Solved Prevent File Explorer Browsing Capability When Opening A Folder


btvarner

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8:06 AM
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OS
Windows 11
The first of these lockdown questions i asked went well, so I need to try on another issue. I have been successfully implementing some local policy changes for a specific user on a stand-a-lone PC. The user is always trying to investigate and change things on the computer. The PC is a:
< Dell OptiPlex 7010 Mini
< Windows 11 Pro (23H2)

I am trying to provide a somewhat locked down experience for this user via changes to local group policies and some Registry Edits. I have been able to prevent common methods for the user to browse away from the desktop, and placed all the apps he uses on the desktop via shortcuts. One of the things he will peruse is images he has on the PC. They are now in the “Pictures” folder, which I have a shortcut to on the desktop. But this introduces issues.

In Windows 11 when any folder is opened, File Explorer is viewed on the left side of the window. In the folder window you can change: View>Show & unchecking “Navigation Pane” which hides the File Folder seen on the left of the window. The problem is that it only requires changing the setting back to have File Explorer again on the left of the window, and full File Explorer access.

I need a method to prevent the user from being able to access File Explorer when viewing images in a folder. Most other avenues of entering File Explorer from the desktop I have prevented, but not this one.

Q) Is there a method where the user can have a “Folder” on the desktop that contains his images for viewing. But, restrict the ability of the user to access File Explorer?

Thanks!
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Scratch Build
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 7 Processor
    Motherboard
    ACUSTeK, TUF Gaming XS70-PLUS
    Memory
    16
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti
    Sound Card
    NVIDIA High Definition Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    BenQ
Is this a business environment he's working in? If so it seems he needs speaking to.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    WIN 10 Pro

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro 23H2 [rev. 3447]
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Intel NUC12WSHi7
    CPU
    12th Gen Intel Core i7-1260P, 2100 MHz
    Motherboard
    NUC12WSBi7
    Memory
    64 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel Iris Xe
    Sound Card
    built-in Realtek HD audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Dell U3219Q
    Screen Resolution
    3840x2160 @ 60Hz
    Hard Drives
    Samsung SSD 990 PRO 1TB
    Keyboard
    CODE 104-Key Mechanical Keyboard with Cherry MX Clears
  • Operating System
    Linux Mint 21.2 (Cinnamon)
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Intel NUC8i5BEH
    CPU
    Intel Core i5-8259U CPU @ 2.30GHz
    Memory
    32 GB
    Graphics card(s)
    Iris Plus 655
    Keyboard
    CODE 104-Key Mechanical Keyboard - Cherry MX Clear
I am closing this thread & marking it as solved. Even though I did not receive an answer to my question, I have found a work-a-round. It is as follows:

I hid the File Explorer portion of an open folder by- View > Show > Checking Navigation Pane. The user can still undo this the same way.

But, by making two other changes, it prevents the user from opening and or changing anything on “This Computer” or “Network”.

In local Group Policy Editor for that specific user: User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > File Explorer. Enable “Hide These Specific Drives from My Computer”. This prevents the user from opening the My Computer icon.

Second, on my home network, all the other computers require username/passwords to connect via Network in Floe Explorer. This prevents the user (Who does not know this info) from opening them.

So, while the user may see My Computer & Network, they cannot go anywhere further into File Explorer using the open folder method. Thanks!
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Scratch Build
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 7 Processor
    Motherboard
    ACUSTeK, TUF Gaming XS70-PLUS
    Memory
    16
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti
    Sound Card
    NVIDIA High Definition Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    BenQ
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