Thursday, March 29, 2012

Disable Windows 7 Backup Monitoring via the Action Center using Group Policy

Windows 7 has a pretty well done Backup and Restore feature that allows users to backup their data manually or on a set schedule. This feature and it's status feed back into the Action Center which will prompt you to do your backups if they haven't been setup or performed in some time. While I agree with the sentiment a large majority of users I support do not use the feature and instead prefer simple intermittent copying and pasting onto an external drive or cloud backups via Dropbox.

The Action Center caused a good amount of support calls as its repeated messages that "something was wrong" made users think that something needed to be fixed. Something did need to be fixed: we needed to turn off monitoring of of Backup and Restore on every users machine. Thank goodness for Group Policy.

First you will need the Group Policy Management Console. Unfortunately, that's kind of process. If you do not already have it installed, you can download it from Microsoft. Once you have that package installed you still need to enable the tool.

To enable the tool, click Start, then type Windows features and then hit Enter. Once the Windows Features window is loaded, navigate to the Remote Server Administration Tools and enable the Group Policy Management Tools.

Let's start by opening up you Group Policy Management Editor. Open up your Group Policy Object that is used to apply changes to your non server windows 7 clients.

Now, Drill down to Computer Configuration, PreferencesWindows Settings, Registry as below.

Next, Right-Click Registry and select New then Registry Item.
Enter the items as below:

Action: Update
Key PathSOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\WindowsBackup
Value name: DisableMonitoring
Value Type: REG_DWORD
Value Data: 00000001

Click Apply and OK. You will have to wait until Group Policy refreshes to see these changes unless you run a gpupdate /force on a particular client using the command prompt.


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