How to prevent XP from automatically adding new icons to My Network Places

You might have noticed that Windows XP adds new icons to your My Network Places folder whenever you connect to a resource on the network, and sometimes even when you don’t. That’s because the OS searches for shared folders and printers on your network and adds all the shortcuts it finds, and it also adds an icon for any share you connect to manually. If you don’t want it to do that, follow these steps:

  1. Right click Start and select Explore to open Windows Explorer
  2. Click Tools | Folder Options
  3. Click the View tab, and uncheck the box that says “Automatically search for network folders and printers
  4. In XP Pro, type gpedit.msc to open the Group Policy editor
  5. In the left pane, navigate to User Configuration | Administrative Templates | Desktop
  6. In the right pane, double click the policy “Do not add shares of recently opened documents to My Network Places
  7. Change the setting to Enabled
  8. Click OK
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