Using ThinKiosk as the Windows shell

Replacing the computers default shell (explorer.exe) is the simplest and most secure method to deploy thinkiosk.

In order to replace the computers shell with thin kiosk you have three options:

  1. Group Policy
  2. Local Policy
  3. Registry settings

Below you will find help on the three options.

Group Policy:

Create and and Configure a Group Policy on the user or compute to replace the shell to thinkiosk.

This policy can be in “Computer Configuration > administrative templates > System”Β OrΒ “User configuration > administrative templates > system”

Enable this setting, then enter the path to thinkiosk as below:

Now wait roughly 15 minutes, reboot the pc and the Thinkiosk application should replace the explorer.exe shell.

Local Policy:

Using the guide above, you can configure the local machine policy of the computer by going to:

Start > run > GPEDIT.msc.

Bear in mind by doing it via local policy, you must either be logged in as the user, or configure this policy at a machine level.

Batch file:

To replace the shell on a local machine, Β save the below text as a batch file. Remember to run the batch file as an administrator.

reg add "HKEY_local_machine\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon" /v shell /t reg_sz /d "c:\program files\thinkiosk\thinkiosk.exe" /f

To Replace the shell in a user session, log in as the user, save the below text as a batch file and run it as an administrator.

reg add "HKEY_Current_User\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon" /v shell /t reg_sz /d "c:\program files\thinkiosk\thinkiosk.exe" /f
  1. Jamie
    September 3, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    We are configuring tablets using ThinKiosk as the Windows Shell. Students will be taking the tablets home. How do they connect to their wireless router at home or in other locations in order to access the Web Interface for the school when the tablet is in Kiosk mode?

    • September 3, 2012 at 9:50 pm

      With allot of difficulty at present!

      I’ve not included support for wireless just yet. But I’ll certainly start looking for a work around for you immediately.

    • September 3, 2012 at 10:10 pm

      quick update, try a custom tool with this command line:

      explorer.exe shell:::{1fa9085f-25a2-489b-85d4-86326eedcd87}

      if it works ok, I’ll build it in for you.

      • Jamie
        October 11, 2012 at 5:41 pm

        I am so sorry that I did not respond to you sooner. I never received an email that you responded to my post. I will test this immediately and let you know if it works. Thank you for your quick response.

  2. Jamie
    October 11, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    The custom tool worked. Thank you so much this is going to make my life so much easier!!

    • October 11, 2012 at 6:38 pm

      No worries, but ThinKiosk 3 already has this baked in for you πŸ™‚

      • Jamie
        October 11, 2012 at 6:41 pm

        O Okay GREAT!! πŸ™‚ So do I need to uninstall the 2.2.1 we have now and then re-install 3, or is there a way to update the current version?

      • October 11, 2012 at 6:42 pm

        Installing over the top will do it πŸ™‚

      • Rob van Dick
        October 16, 2012 at 3:53 pm

        Hi Andrew,

        I think thin kiosk is awesome, but i struggle with the wireless configuration. It is now only possible to connect to wireless network when a user configures this by hand. the users in my company are not capable to do this. Do you have other suggestions to do this?

        kind regards Rob

  3. Jamie
    October 11, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    AWESOME!!! Thank you very much!! πŸ™‚

  4. Jamie
    October 12, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    I updated to version 3 and love some of the changes you made. πŸ™‚ Is there a way to change the clock to standard time instead of military time? Also, is there a custom tool that will show the battery life? The kids can’t see the battery icon so they’ll be in the middle of working and their tablet dies.

    • October 12, 2012 at 6:23 pm

      Hi Jamie. Battery coming in next version. Will try do the clock thing too.

  5. Jamie
    October 12, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    Great! Thanks πŸ™‚

    • October 12, 2012 at 6:25 pm

      Are you happy enough with the wifi option?

  6. Jamie
    October 12, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    Yes I am very happy with that option it is EXACTLY what we were needing. I also like that you moved the offline configuration tool to the admin menu, that is very helpful.

  7. Jamie
    October 29, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    Hi Andrew,

    When I was first working with the WiFi option I didn’t realize that the only wireless networks that were showing are the ones that I had already added. I used a tablet that I had not connected to an outside network before and realized that the students are going to have to manually add any wireless network that they want to connect to. This of course is not something that the students are going to know how to do. Is there a way that I can add a custom tool that will automatically detect wireless networks that are in range? That way all the students have to do is choose the wireless network they want and type in the password. Thanks for your help.

  8. December 3, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    Hi Andrew,

    Firstly thank you for providing this great software! I am trying to allow users to connect to their own wireless networks but get an explorer.exe error ‘This file does not have a program associated with it for performing this action. Please install a program or, if one is already installed, create an assosiation in the Default Programscontrol panel.’

    The OS is Windows Thin PC. Hope you can help. Im sure its something simple Im missing!



    • December 6, 2012 at 12:12 pm

      Hi James, I dont think windows thin pc contains the wifi components by default, I think you need to add this component as part of the build.

      I was working with a customer on this, so ill ask them how they got the wifi bits in.

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