows Settings Groups are available by default. Click on a group to view which Windows Settings are managed by that group.

Shortcut Management for Roaming Users

As a user moves between managed endpoints with different operation systems and applications, some configured shortcuts are not valid for all environments. If users are managing folders using Windows Settings Groups, Environment Manager manages the following temporarily invalid shortcuts:

Shortcut or Link Supported Operating System
Standard shortcuts in the Windows file system that point to a target does not exist All supported operating systems
Items pinned to the Taskbar that point to nonexistent paths All supported operating systems
Items pinned to the Start menu that point to nonexistent paths Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2

Environment Manager either hides the temporarily invalid shortcuts or - if possible - resolves the links to point to an equivalent path, such as when a user moves between 32-bit and 64-bit environments. If items pinned to the taskbar or Start menu are removed, the order of the pinned items is retained. When a user returns to an environment where the shortcuts are valid, the shortcuts and pinned items - and the order in which they are arranged - are restored.

Related Topics


Was this article useful?    

The topic was:

Inaccurate

Incomplete

Not what I expected

Other