I am configuring Group Policy in Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise to apply Desktop Wallpaper to Users and Computer in OU called HR. I shared the folder over the network using share and storage management. I configured the desktop wallpaper settings in the following order:

User Config/Policies/Admin Templates/Desktop/Desktop/Desktop Wallpaper

I ran gpupdate /force on the server and logged off and logged in, but still no wallpaper. One more thing I have noticed is that I am not able to access shared folders from the client computer.

The client computer connects to the Active Directory Domain through a Linux Router which allows two different subnets to communicate.

IP of Server is
IP of client is
  • There are so many possible problems; what does work? Can the client talk to the server at all? Is it joined to the domain? Can you logon with a domain user? Does it have DNS pointing to the AD server? What happens when you try to browse the shared folder from the client? Is anything logged in the client or server event log? What does gpupdate /force on the client show? What value did you put in the GPO? Did you reference a mapped drive by letter for the path to the desktop? – TessellatingHeckler Jul 13 '16 at 3:56
  • In Addition to @tesselatingheckler: what does gpresult /r as user show? Are your USERS in your desired OU? Is your created GP object linked to your OU an is it marked as active? Are your share and NTFS permissions correctly set? There are so many things that could be the culprit. – humble.adm1n Jul 13 '16 at 5:33
  • The first thing to solve is the fact that you cannot access shared folders from the client computer. Please provide more details about that. – SturdyErde Jul 14 '16 at 8:34

There could be any number of possible explanations for this.

To start ruling them out, try the following:

AD/GPO Replication - Ensure that your domain controllers can replicate between eacother (if you have mroe than 1, which hopefully you do). It's all good building a policy on a DC - but if there are multiple DCs that arent talking to eachother and your client is talking to the other DC - you're in trouble. You can check this by opening GPMC, going to Domain > Group Policy Objects > your GPO > Status (tab) > "Detect Now": enter image description here

Remember, also, that if the 2 DCs are in different AD groups, they won't be replicating as often as DCs on the same AD site.

Check the OU - if this is a user policy, make sure the user is in the OU that the policy is applied to. Check the Computer too.

check your links - make sure the group policy link for the OU is actually enabled. Linked doesn't always mean active and applied: enter image description here

Loopback Processing - it is common for loopback processing to get in the way of a policy applying. Use the GP Modelling or GP Results functionality in GPMC to check this.

Here's a guide on doing it

For the sake of completeness:

To simulate Resultant Set of Policy using Group Policy Modeling

Open the Group Policy Management Console (GPMC). In the console tree, double-click the forest in which you want to create a Group Policy Modeling query, right-click Group Policy Modeling , and then click Group Policy Modeling Wizard .

In the Group Policy Modeling Wizard , click Next , and then type the appropriate information.

When you are finished, click Finish .

If you want to print or save the report, right-click the settings report in the details pane and do one of the following:
    Select Print to print the report.

    Select Save Report to save the report.

Test other Settings - is it the whole GPO or just this setting? Try adding something trivial to the Group Policy (a random drive mapping, removing the Run Command from start menu etc) and see if this applies. This will narrow you down to a setting or policy level issue

Check your path - copy and paste the path of the image from the GPO into file explorer on the PC thats not applying the setting - can the user actually acces the image? is there a tpyo in the path? is it a permissions issue? I know it sounds stupid - but I've done it and know others who have as well.

Inheritance - Group Policy modelling (above) will show this. It could be that you have a policy higher up the chain which stops the changing of wallpapers or sets a different wallpaper.

Preference or Policy?? Remember if you have old clients (talking XP and older here) - they don't apply GPP (Group Policy Preferences). If you're not able to apply by policy - try preference (assuming your clients are new enough) and see how you get on.

check security filtering - probably not your issue, but you can actually change what is and isnt allowed to apply a group policy by security filtering: enter image description here

See how you get on with this lot and if you're still no further on - I'll see if I can dig out some mroe places to look.

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Make sure that authenticated users can access the share with your desktop wallpaper file. If the GPO is configured properly then this will solve the problem.

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