windows 10 GPO start menu

Manage Start Screen with Group Policy in Windows 10

Hello guys! In this tutorial we will show you how to export an existing start screen for Windows 10 and then use the Group Policy to ensure those settings.

So basically as you can see you need to create a couple of groups. You can do this in a very simple way: you just simply need to drag and drop your icons. Once you’ve done that, you can move them around and give them a group name.

windows 10 start screen groups

Once you’ve designed your Start menu the way you want, the next place you are going to go is Windows Powershell.

windows 10 start screen powershell

What you are looking to do is to run get-help Export-StartLayout command.

windows 10 powershell export layout

Basically it’s very simple to use. The next thing you need to do is to run Export-StartLayout –path \start123.xml.

windows10 powershell start123xml

Now if we will take a look at what is going inside this file (run notepad \Start Menu\) we will see that it is a basically xml representation of all the applications you have at the right of your Start menu.

windows 10 powershell notepad

windows 10 powershell xml

The next thing we are going to do is to get this to our servers. Now we need to run net use s: \\dc\share, then copy new start123.xml file over our servers – run copy start123.xml y:. Now it’s on a share.

windows 10 poweshell copy

Log out as User1 and log on as User2. What you will see is that he doesn’t have the same Start menu right now, but we are on the right way.

Let’s go ahead and log out as User2 (click Sign Out). Now we are going to use the Group Policy to set this up. We are going to our Users and create a GPO in this domain.

windows 10 create GPO

windows 10 new gpo name

windows 10 GPO new gpo

After it’s done right click on it and go to Edit…

windows 10 edit GPO

In Group Policy Management go to User Configuration, then Administrative templates, then click on Start Menu & Taskbar.

windows 10 start layout

Click on Start Layout. As you can see this value only works for Windows 10. So we are going ahead and add it. At Start Layout File field enter \\dc\share\start123.xml. Go ahead and click OK. Now the Group Policy is engaged.

windows 10 start layout enabled

Now let’s login as User2 again. What we should see is that at this point Group Policy done its things and now you can see those Test groups are in users Start menu too. Group Policy now won’t let anybody change anything, users can’t drag & drop any icons and do other things in their Start menu now.

That’s it! We are hoping that it was helpful for you!

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