While testing Always On VPN in Windows 10, I discovered an issue where users couldn’t access the Network Connections settings to see what the VPN profile was up to.
Network Connections is accessible in a few ways, including via Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Network Connections, or ‘Change Adapter Options’ under Settings > Network and Internet > Ethernet. It was locked down, but I wasn’t sure why.
If I changed a user to be a local administrator, I could then access Network Connections. I couldn’t find any reason why it could be locked down, until I stumbled across this old Group Policy Setting:
Based on it’s name, it should be just doing exactly what it says. Plus, the newsest desktop OS listed for support is Windows Vista.
However, as the help explicitly says:
Network Connections still appears in Control Panel and in File Explorer, but if users try to start it, a message appears explaining that a setting prevents the action.
And that’s exactly what it was doing. After removing the setting from being configured and running ‘gpupdate’, I could immediately access Network Connections again.
Another reason to make sure your Group Policy settings are cleaned up – this setting was set over 10 years ago, and took this long to discover and remove!