Icon Shepherd Administrators Kit

Attention system administrators: if you've purchased an enterprise license for Icon Shepherd, it comes with the Administrator's Kit that you can download here. You can use the Administrator's Kit to manage desktop icons on a network of a large number of computers.


Please note that while you are free to copy and use the Kit within your organization as you see fit, any redistribution of this kit to any third party without express written permission from WinAbility Software Corporation is PROHIBITED. Please direct any inquiries about obtaining a copy of the Kit to WinAbility Software Corporation at: https://www.winability.com/support

What is IconShepherd Administrator's Kit?

This Kit is available as a trial version as well as a full version. The full version of the kit contains the enterprise build of the software that does not require license key validation over the Internet, and does not check for updates automatically.

This kit contains the following files:

  • The client installation packages of IconShepherd in the MSI format for the x86, x64, and ARM64 processor architectures.

  • The enterprise build of the setup file of IconShepherd (not included in the trial version).

  • The Administrative Template file (IconShepherd.adm) that contains the Group Policies supported by IconShepherd.

  • The text of IconShepherd Volume License Agreement.

How is the Enterprise edition different from the retail version?

  • The installation files are in the MSI format that can be used for automatic software installations via Active Directory.

  • The automatic checks for updates and license key validation are suppressed for the end users. (The license key entry is still required, but can be automated.)

  • The "silent" installation option is available that does not require access to the Internet.

  • An administrative template (ADM) file that can be used with Group Policy to automate license key management, enforce options, and restrict end users from performing undesired actions.

Using the MSI packages

You can use the MSI packages to quickly deploy IconShepherd within a large number of computers on your network. The following files are provided:

  • IconShepherd-n.n-a64.msi - for use with ARM64 processors;

  • IconShepherd-n.n-x64.msi - for use with Intel x64 processors;

  • IconShepherd-n.n-x86.msi - for use with Intel x86 processors;

Each MSI file installs the required executable of IconShepherd into a subfolder under the Program Files folder on the client computer. It also creates a set of shortcuts to IconShepherd on the Start menu to make sure that Icon Shepherd runs automatically when a user logs in to Windows. These installation options are not configurable.

Note that the MSI files are intended to be used in conjunction with the Software Installation facility of the Group Policy. They should NOT be run directly on the target computers, because they are configured to prevent uninstalling them by the end users (the option to uninstall the software using the Control Panel of Windows is disabled.) You can still uninstall the MSI file by using the Software Installation facility of the Group Policy or by running msiexec with the appropriate command line arguments directly on the target computers.

Using the setup file

In addition to the MSI packages, the full version of the Kit also includes a traditional setup file, such as IconShepherd-n.n-VL-setup.exe that you can use to install Icon Shepherd in the traditional way, by executing the setup file directly on the target computer. Note, however, that the MSI and the setup installations are NOT interchangeable. That is, if you have previously installed IconShepherd using a setup file, you cannot upgrade such an installation with an MSI package. In such a situation, you should first use Windows Control Panel to uninstall the existing copy of Icon Shepherd, and then install a new copy using the MSI file.

Similarly, if you have previously used an MSI file, you cannot upgrade such an installation with the setup file. If you need to do so, you should first use Windows Control Panel to uninstall the existing copy of Icon Shepherd, and then install a new copy using the setup file.

If you prefer using the setup file instead of the MSI files, you may find it useful the SILENT command line option that would suppress the user interface during the installation:

"C:\Download\IconShepherd-n.n-VL-setup.exe" /SILENT

Note that the administrator approval is still required to run this command.

This command will silently install and enable the software automatically, but its About screen will display the message that it's licensed for home use on 1 computer. To make it display your license information instead, you can automate entering it on many computers either by using the Administrative Template file (IconShepherd.adm) described below, or manually as follows:

  1. Install Icon Shepherd on one computer, use its About window to enter the license key as usual.

  2. Run Registry Editor (regedit.exe) and export the following key into a .reg file:


  1. On other computers, use the exported .reg file to import the license information. You may need to restart Icon Shepherd after that to make it display the correct information on the About screen.

Using the Administrative Template file (IconShepherd.adm)

The IconShepherd.adm file can be used to deliver your license information, as well as the IconShepherd settings to the client computers, and (optionally) to restrict the capabilities of IconShepherd on the client computers.

To use the IconShepherd.adm file, use the system policy management tool that comes with your server, such as Group Policy, or Policy Editor. On a stand-alone computer, copy the file IconShepherd.adm into the folder C:\WINDOWS\system32\GroupPolicy\Adm and then run the Group Policy Editor (C:\WINDOWS\system32\gpedit.msc). On an AD server, create a GPO and add the template IconShepherd.adm to it, as usual.

Delivering the license information to the client computers

After you have installed the IconShepherd.adm file, you can enter your license information for IconShepherd under the branch Computer Configuration \ Administrative Templates (Classic Administrative Templates) \ WinAbility \ IconShepherd. To purchase a license and receive your license key, please use our online store or contact us for a quote.

Configuring IconShepherd options on the client computers

If you want your users to use a specific set of icon layouts, you could prepare such a set on one computer and use the Manage icon layouts - Export command to save the information into a file. Then, copy the file to the client computers (or to a shared network folder) and specify the path to such a file using the branch User Configuration \ Administrative Templates (Classic Administrative Templates) \ WinAbility \ IconShepherd \ Preload icon layouts.

If you need IconShepherd to have specific options when it starts on each client computer, you can specify such options using the section User Configuration \ Administrative Templates (Classic Administrative Templates) \ WinAbility \ IconShepherd \ Options.

Restricting IconShepherd

If you need to prevent users from changing some options of IconShepherd, or restrict their ability to save or restore icon layouts, specify the desired restrictions under the branch User Configuration \ Administrative Templates (Classic Administrative Templates) \ WinAbility \ IconShepherd \ Restrictions.

How to get the IconShepherd Administrator's Kit?

1. Purchase an enterprise license for Icon Shepherd.

2. Download IconShepherd Administrator's Kit.

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