With the release of Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview many people are very pleased with the new option called â€œGo to the desktop instead of Start when I sign inâ€ that allows then to boot direct the the desktop when the logon. If if follow this blog you know I have mentioned this â€œboot to desktopâ€ option a few time here and here. So I quickly started for a Group Policy setting to see if this was also natively configurable via Group Policyâ€¦. unfortunatelyâ€¦ its not. But the good news is still very easy to configured via Group Policy by making a simple single registry key setting change.
Using process monitor I was quickly able to find the new registry key that configured this option.
Value Type: Reg_DWORD
Value Data: â€œ0â€ Boots to the Desktop
Value Data: â€œ1â€ Boots to the Start Menu
After doing some more search there does not appear to be a corresponding â€œpolicyâ€ version of this registry key meaning it is not available as a native administrative templates Group Policyâ€¦
But as I mentioned before it can still be configured via Group Policy Preferences using the registry extension option. To do this simply apply the registry key as described above to a group policy object targeted to the users account.
Remember: You need to Configure the value to â€œ0â€ if you want to boot to the desktop.
I would also recommend the â€œApply once and do not reapplyâ€ option be enabled as this will give the user the option to change it to their own preference if they wishâ€¦
TIP: I also found that this same location is where the other Start Screen setting are stored if you want to configured the other settings..
So there you have it. With only a single registry key change you can now you easily configure the option to enable the â€œBoot to desktopâ€ option via Group Policy for all your usersâ€¦ YEAH!