Windows 10 1607/1703 Start Menu Customisation – Update

Here’s a quick update on an option I missed in my previous post about how to customise the Start Menu and Taskbar for new Windows 10 1607/1703 installs.

Update 02/05/2017: This also works with Windows 10 1703 (Creators Update)

The method that I used in my previous post would not be suitable for other environments where you would still want users to have some control over apps that were pinned to the Start Menu. Although I don’t believe that the perfect solution, which would be to set a default Start Menu on login but then let users change it currently exists without some hacks, I have found an option that’s better than a full lockdown – partial lockdown. Microsoft have a post all about it on TechNet here: https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/deploymentguys/2016/03/07/windows-10-start-layout-customization/

To deploy a Partial Lockdown Start Menu, you would configure and export the Start Menu.xml configuration file you would want as normal with the Export-StartMenu cmdlet.

Export-StartLayout C:\StartMenu.xml

You will then need to open the XML file and find <DefaultLayoutOverride> near the top of the file and change it to:

<DefaultLayoutOverride LayoutCustomizationRestrictionType="OnlySpecifiedGroups">

Here’s an example partial lockdown XML file with both StartMenu and Taskbar customisation:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<LayoutModificationTemplate xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/Start/2014/LayoutModification" xmlns:defaultlayout="http://schemas.microsoft.com/Start/2014/FullDefaultLayout" xmlns:start="http://schemas.microsoft.com/Start/2014/StartLayout" xmlns:taskbar="http://schemas.microsoft.com/Start/2014/TaskbarLayout" Version="1">
  <LayoutOptions StartTileGroupCellWidth="6" StartTileGroupsColumnCount="1" />
  <DefaultLayoutOverride LayoutCustomizationRestrictionType="OnlySpecifiedGroups">
    <StartLayoutCollection>
      <defaultlayout:StartLayout GroupCellWidth="6" xmlns:defaultlayout="http://schemas.microsoft.com/Start/2014/FullDefaultLayout">
        <start:Group Name="Browsers" xmlns:start="http://schemas.microsoft.com/Start/2014/StartLayout">
          <start:DesktopApplicationTile Size="2x2" Column="0" Row="0" DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Google Chrome.lnk" />
          <start:Tile Size="2x2" Column="2" Row="0" AppUserModelID="Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe!MicrosoftEdge" />
          <start:DesktopApplicationTile Size="2x2" Column="4" Row="0" DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Accessories\Internet Explorer.lnk" />
        </start:Group>
        <start:Group Name="Somethings" xmlns:start="http://schemas.microsoft.com/Start/2014/StartLayout">
          <start:DesktopApplicationTile Size="2x2" Column="0" Row="2" DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Access 2016.lnk" />
          <start:DesktopApplicationTile Size="2x2" Column="2" Row="0" DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Excel 2016.lnk" />
          <start:DesktopApplicationTile Size="2x2" Column="4" Row="0" DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\PowerPoint 2016.lnk" />
          <start:DesktopApplicationTile Size="2x2" Column="2" Row="2" DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\VideoLAN\VLC media player.lnk" />
          <start:DesktopApplicationTile Size="2x2" Column="0" Row="0" DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Word 2016.lnk" />
          <start:DesktopApplicationTile Size="2x2" Column="4" Row="2" DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Acrobat Reader DC.lnk" />
        </start:Group>
        <start:Group Name="Comms" xmlns:start="http://schemas.microsoft.com/Start/2014/StartLayout">
          <start:DesktopApplicationTile Size="2x2" Column="0" Row="0" DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Outlook 2016.lnk" />
          <start:DesktopApplicationTile Size="2x2" Column="2" Row="0" DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Skype for Business 2016.lnk" />
        </start:Group>
      </defaultlayout:StartLayout>
    </StartLayoutCollection>
  </DefaultLayoutOverride>
    <CustomTaskbarLayoutCollection PinListPlacement="Replace">
      <defaultlayout:TaskbarLayout>
        <taskbar:TaskbarPinList>
          <taskbar:DesktopApp DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Google Chrome.lnk" />
          <taskbar:DesktopApp DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\System Tools\File Explorer.lnk" />
          <taskbar:DesktopApp DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Outlook 2016.lnk" />
        </taskbar:TaskbarPinList>
      </defaultlayout:TaskbarLayout>
    </CustomTaskbarLayoutCollection>
</LayoutModificationTemplate>

A small caveat with this method is that the default apps and groups that are part of the default Windows 10 install will still be there, although the user can remove them and they will be below the apps and groups that you specify, which will also be locked and the user will not be able to change them.

-Mike

Follow Mike on Twitter: @Digressive

5 thoughts on “Windows 10 1607/1703 Start Menu Customisation – Update

  1. Pingback: Customising the Start Menu and Taskbar with Windows 10 1607 | Stick To The Script!

  2. Pingback: Customising the Start Menu and Taskbar with Windows 10 1607 | Stick To The Script!

  3. Hello.
    Thanks for your usefull post.

    If i want this, but i want to remove all the default apps and groups.
    Could you tell me how to do that?

    Thanks
    Regards.

    Like

  4. Pingback: From Zero to 10 – Windows 10 Deployment Round-up | Stick To The Script!

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