How to exclude Shortcuts from syncing to OneDrive with Microsoft Endpoint Manager – Microsoft Intune

Microsoft OneDrive is a great service for storing your files. And when you have “Known Folder Redirection” enabled, your Desktop, Documents and Pictures folders are redirected to OneDrive and synched to the cloud. This way you have the same Desktop, Documents and Pictures folders available on every device which benefits the user experience. However, you have applications that place a shortcut on the desktop the first time you log in to a new system, for example the Microsoft Edge browser and Microsoft Teams. This results in many of the same shortcuts on your desktop (copy offs) if you switch devices often.

To avoid this you can exclude shortcuts from syncing to Microsoft OneDrive. You can easily configure this with a single setting in Microsoft Endpoint Manager – Microsoft Intune as I will show you in this blog.

There are several ways to set this policy within Microsoft Intune, I will show you the way to set it via an Administrative Template. For the following step-by-step instructions login to the Microsoft Endpoint Manager admin center.

Navigate to Devices > Configuration profiles and click Create profile

Select Windows 10 and later as platform, and Templates as Profile type. Select Administrative Templates as Template name.

Click Create

Give the profile a name and click Next

Click OneDrive

Click Exclude specific kinds of files from being uploaded

Select Enable and add the following Keywords (each on his own line) *.lnk and *.url.

Click OK and click Next

Click Next

Assign the policy to a security group and click Next

Click Create

Now when looking at device 1 , you can see that shortcuts are not syncing to Microsoft OneDrive anymore. Keep in mind that existing shortcuts that are placed on OneDrive before the policy was applied will remain on OneDrive until you delete them. For now I will delete all the shortcuts and will logon to a fresh new installed device for the first time.

As you can see, a clean desktop without any synced shortcuts (but with OneDrive known folder redirection).

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About Robin Hobo

I am a Technology Specialist Cloud Endpoint working for Microsoft. I am specialized in Microsoft Intune, Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD), Windows 365, Windows 11 and Azure AD. Also interested in mental health, NLP and personal development.

For more information, see my LinkedIn profile.

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