If you have ever published a terminal server desktop, you have seen this happening almost for sure. Even if there is no Outlook Express icon in the All Users or Default Users folder, the icon appears in the start menu after a user logs on for the first time.

Why is this happening? And much more interesting, how can you avoid this?

To delete the icon from every users profile is not a viable option. So it’s best to look for the root cause of this problem. As often, the solution can be found in the registry.

Below the key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Active Setup\Installed Components\{44BBA840-CC51-11CF-AAFA-00AA00B6015C}\

you can find a REG_SZ entry with the name “StubPath“. If you delete this entry, the terminal server will never again create this icon at user logon. Existing icons however will not be deleted.

A post in the DCUG describes a similar procedure but simply renames the entry to “HideStubPath“. The effect is the same, but it is much easier to revert back.