Well lets be honest start-menu layouts is not a thing that many IT tech people considering to be a big talking point or something that have highest priority when planning a deployment rollout. But the customers almost always wants a start-menu and/or taskbar, in some modified way and the end users loves the streamlined, manageable and clear design. So after all the start-menu is a quite important first impression experience for the end users and how they overall will rate the receivel of the Windows 10 platform.
In this scenario we will clean and build a new customized start-menu that also includes an custom taskbar on a Windows 10 device and use an Intune device configuration policy to apply the new start menu and taskbar.
Step 1 : Lets first try to make a custom start menu for a Windows 10 device.
- First we need to clean out (unpin) and customize the Windows 10 default start-menu.
- Right click on the icons and remove them all (unpin from Start)
- After the icons has been removed the start-menu is cleaned for any default tiles apps:
- Now lets pin some tiles to the start-menu – Right click on the app that you want to pin to the start menu and choose Pin to Start:
Note: In this test lab we will pin Office 365 Pro Plus products, Microsoft Edge and a handful of other Windows apps.
- After adding the tiles the start-menu our layout looks like this (Optinal: Give the apps a headline):
Note: Now we need to export the start-menu to an XML file that we can use in our Intune policy as the new company standard layout for the start menu.
- Start a Windows PowerShell session (remember to run it a elevated admin):
- Run the command line Export-StartLayout -Path C:\xxxx.xml:
Note: Now it creates a start-Menu layout that is based on our customize start menu at the location c:\xxx.xml.
- Open the new XML file and see what’s been created:
Note: If you also want to allow users to add their own shortcuts to the start-menu, edit your .XML file and change
See picture below:
Step 2 : Now lets make a custom taskbar for out Windows 10 devices.
- Find the XML file that just was created and right click and choose edit (I use notepad for that part):
- Scroll down to the bottom of the XMl file and find </DefaultLayoutOverride> :
- Now copy to the lines below and paste them into the XML file between line </DefaultLayoutOverride> and </LayoutModificationTemplate>
Note: By adding
<CustomTaskbarLayoutCollection>, you remove all default pinned apps; only the apps that you specify will be pinned to the taskbar.
- Then it should look likes this:
- Now its time to to copy the Microsoft taskbar scheme -> xmlns:taskbar=”http://schemas.microsoft.com/Start/2014/TaskbarLayout” into the XML file where the other schemes also is located then save the XML file:
- Now open the XML file to view the settings and check for errors:
- To compair with our XML dowload a picture file (JPG) here ->
Note: if you can open the XML file without any errors then it should work just fine.
Step 3: Lets configure a policy and then deploy the XML file from Intune to the Windows 10 device.
- Strip the (unpin) start-menu once more or to see the magic happens: (Or leave it, the new start-menu will overrule all user made pins etc.)
- Login to Intune -> https://devicemanagement.microsoft.com .
- Click on Device Configuration:
- Click on Profiles and Create profile:
- Fill out Name, Description, Platform and select Profil type – Device restrictions. Then Choose Start and Import the XML file that just was created:
- Proventing users from unpinnig apps from taskbar (Optinal) click OK:
- Just for fun, we used a applicability rule and created a criteria to check if “Windows 10 Enterprise” is the right OS edition and then it may assign the profile – Click Add and then Create:
Note: In this test labWindows Pro etc. will not get this profile assigned because of the criteria we made.
- Select All users when assigning the policy:
Step 4 : – A sync from the Windows 10 device or direcly from the Azure or Inune portals is not always enoght to force the policy and apply the start-menu and taskbar, so we need to restart the devices.
- After a restart the policy hits the Windows 10 device:
- Check the Windows 10 device and see how a fresh new custom made start-menu and taskbar looks like.: