Enable or Disable Outlook caching based on the user’s location

The following script will use the user’s AD city and the default gateway to determine if a user is in their home office or visiting an office. If the script determines that the user is not in their home office, it will automatically disable Outlook caching and vice versa for a user that is in their home office.

In order for the script to work, you will need to use the cities listed in AD for your $CurrentLocation switch. Similar to the example below, you will also have to copy your default gateways inside of the switch.


    Caches a user's mailbox based on machine type or location  

    File Name  : OutlookCaching.ps1  
    Author     : Jose Espitia
    Requires   : PowerShell V5
    Version    : Version 1.00

if($env:COMPUTERNAME -like "*-D") {    
    # Get Default Gateway
    $CurrentDefaultGateway = (Get-WmiObject Win32_NetworkAdapterConfiguration) | foreach { $_.DefaultIPGateway }

    # Find Machine's Location
    $CurrentLocation = switch ($CurrentDefaultGateway) { 
   {"New York City"}
   {"Los Angeles"}
   {"Las Vegas"}

    # Get User's Info
    $objSearcher = New-Object System.DirectoryServices.DirectorySearcher
    $objSearcher.SearchRoot = New-Object System.DirectoryServices.DirectoryEntry
    $objSearcher.Filter = "(&(objectCategory=User)(SAMAccountName=$env:USERNAME))"
    $objSearcher.SearchScope = "Subtree"
    $obj = $objSearcher.FindOne()
    $UsersHome = $obj.Properties["l"]

    # Determine if user is in their home office
    if($UsersHome -match $CurrentLocation) {
        cmd /c REG ADD "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Outlook\Cached Mode" /v Enable /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f
    else {
        cmd /c REG ADD "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Outlook\Cached Mode" /v Enable /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f


Pin shortcuts to a user in a specific Active Directory group.

The following Powershell script will pin the Chrome shortcut to the Windows 10 start menu for anyone inside of a specific Active Directory group. In order to pin to the start menu, you will need to verify if your shortcut can be pinned through the GUI. To check this, you can right click your shortcut and see if you have “Pin to Start” available in your context menu. If you do not see this, then you may want to try copying the shortcut to:
%PROGRAMDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs

In order to configure the script, you will need to provide values for the following variables:

# Variables that need to be set
$Shortcut = "Google Chrome.lnk"
$Location = "C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs"

# Get User's Info
$objSearcher = New-Object System.DirectoryServices.DirectorySearcher
$objSearcher.SearchRoot = New-Object System.DirectoryServices.DirectoryEntry
$objSearcher.Filter = "(&(objectCategory=User)(SAMAccountName=$env:USERNAME))"
$objSearcher.SearchScope = "Subtree"
$obj = $objSearcher.FindOne()
$User = $obj.Properties["distinguishedname"]

# Get Group Info
$objSearcher.Filter = "(&(objectCategory=group)(SamAccountname=$Group))"
$objSearcher.SearchScope = "Subtree"
$obj = $objSearcher.FindOne()
[String[]]$Members = $obj.Properties["member"]

If ($Members -contains $User) { 
    $object= New-Object -ComObject shell.application
    $folder = $object.Namespace("$Location")
    $file= $folder.parsename("$Shortcut")

How to remove “Scan with Windows Defender” from the Context Menu

The following short batch script will automatically remove “Scan with Windows Defender” from the context menu for files, folders and drives in Windows 10.

:: Removes Windows Defender from the Context Menu for Files
REG DELETE HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers\EPP /F
:: Removes Windows Defender from the Context Menu for Folders
REG DELETE HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers\EPP /F
:: Removes Windows Defender from the Context Menu for Drives
REG DELETE HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Drive\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers\EPP /F

How to exclude specific applications with Lumension Endpoint Security

Open the Windows Registry Editor on the client machine.
Navigate to:

Create a new DWORD (32-bit) value.
The NAME is the file path to the driver \application that you want to exclude, for example if you are excluding the Skype application:
For 64 bit: C:\Program Files (x86)\Skype\Phone\Skype.exe
For 32 bit: C:\Program Files\Skype\Phone\Skype.exe

The Value data is 0 (zero)
Restarting the application or the machine may be required for the change to take effect.
The application specified in the registry entry name will be excluded from protection by Lumension Endpoint Security.

You can of course automate this task by running something like this:

:: Set the file you would like to exclude
SET EXCLUSION="C:\Program Files\Skype\Phone\Skype.exe"

REG ADD "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\sk\Parameters" /v %EXCLUSION% /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f

Automate your BIOS update in MDT

This universal script will automate your BIOS updates in MDT. In order for this script to work, you will need to configure your MDT deployment share with the following folder structure:

Inside of the BIOS folder, you will need a folder for each model that you are supporting in your deployment. The folder names must match the model name that MDT queries with ZTIGather.
You can run wmic computersystem get model to get this value.

Folder Structure Example:
DeploymentShare$\Scripts\Custom\BIOS\HP EliteBook 8560w

Inside of these folders, you will need to place all the files needed to install your BIOS update. You will also need to create custom files needed to silently install and determine the latest BIOS version.

1st File: BIOS.txt
In this txt file, you will place the BIOS version of the update. This is used to compare the BIOS version installed on the machine and the latest update version.

2nd File: UpgradeBIOS.cmd
In this file you will add all the commands needed to silently install your BIOS update.

REM Setting Current Directory
cd "%~dp0"
WINUPTP.exe -s

Once you have the the folder structure completed, you will want to add a Reboot task to your Task Sequence. With this task, you will need to add an if statement with the following configuration:

Reboot Task Configuration

And now for the actual Powershell script!

# Load MDT Task Sequence Environment and Logs
$TSenv = New-Object -COMObject Microsoft.SMS.TSEnvironment
$logPath = $tsenv.Value("LogPath") 
$logFile = "$logPath\BIOS_Update.log"

# Start the logging 

Write-Output "Logging to $logFile." > $logFile

# Collect data
Write-Output "Collecting Data" >> $logFile
$ScriptRoot = $tsenv.Value("ScriptRoot")
$Model = $TSenv.Value("Model")
$CompBiosVersion = (Get-WmiObject WIN32_BIOS).SMBIOSBIOSVersion
$CurrentBiosVersion = Get-Content "$ScriptRoot\Scripts\Custom\BIOS\$Model\BIOS.txt"
$Installer = "UpgradeBIOS.cmd"

try { 
    Test-Path $CurrentBiosVersion -ErrorAction Stop
catch {
    Write-Output "$CurrentBiosVersion does not exist" >> $logFile

# Checking for BIOS update
if($CompBiosVersion.replace(' ' , '') -eq $CurrentBiosVersion.replace(' ' , '')) {
    Write-Output "BIOS is up to date." >> $logFile
else {
    Write-Output "Updating BIOS $CompBiosVersion to $CurrentBiosVersion." >> $logFile
    Start-Process "cmd.exe" "/c $ScriptRoot\Deploy\Scripts\Custom\BIOS\$Model\$Installer" -Wait
    $tsenv.Value("NeedReboot") = "YES"
    Write-Output "Update has been completed successfully." >> $logFile

Query Available Windows Updates

The following script will allow you to query your available Windows Updates in Powershell and it will export it to a CSV file.

#Specify the location of where you want the CSV to be saved (Ex:\\Fileshare)
$location = "\\SHARE"

$MSsearch = New-Object -ComObject Microsoft.Update.Searcher
$Pending = $MSsearch.Search("IsInstalled=0") 
$Update = $Pending.Updates

$Title = $Update | Select-Object Title | foreach { $_.Title } 

$timeformat= "MM-dd"
$date = (Get-Date).ToString($timeformat)

if($Update.Count -eq 0) {
    Write-Host "There are no updates available for $env:Computername"

else {
    foreach($titles in $title){
        $kb = $titles.split('(')[-1].replace(')','')
        if($kb -like "kb*") {
            $table = New-Object –TypeName PSObject -Property @{ 
                'Title' = $Titles 
                'URL' = "$kb" 
        else {
            $table = New-Object –TypeName PSObject -Property @{ 
                    'Title' = $Titles 
                    'URL' = "Not Available" 
        $table | Select-Object Title, URL | Export-CSV -NoTypeInformation -Append "$location\Report.xml"

How to reinstall all of the default Windows 10 apps

This short loop will reinstall all the default Windows 10 apps.

$pkgname = Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers | foreach { $_.packagefullname }
foreach($name in $pkgname) {
    Add-AppxPackage -register "C:\Program Files\WindowsApps\$name\AppxManifest.xml" -DisableDevelopmentMode


It’s been a while since I have posted something, so here is a quick little function that can help you track your USPS packages right from your Powershell Console!

Example: Get-TrackingInfo -Trackingnumber YOUR-TRACKING-NUMBER-HERE

    Track your USPS Packages
    Track your USPS Packages right from the Powershell Console
    Get-TrackingInfo -Trackingnumber 555555555555
function Get-TrackingInfo  {
    Param([Parameter(Mandatory=$true)] $TrackingNumber)
    $invoke = (Invoke-Webrequest$TrackingNumber).allelements | Where-Object  {$_.tagname -eq "tr" } 
    $information = $invoke | Select-Object OuterText -Unique -Skip 3
    $information | Format-Table @{Label=’Tracking Information’;Expression={$_.OuterText}}

Prevent users from creating Office 365 Groups

The script below will block users in a specified OWA Policy from creating Office 365 groups. The script uses Out-GridView to allow you to select which OWA Policy you want to assign this rule to.

#Office 365 Credentials
$username = "USERNAME"
$password = "PASSWORD"

try {
    #Attempts to connect to Office 365 and install Modules
    Import-Module MSOnline
    $pass = convertto-securestring -String "$password" -AsPlainText -Force 
    $credential = new-object -typename System.Management.Automation.PSCredential -argumentlist $username, $pass
    Connect-MsolService -Credential $credential -ErrorAction Stop
    $ExchangeSession = New-PSSession -ConfigurationName Microsoft.Exchange -ConnectionUri "" -Credential $credential -Authentication "Basic" -AllowRedirection
    Import-PSSession $ExchangeSession >null
catch [Microsoft.Online.Administration.Automation.MicrosoftOnlineException] {
    #Logs error for incorrect password
    Write-Host "Please verify your username and password"
    Write-EventLog -LogName Application -Source "Office 365 Log" -EntryType Error -EventId 1 -Message "OFFICE 365 AUTOMATIC LICENSE ASSIGNMENT`n`nError Connecting to Office 365! Please verify your user name and password"

catch {
    #Log for any other error
    Write-Host "Error Connecting"
    Write-EventLog -LogName Application -Source "Office 365 Log" -EntryType Error -EventId 1 -Message "OFFICE 365 AUTOMATIC LICENSE ASSIGNMENT`n`nError Connecting to Office 365!"
$OWA = Get-OwaMailboxPolicy | Select Identity | Out-Gridview -Title "Select one or more OWA Policies" -PassThru | foreach { $_.Identity } 
if($OWA.count -eq 0) {
    Write-Host "Please rerun the script and select an OWA Policy"
else {
    if($OWA.count -gt 1) {
        foreach($MultiOWA in $OWA) {
            Set-OwaMailboxPolicy -Identity $MultiOWA -GroupCreationEnabled $False
    else {
        Set-OwaMailboxPolicy -Identity $OWA -GroupCreationEnabled $False

Automate your Meraki Client VPN Connection

Cisco does a great job with their documentation but unfortunately they didn’t do so well with explaining how to configure their VPN connection for medium to large scale companies. Their documentation only explains how to configure the connection manually, so I decided to use my Powershell skills to write up something really quick. Luckily for us, this task is extremely simple with Powershell.

The following script will automatically configure your Meraki VPN connection on Windows 10:

$ServerAddress = "VPN SERVER ADDRESS"
$ConnectionName = "VPN CONNECTION NAME"
$PresharedKey = "YOUR PRESHARED KEY"
Add-VpnConnection -Name "$ConnectionName" -ServerAddress "$ServerAddress" -TunnelType L2tp -AllUserConnection -L2tpPsk "$PresharedKey" -AuthenticationMethod Pap -Force

This script can be deployed using GPO, your existing system management system or even added to your images with MDT or SCCM.

I hope this helps someone out!