Shortcut for Task Manager in Windows

Task Manager has become one of the tools used by almost all Windows users to do some level of administrative task. some of the common usage of task manager are to end a process, view the resource usage of the computer, check the performance of the computer etc.

I have seen many users, opening task manager by holding down Ctrl+Alt+Delete and then selecting Task Manager from the screen. Although this is one way of accessing task manager but it involves an additional step.

Another way of accessing Task Manager is through right clicking on the task bar and selecting task manager.

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The most easiest way for me to is by holding down Ctrl+Shift+Esc which opens Task Manager instantly.

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How to use group policies to set a default website and open IE when logging in to Windows

The below is a guide on how to use group policies in Windows Server 2008 R2 to set a default website in internet explorer and launch internet explorer every time a user logs in to the domain using his/her domain credentials.

To start off with, we will create a new Group policy object rather than editing the default domain policy.

open the  Group policy management console in administrative tools or simply type GPMC.MSC in run. Right click on the domain name and select create a GPO in this domain

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Give a name to the GPO and click ok

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Right click the newly created GPO and click edit

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The Group Policy Management Editor will open

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Navigate to the following location to set the default home page URL

User Configuration => Policies => Administrative Templates => Windows Components => Internet Explorer.

Click on the “Disable Changing the Home Page” policy

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Click Enabled, type in the URL and click OK. This will set the default Home Page in IE.

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To launch Internet Explorer when the user logs in to Windows, navigate to the following;

User Configuration => Policies => Administrative Templates => System => Logon.

Click on the “Run these programs at user logon”

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Click on enable and click on show

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Give the path to internet explorer in the show content window and click OK

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As the final step, open Command Prompt in Admin mode and run gpupdate /force

Types of Default Group Policies in Windows

Group policies in Windows are one of the most used and key tools in effectively managing a domain environment. It provides the administrator with many options, starting from to automating certain tasks to allow/deny certain options. Many administrator use group policies to standardize the operating environment within the domain.  

By default in an Active Directory environment one could see two different type of group policies.

  1. Default Domain Controllers Policy
  2. Default Domain Policy

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The default domain controllers policy is used to enforce and set policies to all the domain controllers within the domain environment. This is a way to enforce proper security as well as set the necessary options to all domain controllers within the environment. By default the, the default domain controllers policy is applied to the Domain controllers OU within the Active Directory.

The default domain policy is used to apply policies to al sort of objects under the domain. This is applicable to all objects and OU’s by default.

As a best practice, Microsoft recommends to leave both the default domain controllers policy and the default domain policy as it is and create new policies as required for the organization purpose.