How to restrict users to change Network Locations in Windows 7

Windows 7 Network Location is pretty amazing feature not only because it remembers the default printer for each location but it also lets you run certain task based on it. For example when you connect to Office network you want backups to be done to local drive from office network drive to local and reverse when you connect to  home network.

Apart from this Network Location applies an appropriate Firewall Settings for each Location Type and remembers it next time you connect.

However in IT you might like to restrict users changing their network location. For example a laptop running Windows 7 should be only connected using the connection given and not through anything else for security reasons.

Windows 7 allows an administrator to configure a Windows 7 Machine to disable or enable changing of Network location. Here is how :

  • Open the Group Policy Editor. Type gpedit.msc in run prompt or search in start menu.
  • Go to Computer Configuration > Windows Settings > Security Settings
  • Look for Network List Manager Policies and click to open in right pane.

Network List Manager Policies

  • Now double-click on All Networks which opens another windows with settings related to Network Name, Network location and Network Icon.
  • Here you can choose option which says User Cannot Change Location and save it. This makes sure that if user connects to another network, he or she will get an error message which says Windows Could not set the network settings.

All Network Properties Windows

Going  few steps ahead lets take a look at different options available and what it can do for you.

  • You can also restrict users changing the Network Icon and Name if you plan to have proprietary name to set as per companies network policy.
  • For this first you need to disable this by choosing options in All Network “User cannot change icon or name”

Now click on the icon which says Network under Network List Manager Policies. Here you can choose Custom Name, Icon and Permissions.

Network Properties to use Company Logo

I will suggest you to browse through all the options to see what more you can get. Also make sure you have proper Firewall configured for each network and you have restricted programs also.