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Managing Windows 10 Start Menu Layout and Taskbar Pin Apps With GPO

In the Active Directory area, you possibly can centrally handle and customise Start Menu and Taskbar Layout on Windows 10 customers’ computer systems utilizing Group Policy. This means that you can assign the identical settings for icons and pinned app shortcuts within the Start Menu and Taskbar pane to customers of assorted departments. You can set customized structure for various consumer teams and to ensure that all workstations are configured the identical approach.

How to Export and Import Start Menu Layout in Windows 10 With PowerShell?

The best solution to get Start Menu Layout template on Windows 10 (Windows Server 2016) is to manually customise desktop look and parts on a reference consumer profile. Create shortcuts (tiles) for the required purposes, pin and group them, delete pointless parts. Then you possibly can export the present Start Menu structure to an XML file.

You can export the present Start Menu settings utilizing PowerShell cmdlet Export-StartLayout:

Export-StartLayout –path c:psStartLayoutW10.xml

Later you possibly can manually import this Start Menu structure on one other Windows 10 pc utilizing the Import-StartLayout cmdlet as follows:

Import-StartLayout –LayoutPath c:psStartLayoutW10.xml  –MountPath c:

Note. MountPath specifies the trail the place .wim file of the system picture is mounted.

The major disadvantage of the Import—StartLayout cmdlet is that it doesn’t import the Start structure to the present consumer profile, however to the default consumer profile (the file Layoutmodification.xml seems in C:UsersDefaultAppDataLocalMicrosoftWindowsShell listing). This XML Start Screen structure will solely apply to the brand new consumer profiles once they log in for the primary time.

Deploying Windows 10 Start Menu Layout utilizing GPO

To deploy your Windows 10 Start Menu structure on area computer systems utilizing Group Policy (GPO), you have to copy your structure XML file to the NETLOGON listing on the area controller. Then run Group Policy Management Console (GPMC.msc) and create a brand new coverage or edit the present one and hyperlink it to the customers OU.

In the Group Policy Management Editor, discover the coverage with the title Start Layout within the part User Configuration -> Policies -> Administrative Templates -> Start Menu and Taskbar. You also can assign the Start Menu structure to the pc objects. In this case you have to configure the identical coverage within the Computer Configuration part.

Note. You can configure this coverage from any pc when you’ve got the next administrative template recordsdata: StartMenu.admx and StartMenu.adml (they exist already in Windows 10 / Windows Server 2016).

Open the coverage, allow it and in Start Layout File area specify the UNC path to the XML file containing Windows 10 Start Menu structure settings (for instance, woshub.comnetlogonStartLayoutW10.xml).

If you wish to apply the Start Layout coverage solely to particular consumer teams or computer systems, you should utilize Security Filtering or .

Important. By default, when configuring Start Menu and Taskbar settings for consumer computer systems utilizing the Group Policy, customers can not change its parts (delete shortcuts, pin their very own gadgets). To permit the consumer to vary the structure parts, use the Partial Lockdown function described within the following part.

Using Partial Lockdown to Lock Certain Items in Start Menu

Partial Lockdown mode, that appeared in Windows 10 1511, means that you can specify teams of Start Menu tiles that customers can not change. Those you possibly can permit the consumer to vary any shortcuts, icons and tiles apart from a sure group of company app shortcuts.

To set the locked Start Layout teams, you have to manually edit the XML structure file utilizing any textual content editor (it’s handy to make use of Notepad ++ to edit the XML file).

Open your file StartLayoutW10.xml and discover the next part in it: . To lock the precise shortcut group you have to change attribute of this part to

Save the modifications to the XML file and deploy it on consumer computer systems utilizing GPO. Thus, solely teams of tiles (shortcuts) specified within the XML file shall be locked. All different teams, their contents and aspect settings could be modified by customers.

Partial Lockdown works each in Windows 10 Enterprise and Pro (ranging from 1703 construct).

Windows 10 has a small bug when the assigned Internet Explorer shortcut doesn’t seem after making use of the XML structure file through GPO. To resolve the issue, you have to edit the XML file and change the road for the IE shortcut as follows:

And then via the GPO you have to copy the shortcut file “Internet Explorer.lnk” to the %ALLUSERSPROFILEpercentMicrosoftWindowsStart MenuPrograms.

How to Manage Pinned Taskbar Items Using GPO?

Starting from Windows 10 1607, you possibly can handle pinned shortcuts within the taskbar through the identical XML file with the Start Menu structure. To add your personal pinned shortcuts to the XML structure, which is distributed via the GPO, edit the XML file. After the tag, add the next code:

In this instance, we are going to add two pinned shortcuts to the taskbar: File Explorer and Internet Explorer. After making use of the coverage on the consumer’s pc, two pinned shortcuts will seem within the Windows 10 taskbar.

In older Windows builds (pre 1607), pinned app shortcuts within the taskbar are configured in another way. Let’s attempt to determine how.

The listing of pinned taskbar shortcuts in Windows 10 is saved within the consumer profile folder %APPDATApercentMicrosoftInternet ExplorerFast LaunchUser PinnedTaskBar.

And the settings of the pinned apps are saved encoded within the following registry key HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerTaskband.

To distribute these Taskbar settings to area computer systems, you have to export the contents of this registry key on a reference pc to a REG file:

reg export HKCUSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerTaskband c:scriptPinnedMerchandise.reg

Copy this REG file and the listing containing icons (%APPDATApercentMicrosoftInternet ExplorerFast LaunchUser PinnedTaskBar) to a shared community folder (for instance, you should utilize NETLOGON). In the Domain Group Policy Editor (User Configuration- > Policies -> Windows Settings -> Scripts (Logon/Logoff) -> Logon), add a logon script (deploy_taskbar.bat) with the next code:

@echo off
set Logfile=%AppDatapercentpinned.log
if not exist "%Logfile% (
IF EXIST "%APPDATApercentMicrosoftInternet ExplorerFast LaunchUser PinnedTaskBar" GOTO NOTASKDIR
del "%APPDATApercentMicrosoftInternet ExplorerFast LaunchUser PinnedTaskBar*" /S /Q
:NOTASKDIR
xcopy /E /Y "woshub.comnetlogonPinnedMerchandise " "%APPDATApercentMicrosoftInternet ExplorerFast LaunchUser Pinned"
regedit.exe /s "woshub.comnetlogonPinnedMerchandise.reg "
echo PinnedMerchandiseImported on %date% at %time% >> %LogFile%
taskkill /IM explorer.exe /f
begin explorer.exe
)

Note. The examine if the file %AppDatapercentpinned.log exists is included on this script. If the file exists, this script has already been run on this pc and it doesn’t should be reapplied so consumer might delete or add its personal icons within the Taskbar.

A consumer at logon will see the company set of pinned app icons within the Widows 10 Taskbar.

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