How to Remove the Chat Icon using Group Policy (GPO)

In this guide, I will show you how to remove the chat icon using Group Policy from the Windows 11 taskbar. On domain-joined computers with Active Directory setup, it is easy to remove the chat icon using a GPO.

On a Windows 11 PC, by default, Chat icon is pinned to the taskbar. Along with it, you will find Windows Search, Task View and Widgets. When you install Windows 11 or upgrade Windows 10 to Windows 11, most users prefer to hide this chat icon.

Although the users can hide chat icon from taskbar manually, but on active directory domain joined computers, you can deploy a group policy to remove the chat icon from the taskbar on Windows 11.

There are many methods to remove the team chat icon from the taskbar. For example, you can remove Microsoft Teams Chat Icon From Taskbar Using Intune.

Before we proceed further, here are some really useful articles related to GPO:

Methods to disable the Chat icon in Windows 11

There are multiple methods that you can use to hide or disable chat icon from Windows 11 taskbar:

  • Manually turn off Chat Icon using Windows 11 Taskbar settings.
  • Hide/Disable Chat icon using Windows Registry.
  • Deploy a Group Policy to disable Teams chat icon.
  • Use a PowerShell script to hide/remove/disable the Chat icon.
  • For computers enrolled in Microsoft Endpoint Manager, deploy a profile and remove Teams Chat icon using Intune.

From the above listed methods, we will use group policy to disable the chat icon on Windows 11 computers.

Download ADMX Templates for Windows 11 21H2

There is a new Group Policy setting to disable the Chat Icon and this setting was added with Windows 11 21H2 administrative templates. You must download the ADMX Templates for Windows 11 October 2021 Update [21H2] from Official Microsoft Download Center.

You may also copy the files from C:\Windows\PolicyDefinitions on a Windows 11 computer to your Central policy store. The Configure Chat Icon GPO setting is part of the TaskBar.admx and TaskBar.adml. You may only update those 2 files if you like.

Note: If you don’t import the taskbar.admx and taskbar.adml into your central policy store, you will not find the GPO setting to remove the chat icon in GPMC.

Remove the Chat Icon using Group Policy

Let’s look at the steps to remove the chat icon using Group Policy. First, launch the Group Policy Management console on server. If you are a domain administrator, you can either log in to the domain controller or a member server installed with GPMC.

In the Group Policy Management console, expand your domain and navigate to Group Policy Objects. We will first create a new GPO to remove the chat icon and then link this GPO to an OU.

Note: You should not edit the default domain policy in this case as the settings will apply for entire domain. The best practice is to create a new GPO and then apply it to a selected OU.

Right click Group policy objects and select New.

Create a new GPO to remove Chat Icon
Create a new GPO to remove Chat Icon

On the New GPO window, enter the GPO name as ‘Remove Chat icon‘ or something similar and click OK.

Remove the Chat Icon using Group Policy
Remove the Chat Icon using Group Policy

You should find the newly created GPO under Group Policy Objects. Right-click Remove Chat Icon GPO and select Edit.

Edit GPO
Edit GPO

In the Group Policy Management Editor, navigate to Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Component\Chat. Here you will find only one policy setting which is Configures the Chat icon on the taskbar. Right-click this policy setting and select Edit.

Configure Chat Icon on Taskbar GPO
Configure Chat Icon on Taskbar GPO

Configures the Chat icon on the taskbar

This policy setting allows you to configure the Chat icon on the taskbar. There are three options to choose from when you enable this policy setting.

  • Show: If you enable this policy setting and set it to Show, the Chat icon will be displayed on the taskbar by default. Users can show or hide it in Settings.
  • Hide: If you enable this policy setting and set it to Hide, the Chat icon will be hidden by default. Users can show or hide it in Settings.
  • Disabled: If you enable this policy setting and set it to Disabled, the Chat icon will not be displayed, and users cannot show or hide it in Settings.

For Configures the chat icon on the taskbar GPO, click Enabled to enable this setting and next decide the chat icon state setting. In this example, I am going to select the state as Disabled. Click Apply and OK.

Remove the Chat Icon using Group Policy
Remove the Chat Icon using Group Policy

The GPO Configures the chat icon on the taskbar is now enabled. Close the Group policy management editor.

Remove the Chat Icon using Group Policy
Remove the Chat Icon using Group Policy

Link the GPO to OU

The GPO that we created in the above step needs to be applied or linked to an OU. You may link it to the entire domain if required, however, it’s better you test the policy on small set of computers and then expand to larger group.

In the Group Policy Management console, right-click an OU and select Link an Existing GPO.

Link the GPO to OU
Link the GPO to OU

You must select a GPO to link it to the OU. In this case, select Remove Chat Icon GPO and link it to the OU. Click OK.

Link the GPO to OU
Link the GPO to OU

Verify the GPO on Client Computers

In this step, we will verify if the Remove Chat Icon GPO works on the client computers. By default, Group Policy refresh interval is 90 minutes, and you may change Group Policy Refresh Interval if required.

If you want to force group policy update on the client computer, run the command gpupdate /force. On the Windows 11 computer, launch the command prompt as administrator and run gpupdate /force. This will force update all the policies applicable to the computer.

From the below screenshot, we can see that the Chat icon is removed from the taskbar after the GPO is applied. This confirms that you can remove the chat icon using group policy on multiple computers.

Run gpupdate on Windows 11 computer
Run gpupdate on Windows 11 computer

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