Windows 10 1607 (Anniversary Update) provides new ways to manage the pinned apps on a user's Taskbar. In this post, I explain how you can deploy a Taskbar layout with PowerShell, Group Policy, and Configuration Manager and share the experiences I had with the new Taskbar feature during my tests.

Jörgen Nilsson

Jörgen is a principal consultant at Onevinn in Sweden. His work focuses on enterprise client management and system management. He is a Microsoft Certified Trainer and a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) in Enterprise Mobility. He also speaks at events such as Microsoft TechDays, Microsoft Management Summits, and TechEd.

The feature we used to deploy a customized Start menu in Windows 10 has been extended with the ability to manage pinned items on the Taskbar. There are some unsupported solutions for importing a Taskbar layout during OS deployment. However, now we can do it in a supported manner, and we can even add items using Group Policy after we create the user profile.

Windows 10 Taskbar

Windows 10 Taskbar

Note that this feature requires Windows 10 Enterprise/Education and it only works in Windows 10 1607.  (Editor's note: There is some evidence that this feature works in Windows 10 Pro. Please share your experiences in a comment.) We cannot use this feature to remove items the user pinned to the Taskbar; we can only remove items from the Taskbar that we added with the new feature.

The Taskbar layout is configured in an .xml file either together with the Start menu layout or in a separate file. The .xml file can then be deployed using different tools according to which suits your organization best.

Sample .xml file used to modify the Taskbar ^

This sample file will give the following layout on the Taskbar:

Modifed Taskbar

Modifed Taskbar


Sample .xml file for Start menu and Taskbar ^

The sample file below includes the layout configuration for the Start menu and the Taskbar as shown in the screenshot:

Modified Taskbar and Start menu

Modified Taskbar and Start menu

The corresponding .xml file looks like this:

Remove the default pinned apps ^

We have the option to either keep the default pinned apps (Edge, Store, and File Explorer) or delete them. If we delete them, we can add them back again using the same .xml file that we use to delete them. In my example, I have added the Messaging app and Internet Explorer to the Taskbar.

Taskbar with default items

Taskbar with default items

To remove the default pinned items, you have to replace <CustomTaskbarLayoutCollection> with

 <CustomTaskbarLayoutCollection PinListPlacement="Replace">

Taskbar without default items

Taskbar without default items

If we want to keep Edge and File Explorer and only remove the Store app, we can add both apps back to the .xml file by adding the following lines:

XML file with Edge and File Explorer

XML file with Edge and File Explorer

We then get a Start menu that looks like this:

Taskbar without Store

Taskbar without Store

How to find the AppUserModelID ^

To add a modern app, we need the AppUserModelID. To find the ID, you can add the app to the Start menu and then use PowerShell to export the Start menu layout with the Export-StartLayout cmdlet to an .xml file.

For instance, to get the AppUserModelID for the Camera app you can follow this procedure:

  1. Add the modern app to the Start menu by right-clicking the Camera app and selecting Pin to Start.
    Modified Taskbar and Start menu

    Modified Taskbar and Start menu

  1. Launch PowerShell as standard user.
  2. Export the Start menu to an .xml file using the following command:
    Export-StartLayout -Path C:\temp\Camera.xml

    Export Start menu

    Export Start menu

  3. Open the exported XML file using Notepad and copy the AppUserModelID.
    XML file with the Camera app

    XML file with the Camera app

  1. Then add the line below to the Taskbar.xml file:
    <taskbar:UWA AppUserModelID="Microsoft.WindowsCamera_8wekyb3d8bbwe!App" />

Import a Taskbar layout using PowerShell

The easiest way to test if your XML file works as intended is to use the PowerShell cmdlet Import-StartLayout as a local administrator:

Import-StartLayout -layoutpath C:\temp\layoutfile.xml -Mountpath C:\

Then log on to the computer with a user account that has no profile on the machine, and the Taskbar modifications should be applied.

Of course, you can use PowerShell to deploy the Taskbar with a script, and you can also use the above command during OS deployment, such as with Configuration Manager.

Adding a Taskbar layout with SSCM

Deploying a Taskbar layout during OS deployment with Configuration Manager is done exactly the same way as with the Start menu in Windows 10. You can simply add the information to the same .xml file that you use for the Start menu.

Here is how to deploy a Taskbar layout with SCCM:

  1. Create a folder in your Configuration Manager package source folder.
  2. Copy the .xml file to be used during OS deployment to this folder.
  3. Create a PowerShell script in that directory with the following content:
    Import-StartLayout -LayoutPath $PSScriptRoot\StartMenu.xml -MountPath $env:SystemDrive\

    Contents of the source folder

    Contents of the source folder

  4. Create a package using this source folder.
  5. Distribute the package to the appropriate distribution points.
  6. In your OS deployment task sequence, add a step to import the .xml file that must run after the “Set up Windows and Configuration Manager” step (for the OS to be deployed, not for Windows PE)
    Use the following command to run the PowerShell script and make sure to select the package we created earlier:
    Powershell.exe -NoProfile -ExecutionPolicy ByPass -File ImportLayout.ps1

    Task sequence in Configuration Manager

    Task sequence in Configuration Manager

Deploy Taskbar using Group Policy

We can also use a Group Policy to the Taskbar layout, which I assume will be the most used option because it allows you to change Taskbar configuration at any time. When the computer starts up, it will check if the .xml file has been modified and apply any changes.

  1. Copy the .xml file to a file share that domain members can access.
  2. Navigate to the Group Policy setting Start Layout, which is located under Computer Configuration > Policies > Administrative Templates > Start Menu and Taskbar

    Group Policy for the Start menu and Taskbar layout

    Group Policy for the Start menu and Taskbar layout

  3. Configure the Group Policy with the path to the .xml file.
    Group Policy setting

    Group Policy setting

Note that the Group Policy enforces the Taskbar/Start menu layout on user computers.

The .xml file is very sensitive to additional characters like an extra space at the end of a line. I recommend you try your .xml file as a local administrator with the PowerShell command explained above before you deploy it with Group Policy. If your .xml file contains syntax errors or illegal characters, you have the chance to get it right before you mess up the configuration on user computers.

PowerShell validates the .xml file and writes results to c:\users\Default\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\LayoutModification.xml. This allows you to detect possible errors.

FAQ ^

  • What happens if a user deletes an item we pinned to the Taskbar using the .xml file and Group Policy?
    Users can delete an item we pinned to the Taskbar. However, the icon will be added back the next time that we modify the .xml file. If you don't modify the .xml file, the user's configuration won't change.
  • What if I add a shortcut that the user has already pinned to the Taskbar?
    Nothing happens. Windows won't add a second icon.
  • What if we pin an item the end user has already pinned to the Taskbar, and then we remove the icon through our .xml file?
    The icon won't be removed.
  • What if we remove a pinned app in the.xml file that we deployed with Group Policy?
    The pinned item will be removed from the Taskbar as soon the Group Policy is applied when the user logs on again.
  • What if a user changes the order of the pinned items in the Taskbar?
    The user's order configuration will be maintained when we add or remove items.
  • What happens to the Taskbar if the computer is no longer targeted by a Group Policy?
    The Taskbar will keep the configuration that we previously deployed via Group Policy.
  • What happens if I add Taskbar shortcuts to an .xml that is applied to Windows 10 1511 machines?
    Older version of Windows 10 can't read this .xml file and will ignore it altogether.

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53 Comments
  1. Gary Phillips 1 year ago

    Hi, would using the group policy method allow for different layouts to be applied for different user groups? For example, I work in the Education sector, so would this allow one layout for teachers, and another for students when either or log onto the same computer?

    Also, is the group policy method more dynamic in nature. For example, with the original method a single layout could be applied, but it only applied at a new user log on. Would changes take effect for existing user log on's?

    Great blog by the way, helped us out numerous times!

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  2. Author
    Jörgen Nilsson 1 year ago

    Hi,

    You apply the taskbar using User Settings in the Group Policy so then you can apply different layouts for OU's/ Groups as well.

    For the dynamic part it depends on the LayoutCustomizationRestrictionType=”OnlySpecifiedGroups” for the start menu part, then you can manage some of the Groups and these can be managed dynamically as well using a Group policy.

    For the taskbar part you can only manage the items you pinned. Not the once that the user pinned

    It is starting to look really good!

    /jörgen

     

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  3. Hauke 1 year ago

    Working fine, but not for Internet Explorer - the entry is ignored.
    Maybe MS is filtering it out?!

    Edge ist not an option für productive work...

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    • LvilleSystemsJockey 1 year ago

      IE worked fine for me.  Make sure the shortcut exists where you are pointing it.  I actually decided to copy a shortcut into $env:allusersprofile\Microsoft\windows\start menu\programs directory so that everything I was adding was coming form the same directory.  Well, everything but File Explorer.  I'll add more stuff to this, but had to get this out the door.  I'll strategically place Outlook and Skype for Business in locations where they won't leave a hole in the start menu when those programs are not there.  Still, a good example here:

      <?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>
      <StartLayoutCollection>
      <defaultlayout:StartLayout GroupCellWidth="6" xmlns:defaultlayout="http://schemas.microsoft.com/Start/2014/FullDefaultLayout">
      <start:Group Name="Office Apps" xmlns:start="http://schemas.microsoft.com/Start/2014/StartLayout">
      <start:DesktopApplicationTile Size="2x2" Column="0" Row="0" DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\PowerPoint 2016.lnk" />
      <start:DesktopApplicationTile Size="2x2" Column="2" Row="0" DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Publisher 2016.lnk" />
      <start:DesktopApplicationTile Size="2x2" Column="4" Row="0" DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Word 2016.lnk" />
      <start:DesktopApplicationTile Size="2x2" Column="0" Row="2" DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Excel 2016.lnk" />
      <start:DesktopApplicationTile Size="2x2" Column="2" Row="2" DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\OneNote 2016.lnk" />
      </start:Group>
      <start:Group Name="Extras" xmlns:start="http://schemas.microsoft.com/Start/2014/StartLayout">
      <start:DesktopApplicationTile Size="2x2" Column="4" Row="0" DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Google Earth.lnk" />
      <start:DesktopApplicationTile Size="2x2" Column="2" Row="0" DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Google Chrome.lnk" />
      <start:DesktopApplicationTile Size="2x2" Column="0" Row="0" DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Internet Explorer.lnk" />
      </start:Group>
      </defaultlayout:StartLayout>
      </StartLayoutCollection>
      </DefaultLayoutOverride>
      <CustomTaskbarLayoutCollection PinListPlacement="Replace">
      <defaultlayout:TaskbarLayout>
      <taskbar:TaskbarPinList>
      <taskbar:DesktopApp DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%APPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\System Tools\File Explorer.lnk" />
      <taskbar:DesktopApp DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Internet Explorer.lnk" />
      <taskbar:DesktopApp DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Google Chrome.lnk" />
      <taskbar:DesktopApp DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Word 2016.lnk" />
      <taskbar:DesktopApp DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\PowerPoint 2016.lnk" />
      <taskbar:DesktopApp DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\OneNote 2016.lnk" />
      <taskbar:DesktopApp DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Excel 2016.lnk" />
      </taskbar:TaskbarPinList>
      </defaultlayout:TaskbarLayout>
      </CustomTaskbarLayoutCollection>
      </LayoutModificationTemplate>

      1+

    • Author
      Jörgen Nilsson 1 year ago

      Hi,

      You need to create the shortcut to IE yourself, as the one that is in the Start Menu is created by an ActiveSetup so it not available when the Start menu is imported.

      I wrote a post about it a while ago.

      http://ccmexec.com/2015/09/customizing-the-windows-10-start-menu-and-add-ie-shortcut-during-osd/

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  4. LvilleSystemsJockey 1 year ago

    For the life of me, I can't get this to work by setting it in a task sequence. I've done exactly as listed above. The command seems to complete successfully, but no customization. I can run the same script from a logged in Admin, no problem, every user after that gets the customization.

    I fell back to Group policy, which is fine. But would be nice to set initially with the Task Sequence. Oh well, it's working great other than that. So happy we have a supported way of customizing the taskbar! No more copy profile needed for such an easy task.

    -LvilleSystemsJockey

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  5. Keepreadin 1 year ago

    We have been controlLing the taskbar and start tiles and we're running 1511. But we use gpp instead of policy. That way people can modify it if they don't like it. Only down side is it doesn't seem to load very quickly on first login but it does showup and work. I wonder if 1607 will break this. If ur curious how look into taskband. We found we had to load both the icons and the reg keys for it to load properly.

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  6. Dan Isaksson 1 year ago

    Hi Jörgen,

    I noticed that i can't pin shortcuts to my start menu and found some info about partial start menu. Have you any experience with it? I will do some testing now. I Think using partial start menu will allow users to add their own items to the start menu.

    https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/itpro/windows/manage/customize-and-export-start-layout

    "When a full Start layout is applied, the users cannot pin, unpin, or uninstall apps from Start. Users can view and open all apps in the All Apps view, but they cannot pin any apps to Start.

    When a partial Start layout is applied, the contents of the specified tile groups cannot be changed, but users can move those groups, and can also create and customize their own Groups."

     

    To configure a partial Start screen layout

    Customize the Start layout.
    Export the Start layout.
    Open the layout .xml file. There is a

    element. Add

    to the DefaultLayoutOverride element as follows:

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  7. Author
    Jörgen Nilsson 1 year ago

    Hi,

    Yes it works great! I Wrote a post about it here as well, https://4sysops.com/archives/partially-lock-the-windows-10-start-menu-layout-with-group-policy/

    /Jörgen

     

    0

  8. Eddy Horsting 1 year ago

    Hello,

    is it possible this is not working anymore after the last Cumulative Update??

    I had it to work in the 1607 build, but it seems to be broken. The file gets copied to the Shell folder at user logon, but my modifications are not visible.. Any help?

    0

  9. Kyle 1 year ago

    Hi Jorgen,

    I tried testing this with the import command but I get an error stating "...is not a valid layout file". Can you not use the xml file anywhere but group policy? that's kind of what I'm reading in a couple other posts online.

     

    Thanks,

    Kyle

    0

  10. Dan Isaksson 1 year ago

    It works with 1607 and the cu released on patch tuesday.

     

    If you get invalid file open the xml in notepad++ or similar. My file contained strange symbols that did not show in regular notepad.

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  11. Dave Adams 1 year ago

    I've followed this guide to the letter and neither the Start Menu or Taskbar are receiving the modifications.  No errors during OSD, just nothing happening.  I'm deploying 14393.187 and now also tested on 14393.222 - same issue.

    When I attempt to manually import the xml I'm getting this error as someone above “…is not a valid layout file”.  I've opened the xml in Notepad++ and can't see anything unusual about it!

    Any suggestions, I'm trying to roll out Win 10 AU to a heap of student machines that need to have these customisations in place (can't do it via GPO as the kids need a basic framework which they can then personalise afterwards)...

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  12. Dan Isaksson 1 year ago

    If it states that error when running manually you a have a syntax error in your file. Either strange symbol or wrong syntax. Try to create a new .xml or post your xml here

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  13. Dan Isaksson 1 year ago

    And also, you can do it via GPO. They will be able to add Icons after if you do it right. They cant remove your Groups but can add new items themselves. But you should get it working manually first with no error.

    To configure a partial Start screen layout

    Customize the Start layout.
    Export the Start layout.
    Open the layout .xml file. There is a

    element. Add

    to the DefaultLayoutOverride

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  14. Dave Adams 1 year ago

    Here is my XML file that I'm getting the syntax error with when running it manually on a test machine;

    <LayoutModificationTemplate Version="1" xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/Start/2014/LayoutModification">
    <LayoutOptions StartTileGroupCellWidth="6" />
    <DefaultLayoutOverride>
    <StartLayoutCollection>
    <defaultlayout:StartLayout GroupCellWidth="6" xmlns:defaultlayout="http://schemas.microsoft.com/Start/2014/FullDefaultLayout">
    <start:Group Name="Life at a glance" xmlns:start="http://schemas.microsoft.com/Start/2014/StartLayout">
    <start:Tile Size="4x2" Column="0" Row="0" AppUserModelID="Microsoft.BingWeather_8wekyb3d8bbwe!App" />
    <start:Tile Size="4x4" Column="0" Row="2" AppUserModelID="microsoft.windowscommunicationsapps_8wekyb3d8bbwe!microsoft.windowslive.calendar" />
    </start:Group>
    <start:Group Name="Microsoft Office 2016" xmlns:start="http://schemas.microsoft.com/Start/2014/StartLayout">
    <start:DesktopApplicationTile Size="2x2" Column="4" Row="0" DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Excel 2016.lnk" />
    <start:DesktopApplicationTile Size="2x2" Column="2" Row="2" DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\OneNote 2016.lnk" />
    <start:DesktopApplicationTile Size="2x2" Column="0" Row="2" DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\PowerPoint 2016.lnk" />
    <start:DesktopApplicationTile Size="2x2" Column="2" Row="0" DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Word 2016.lnk" />
    <start:DesktopApplicationTile Size="1x1" Column="4" Row="2" DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Skype for Business 2016.lnk" />
    <start:DesktopApplicationTile Size="2x2" Column="0" Row="0" DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Outlook 2016.lnk" />
    <start:DesktopApplicationTile Size="1x1" Column="5" Row="2" DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Publisher 2016.lnk" />
    <start:DesktopApplicationTile Size="1x1" Column="4" Row="3" DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Access 2016.lnk" />
    </start:Group>
    <start:Group Name="Looking for more Software?" xmlns:start="http://schemas.microsoft.com/Start/2014/StartLayout">
    <start:DesktopApplicationTile Size="2x2" Column="0" Row="0" DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Microsoft System Center\Configuration Manager\Software Center.lnk" />
    </start:Group>
    <start:Group Name="Other Applications" xmlns:start="http://schemas.microsoft.com/Start/2014/StartLayout">
    <start:DesktopApplicationTile Size="1x1" Column="4" Row="0" DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Acrobat Reader DC.lnk" />
    <start:DesktopApplicationTile Size="1x1" Column="4" Row="1" DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Movie Maker.lnk" />
    <start:Tile Size="4x2" Column="0" Row="0" AppUserModelID="Microsoft.WindowsStore_8wekyb3d8bbwe!App" />
    <start:Tile Size="2x2" Column="0" Row="2" AppUserModelID="Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe!MicrosoftEdge" />
    <start:DesktopApplicationTile Size="2x2" Column="2" Row="2" DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%APPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Accessories\Internet Explorer.lnk" />
    <start:DesktopApplicationTile Size="2x2" Column="4" Row="2" DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Google Chrome.lnk" />
    </start:Group>
    </defaultlayout:StartLayout>
    </StartLayoutCollection>
    </DefaultLayoutOverride>
    <CustomTaskbarLayoutCollection PinListPlacement="Replace">
    <defaultlayout:TaskbarLayout>
    <taskbar:TaskbarPinList>
    <taskbar:UWA AppUserModelID="Microsoft.WindowsStore_8wekyb3d8bbwe!App" />
    <taskbar:DesktopApp DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%APPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\System Tools\File Explorer.lnk" />
    <taskbar:UWA AppUserModelID="Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe!MicrosoftEdge" />
    <taskbar:DesktopApp DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Internet Explorer.lnk" />
    <taskbar:DesktopApp DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Google Chrome.lnk" />
    <taskbar:DesktopApp DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Outlook 2016.lnk" />
    <taskbar:DesktopApp DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Word 2016.lnk" />
    <taskbar:DesktopApp DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Excel 2016.lnk" />
    <taskbar:DesktopApp DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\PowerPoint 2016.lnk" />
    <taskbar:DesktopApp DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\OneNote 2016.lnk" />
    </taskbar:TaskbarPinList>
    </defaultlayout:TaskbarLayout>
    </CustomTaskbarLayoutCollection>
    </LayoutModificationTemplate>

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  15. Dan Isaksson 1 year ago

    Hi,

    I tried your xml. I dont know if the comment section here destroys the code. The X in the secitons 1x1 is some strange symbol. Also all the " are wrong. When i replaced them i still got an error that stuff wasn´t decleared.

    Try to replace your first

    <LayoutModificationTemplate Version=”1″ xmlns=”http://schemas.microsoft.com/Start/2014/LayoutModification”>

    With

    <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">

    After doing that and also replacing the weird symbols i mentioned Before your startmenu was accepted by the command import-startlayout

    / Dan

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  16. Dave Adams 1 year ago

    Hi Dan,

    Thanks very much for taking a look - I pasted my code into regular Notepad (instead of NotePad++) and I could see all the strange quotation marks, not sure how that happened. Anyway, I replaced those and also any "x"'s (I couldn't quite see what you meant by strange symbols, I couldn't see them).

    I've run the command...
    Import-StartLayout -layoutpath C:\temp\.xml -Mountpath C:\

    I didn't get any erros this time but also absolutely nothing happened. Start Menu and Taskbar look the same as they did before running the command. This is getting incredibly frustrating!

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  17. Author
    Jörgen Nilsson 1 year ago

    Hi,

    Dave did you log on as a new user on that machine which didn't have a profile before?`It will not modify any existing profiles only set the default for all new profiles when you import it using Powershell. If you want to change existing you must use the GPO, Note that the GPO will overwrite the Start Menu settings for the existing users as well as I wrote in the article.

    Regards,
    Jörgen

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  18. Dave Adams 1 year ago

    Hi Jörgen,

    I feel like such an idiot, I knew that and yet completely forgot to test it that way! I've just logged on as a new user and bingo, both the Start Menu and Taskbar are correctly configured! Thank you so much for the article and thankyou to Dan who also helped me out!

    Cheers, Dave.

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  19. Carl Stephens 1 year ago

    I can not remove life at a glance stupid edgeand store    all i want is the taskbar

     

    <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">

    <CustomTaskbarLayoutCollection PinListPlacement="Replace">

    <defaultlayout:TaskbarLayout>

    <taskbar:TaskbarPinList>

    <taskbar:DesktopApp DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%APPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\System Tools\File Explorer.lnk" />

    <taskbar:DesktopApp DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%APPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Accessories\Internet Explorer.lnk" />

    <taskbar:DesktopApp DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%APPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\UIF Applications\Blackbaud CRM -Production.url" />

    <taskbar:DesktopApp DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Outlook 2016.lnk" />

    <taskbar:DesktopApp DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Skype for Business 2016.lnk" />

    <taskbar:DesktopApp DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Word 2016.lnk" />

    <taskbar:DesktopApp DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Excel 2016.lnk" />

    <taskbar:DesktopApp DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\PowerPoint 2016.lnk" />

    </taskbar:TaskbarPinList>

    </defaultlayout:TaskbarLayout>

    </CustomTaskbarLayoutCollection>

    </LayoutModificationTemplate>

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  20. Chris 1 year ago

    Hi does Export-StartLayout in 1607 not also export into the same XML file the taskbar layout? Is there a way to export both the taskbar and start screen layouts using export-startlayout or do we need to do it manually in the XML file?

    1+

  21. PavelJ 1 year ago

    Hi,

    I am experiencing "Start lock" during GPO deployment of StartLayout with Taskbar pinned apps definition.

    Everything seems allright but icones are locked in Start, and users can't add new apps. Taskbar can be customized by users without any problem.

    CODE:

    <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" />
    <DefaultLayoutOverride>
    <StartLayoutCollection>
    <defaultlayout:StartLayout GroupCellWidth="6">
    <start:Group Name="Applikasjoner" xmlns:start="http://schemas.microsoft.com/Start/2014/StartLayout">
    <start:DesktopApplicationTile Size="2x2" Column="0" Row="0" DesktopApplicationID="{7C5A40EF-A0FB-4BFC-874A-C0F2E0B9FA8E}\Microsoft Office\Office16\WINWORD.EXE" />
    .
    .

    <start:DesktopApplicationTile Size="2x2" Column="0" Row="8" DesktopApplicationID="Microsoft.AutoGenerated.{F8210F63-A902-991E-75DE-1928C85F30FC}" />
    </start:Group>
    <start:Group Name="Diverse" xmlns:start="http://schemas.microsoft.com/Start/2014/StartLayout">
    <start:Tile Size="2x2" Column="4" Row="4" AppUserModelID="windows.immersivecontrolpanel_cw5n1h2txyewy!microsoft.windows.immersivecontrolpanel" />
    .
    .
    <start:DesktopApplicationTile Size="2x2" Column="0" Row="6" DesktopApplicationID="::{26EE0668-A00A-44D7-9371-BEB064C98683}\2\::{A8A91A66-3A7D-4424-8D24-04E180695C7A}" />
    </start:Group>
    </defaultlayout:StartLayout>
    </StartLayoutCollection>
    </DefaultLayoutOverride>
    <CustomTaskbarLayoutCollection PinListPlacement="Replace">
    <defaultlayout:TaskbarLayout>
    <taskbar:TaskbarPinList>
    <taskbar:DesktopApp DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%APPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Accessories\Internet Explorer.lnk"/>
    </taskbar:TaskbarPinList>
    </defaultlayout:TaskbarLayout>
    </CustomTaskbarLayoutCollection>
    </LayoutModificationTemplate>

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  22. Author
    Jörgen Nilsson 1 year ago

    Hi,

    For the dynamic part it depends on the LayoutCustomizationRestrictionType=”OnlySpecifiedGroups” for the start menu part, then you can manage some of the Groups and these can be managed dynamically as well using a Group policy. You seem to be missing that and then it will lock the start menu.

    /Jörgen

     

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  23. Roy 1 year ago

    I am experiencing the failure, as well. I tried it on a machine that was upgraded from 1511 to 1607. When I remove the taskbar portion, it goes through fine. Any time I add ANY taskbar entries, it fails to load in powershell. Any ideas?

    0

  24. Ketho 12 months ago

    Try opening the xml file in Chrome to validate it. In my case I forgot to include namespace again for the Taskbar, after I had exported my Start Menu with that powershell command and wanted to add the taskbar stuff.

    xmlns:taskbar="http://schemas.microsoft.com/Start/2014/TaskbarLayout"

    http://i.imgur.com/V8GY2Jj.png

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  25. Ketho 12 months ago

    Why is it that double quotes get converted to curly quotes when posting a comment? 🙁
    All double quotes on this page (if not in code blocks) get converted to curly quotes

    It's the same problem for the "Remove the default pinned apps" section
    <CustomTaskbarLayoutCollection PinListPlacement="Replace">

    0

    • Michael Pietroforte 12 months ago

      WordPress automatically converts straight quotes into curly quotes. I removed this WordPress "feature" now. Thanks for the hint!

      0

  26. Ketho 12 months ago

    Here is my example layout for the Start Menu and Taskbar

    https://gist.github.com/anonymous/59c38552b8f8b14f274ff7ed32725e45
    http://imgur.com/a/ELjJj

    Since I only had Windows Server 2012 instead of 2016, I couldn't set it with a Group Policy and resorted to setting it manually in gpedit.msc

    I also couldn't import it with the mentioned PowerShell command, it just runs and nothing happens. Can anyone explain what I'm doing wrong there?

    https://gfycat.com/ForcefulVictoriousAdmiralbutterfly

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  27. Ketho 12 months ago

    I should have read the previous comments which were explaining that it's only for new profiles, sorry

    1+

    Users who have LIKED this comment:

    • avatar
  28. MdKnightR 12 months ago

    I'm experiencing an odd issue with this.  I'm deploying 1607 Enterprise via SCCM task sequence.  My modifications to the Taskbar are applying as expected, but the Start Menu is not.  I checked C:\Users\Default\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Layoutmodification.xml and it looks just like the one I added to my task sequence, so I know that it's getting copied to the correct location.  Can you think of any reason that the custom Start Menu isn't getting applied to fresh profiles?  Any help is appreciated!

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  29. Author
    Jörgen Nilsson 12 months ago

    Hi,

    Sounds a bit strange, I have seen something similar when there where blank spaces in the end of one of the rows. But I am not sure if it applied the taskbar anyway though. If you like you could send me the .xml file and I can have a look at it.

    Regards,
    Jörgen

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  30. MdKnightR 12 months ago

    After much searching, I found the cause in an obscure blog post.  Apparently, since I had already cleared most of the tiles from the Start Menu on my reference image, it cached the layout at C:\Users\Default\AppData\Local\TileDataLayer.  Once I deleted that on my test machine, I could log in with a fresh profile and the Start Menu would look like I intended it.  To do this during OSD, I added a Run Command Line step toward the end of my task sequence with this in it:

    cmd.exe /c rmdir "C:\Users\Default\AppData\Local\TileDataLayer" /s /q

     

    However, with one problem solved, I've discovered another.  I created a section on Start to pin Help Desk Support shortcuts.  Here is what they look like in XML -

    <start:Group Name="Help Desk Support" xmlns:start="http://schemas.microsoft.com/Start/2014/StartLayout">

    <start:SecondaryTile AppUserModelID="windows.immersivecontrolpanel_cw5n1h2txyewy!microsoft.windows.immersivecontrolpanel" TileID="SystemSettings_L2_SettingsPagePCSystemInfo" DisplayName="About" Size="2x2" Column="4" Row="0" Arguments="page=SettingsPagePCSystemInfo" Square150x150LogoUri="ms-appdata:///local/SettingsTiles/System.png" Wide310x150LogoUri="ms-appdata:///local/SettingsTiles/wide.System.png" ShowNameOnSquare150x150Logo="true" ShowNameOnWide310x150Logo="true" BackgroundColor="#00000000" />

    <start:DesktopApplicationTile Size="2x2" Column="0" Row="0" DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\HelpDesk Online.url" />

    <start:DesktopApplicationTile Size="2x2" Column="2" Row="0" DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Email Us.url" />

    </start:Group>

    The first url is a link to the web interface and the other is a mailto link....both of which are completely absent when deployed to my test machine, even though I placed both shortcuts into C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs directory.  However, both are showing up in the All Apps list and can be clicked on there.

    Also, the SecondaryTile for "About" is present, but it is invisible with only text showing, and works when clicked on.  Kinda odd.

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  31. Deploy.EDU 11 months ago

    MdKnightR,

     

    I am having the same issue trying to pin .URL to start. I created %ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\MyLink.url and it is displayed in "All Apps" and I can right click and "pin to start" but it will not pin using LayoutModification.xml.

     

    I have been through https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/hardware/mt171092(v=vs.85).aspx a hundred times and can still find no answers.

     

    Any thoughts?

    0

  32. Everett 10 months ago

    XML works, but the store and Edge icons are still showing up. Anyone find a resolve for this yet?

    0

    • Everett 10 months ago

      Figured out my issue. Did not specify to replace on the "PinLIstPlacement"

      0

  33. Pontus Wendt 10 months ago

    Hello!

    We have done your best practice with the Start Menu, but when a user have roaming profile the start menu follows "the profile" so its still alot of wholes in startmenu, when we wipe the profile, its works..., anyway to get around this? 🙂

    0

    • Author
      Jörgen Nilsson 9 months ago

      Hi,

      No roamin profiles causes that behavoiur, the application must be installed 🙁

      Regards,
      Jörgen

      0

  34. Ethan 9 months ago

    I'm trying this on v1607, I created an xml for both start and taskbar. This is being deployed sccm via powershell command to import the xml. Everything looks good on the Start and Taskbar except it seems like when you delete a shortcut on the taskbar, the next time you re-login. It gets overwritten and the shortcut returns. Anyone to allow this? The Start menu seems fine though.

    I prefer not to use the GPO way since that locks the start entirely. and the partial lockdown on GPO is not going to work.

    Just want to customize the taskbar so there is a default set of shortcuts but allow all users to change the order or modify it, is that not possible?

    0

  35. dj 8 months ago

    Hello Nilsson,

    Good post!

    I dont know where i am going wrong

    When I try to import getting error xml is not valid layout file

    Thanks in Advance

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  36. Jae 7 months ago

    I am also getting the 'invalid' error message, even when I copy your Taskbar xml and paste it into notepad. Start menu alone works fine, but not combined or taskbar alone. Tried this on 1607 w/ updates and 1703. Are we sure an update didn't disable this?

    0

  37. Nathan 7 months ago

    I'm also getting the invalid XML error when importing with powershell. While using group policy, my file successfully removes all live tiles and collapses that section down to only show the All programs list (as I intended), and removes all icons but File Explorer on the task bar. However, it will not add icons for IE, Outlook, Chrome, or This PC. Any help available would be appreciated.

    0

  38. Matt Gailer 7 months ago

    I've had this working no problems, except I've found that Internet Explorer does not pin in the order I specify in the XML - it's pinning as the last application in the list. I'm pointing it to a custom Internet Explorer shortcut (the same shortcut I use for the Start Menu that works OK). Just doesn't want to pin first in the list where I place it.

    Anyone else seen this?

    0

  39. Wes 7 months ago

    Same as Nathan.  Did something break recently with this?  Using the taskbar only xml from Microsoft's own doc at https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/configuration/configure-windows-10-taskbar

    and IE and file explorer come back but Outlook does not add.  This is on Windows Server 2016

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  40. Christian 6 months ago

    Hi Jörgen

    Do you know if the start menu partial lockdown is broken in 1703?

    If I apply a custom partial start menu with GPO, everything works fine until you try to log on the computer offline. Any customization made in the "free" area and the partial lock is gone. Get back on the network and logout - login and the partial lock is back but all customization made by the user is gone.

    Know if this is a "known issue"? Know if there is any fix for it?

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  41. Manuel 6 months ago

    Hi Christian

    I have the same problem as you.

    With the Build 1703 and a deployed partial start menu with GPO the startmenu is offline not available. It shows a default layout with the crappy windows apps...

    Did you find a solution?

    0

  42. Tobias 6 months ago

    same issue for me aswell in another environment and swedish UIlanguage. So there is probably this an other reasons to hold on with 1703 broad deployment in my view.

    0

  43. Author
    Jörgen Nilsson 6 months ago

    I have seen it to, testing to copy the .xml file locally and then use the GPO to point at it there instead. will update after testing.

    /Jörgen

    0

  44. Manuel 6 months ago

    Hi Jörgen

    You're my hero for today 🙂
    I made a new Startlayout with a 1703-Build (there are some changes in the schema of the xml) and then i copied it with GPO local to the client and point the GPO to take this XML for the startmenu.

    And yes, with this method the startlayout is offline also available!

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  45. Joe 6 months ago

    Hi Jorgen

    Why the Edge always come back when the user first time login ? We are using GPO implement this approach and IE can be added into Taskbar no problem. I already have "Replace" in the .xml.

    Thanks

    0

  46. Sebastien Dechene 5 months ago

    Hello I have Windows 10 1703 and I have my Template all apps is appearing in menu on my client, but the pin local folder (Tools) or network folder (APPS) do not appear. What is the reason?

    <LayoutModificationTemplate xmlns:defaultlayout="http://schemas.microsoft.com/Start/2014/FullDefaultLayout" xmlns:start="http://schemas.microsoft.com/Start/2014/StartLayout" Version="1" xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/Start/2014/LayoutModification">
    <LayoutOptions StartTileGroupCellWidth="6" />
    <DefaultLayoutOverride>
    <StartLayoutCollection>
    <defaultlayout:StartLayout GroupCellWidth="6">
    <start:Group Name="">
    <start:DesktopApplicationTile Size="2x2" Column="0" Row="0" DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\PowerPoint 2016.lnk" />
    <start:DesktopApplicationTile Size="2x2" Column="2" Row="0" DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Publisher 2016.lnk" />
    <start:DesktopApplicationTile Size="2x2" Column="4" Row="0" DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Excel 2016.lnk" />
    <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="2" DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\OneNote 2016.lnk" />
    <start:DesktopApplicationTile Size="2x2" Column="4" Row="2" DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Word 2016.lnk" />
    </start:Group>
    <start:Group Name="Lire">
    <start:Tile Size="2x2" Column="1" Row="0" AppUserModelID="Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe!MicrosoftEdge" />
    <start:Tile Size="2x2" Column="3" Row="0" AppUserModelID="Microsoft.ZuneVideo_8wekyb3d8bbwe!Microsoft.ZuneVideo" />
    </start:Group>
    <start:Group Name="">
    <start:Tile Size="2x2" Column="1" Row="0" AppUserModelID="Microsoft.WindowsCamera_8wekyb3d8bbwe!App" />
    <start:Tile Size="2x2" Column="3" Row="0" AppUserModelID="Microsoft.WindowsCalculator_8wekyb3d8bbwe!App" />
    </start:Group>
    <start:Group Name="">
    <start:DesktopApplicationTile Size="2x2" Column="0" Row="0" DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%APPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\APPS.lnk" />
    <start:DesktopApplicationTile Size="2x2" Column="2" Row="0" DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%APPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Tools.lnk" />
    </start:Group>
    </defaultlayout:StartLayout>
    </StartLayoutCollection>
    </DefaultLayoutOverride>
    </LayoutModificationTemplate>

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  47. jaimie duncan perry 3 months ago

    We are running Windows 10 enterprise and a few users are having issues deleting icons such as Internet Explorer from the taskbar. There seem to be a few fixes around on the internet, we've tried all of them to no avail. What we have tried so far is:
    - deleting

    "%AppData%\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\User Pinned\TaskBar\*"

    HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Taskband /F

    - checking all GPOs

    We can delete/unpin the icons, but they return. At this moment in time it only seems to be Internet Explorer, I'm not sure about other icons.

    0

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