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Administrator On Server Gets Error When Trying To Personalize Desktop Icons

I have seen this on many of my servers when I am a Domain Administrator on a 2012 or 2016 server and try and configure to add Computer icon on desktop under personalize (and other things) I get the following error:


Windows cannot access the specified device, path, or file. You may not have the appropriate permissions to access the item.”

Found the solution here.

Basically run gpedit.msc

Then go to Computer Configuration—> Windows Settings—> Security Settings —> Local Policies—> Security Options, then enable “User Account Control: Admin Approval Mode for the Built-in Administrator account”, after all restart Windows to take effect. Figure as below:

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6 comments to Administrator On Server Gets Error When Trying To Personalize Desktop Icons

  • Russ Hazzon

    Just tried this on a 2019 server. It definitely fixed the problem, but then broke Server Manager. When the GPO was applied I could change the desktop icons, but Server Manager would hang with very high (50% +) CPU utilitzation.

  • Hi Russ, I have not tried this with Server 2019 yet since I don’t have any clients running 2019 yet. Will be testing out 2019 soon when I get some free time.

  • I just installed Server 2019 Standard in a Virtual machine to play around with. Did the same fix to allow personal modifications on desktop and did not experience the issues that you have. Not sure why this would have done this. Has it changed since you posted? Did you try disabling and fix the issue?

  • David

    It doesn’t seem to be a “Permissions” related issue. I get this error when I go to Settings/Themes/Desktop Icon Settings. But if I go to Control Panel/Display/Change Display Settings I can add the desktop icons without any problems.

  • I have not tried to change it there. Next time I come across it I will try that. Thanks, Steve

  • Ian

    I still use this solution to fix the problem in Server 2019 Desktop.


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