Troubleshooting: Using GPP to copy file to desktop

by Mitch Tulloch [Published on 28 Feb. 2013 / Last Updated on 14 March 2013]

A tip on how to troubleshoot a problem copying files to the desktop of users' computers using Group Policy Preferences.

Problem: You are trying to use Group Policy Preferences to copy a file to the desktop of targeted computers. You are using %UserProfile%\Desktop as the designated location to which the preference item should copy the specified file. You created the preference item under User Configuration \ Preferences \ Windows Settings \ Files by selecting New | Item. But after users log on to targeted computers, the file is not seen on their desktop. What should you do?

Suggestion: Try using %CommonDesktopDir% as the designated location in the preference item.

Mitch Tulloch is an eight-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award and a widely recognized expert on Windows administration, deployment and virtualization.  For more information about him, see

The Author — Mitch Tulloch

Mitch Tulloch is a widely recognized expert on Windows administration, networking, and security. He has been repeatedly awarded Most Valuable Professional (MVP) status by Microsoft for his outstanding contributions in supporting users who deploy and use Microsoft platforms, products and solutions. Mitch has published over two hundred articles on different IT websites and magazines, and he has written or contributed to almost two dozen books and is lead author for the Windows 7 Resource Kit from Microsoft Press. For more information, see .

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