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 2017-05-02: 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:

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="" xmlns:defaultlayout="" xmlns:start="" xmlns:taskbar="" Version="1">
  <LayoutOptions StartTileGroupCellWidth="6" StartTileGroupsColumnCount="1" />
  <DefaultLayoutOverride LayoutCustomizationRestrictionType="OnlySpecifiedGroups">
      <defaultlayout:StartLayout GroupCellWidth="6" xmlns:defaultlayout="">
        <start:Group Name="Browsers" xmlns:start="">
          <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 Name="Somethings" xmlns:start="">
          <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 Name="Comms" xmlns:start="">
          <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" />
    <CustomTaskbarLayoutCollection PinListPlacement="Replace">
          <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" />

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.

I take great care to test my ideas and make sure my articles are accurate before posting, however mistakes do slip through sometimes. If you’d like to get in touch with me please use the comments, Twitter (you can tweet me and my DMs are open) or my contact form.

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

Add yours

  1. 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?



    1. Hi there,

      You can remove the default apps and groups but unfortunately it also means that the Start Menu layout cannot be changed – it’s locked down to the config you provide. I made a post about it here:

      I know it’s not a perfect solution – there doesn’t seem to be one without some tricks that I haven’t tried myself yet. Hopefully Microsoft will provide more control in a future update.

      Something else you might consider is removing the built-in UWP apps – some of which are on the default Start Menu, I posted about a few ways you can do that here:

      Thanks for the comment, glad you found the post useful



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