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

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The Author — Mitch Tulloch

Mitch Tulloch is a well-known expert on Windows Server administration and cloud computing technologies. He has published over a thousand articles on information technology topics and has written, contributed to or been series editor for over 50 books.

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