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Once Bitten

Microsoft's Annoying Favorites

Jul 27

Written by:
27/07/2010 9:57 AM  RssIcon

Something that has annoyed me for years is the way Internet Explorer keeps displaying Microsoft-supplied items in the Favorites menu, even though you delete them. I'm referring specifically to the Favorites called "Microsoft Websites", "MSN Websites", "Windows Live" and "Favorites" (aka the Links menu). 

Even after deleting them, if you have a Group Policy Object (GPO) which sets default Internet Explorer settings (see: GPO, User Configuration, Policies, Windows Settings, Internet Explorer Maintenance, URLs/Favorites and Links) then Windows recreates the Favorites ... and this happens every time the GPO is reapplied to the PC.

It finally got the better of me and I decided to find a solution.  Someone suggested writing a batch script to delete the physical folders from the user profile's Favorites folder.  But this still falls foul of the GPO recreating them.  As an alternative solution, I decided to hide the folders using the ATTRIB +H command, and this has the benefit of leaving the folders in place so that the GPO doesn't have to create them again, but hides them from the user which eliminates the annoyance.  Here's the batch script I used:


------------------------ start batch script

rem    Removes unwanted Microsoft Favorites menus
cd \
IF EXIST "%USERPROFILE%\Favorites\Links"              ATTRIB +H "%USERPROFILE%\Favorites\Links"
IF EXIST "%USERPROFILE%\Favorites\Microsoft Websites" ATTRIB +H "%USERPROFILE%\Favorites\Microsoft Websites"
IF EXIST "%USERPROFILE%\Favorites\MSN Websites"       ATTRIB +H "%USERPROFILE%\Favorites\MSN Websites"
IF EXIST "%USERPROFILE%\Favorites\Windows Live"       ATTRIB +H "%USERPROFILE%\Favorites\Windows Live"

------------------------ end batch script

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