16 comments on “Customizing the Windows 10 Start Menu for Enterprises

  1. Winding up to a deployment of Windows 10 in an enterprise environment, and this was excellent information to have in advance. Thanks for the work putting this together.


  2. The below was sent to me via e-mail, and I wanted to pass it along in case anyone wants to test it out. I haven’t had a chance to do so but will update this post if / when I do.

    Pinning a path across users: explorer.exe /e, “c:\the\path”

    Also, have you tried restarting explorer.exe to rebuild the app menu database after the machine is already booted?

    Finally, you can create pinned shortcuts on a per-user basis through:
    %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\User Pinned\TaskBar %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\User Pinned\StartMenu


  3. Hey I found the culprit behind all these errors! The thing is that, for the tiles to be added or removed, the tile shortcuts must first be added or removed from the “All Apps” database view of each of the target users, before exporting the layout to xml and applying it for the update.

    What one has to do is add or remove all “.lnk” shortcuts (set as tiles on the start screen) to or from “All users\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs” folder of the target computer. This makes the required shortcuts available to each of the target users on that target computer.

    Then one is required to login to each target user, one by one, for whom the start screen is applied and open the “All Apps” view of each one. Wait until all the newly added or removed “.lnk” shortcuts show up on or disappear from “All Apps” database view for each target user. This can be done for updating a previously existing Start layout for all these users also.

    Then login to any profile from which you wish to arrange and customize the Start layout and export it as xml. When the xml Start Layout GPO is applied, all the shortcuts that are present in the “All Apps” database view of the target users are going to show up flawlessly in the applied Start layout for those users.

    And no, there is no need to get this right the first time, or to delete any profile if anything went wrong. Any missing tiles in any of the profiles can be obtained back by repeating the above steps, and then exporting the layout, just once, for every update of the Start layout for all the users, and then logging in to the target profiles.

    Thanks to the instructions from the admins on this site I stumbled upon the answer accidentally while trying to fix my system. Cheers! 🙂


    • Thanks for the comment and I’m glad you found this information helpful.

      The key difference between how you seem to be approaching things and the way we do here is we are not (and cannot) log on as each target user. We have hundreds of people using each computer so this is simply impossible, and honestly it should not be necessary if the shortcuts are present in the proper locations.


  4. Hi James,

    I am trying to link a vbsscript in my start menu. I created a shortcut in C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs, but unfortunately this is the only link that doesn’t appear in the start menu. You explained that you wrote a short C# app that opened a path. Is this also possible for a vbsscript?


    • I am somewhat surprised you’re having an issue with this particular scenario. Presumably you’re calling cscript.exe and passing the script itself as a parameter. I ran into issues when the application being called wasn’t present on the target machine when the profile was generated. Since cscript itself is part of a base Windows install I wouldn’t expect that to pose a problem.

      You said you created a shortcut. What does the shortcut point to?

      You might want to try linking to a shortcut calling a batch file that runs cscript as an alternative.


        • Unfortunately this doesn’t work either. I now have created a link in C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs that points to a batch file that is located in C:\Program Files\shortcut. But still it doesn’t appear in the start menu.


  5. Eventually I solved my problem by creating a .exe of the batch script that will call my vbs script on the server. Now the shotcut in C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs that points to the created .exe works fine in my start menu. I used Iexpress.exe to wrap my batch file into an .exe file.


  6. First of all full marks for researching this. I know this post is a little bit dated but I did find something else that might address this too. It is not my idea, I found it on another post, I had to modify it a little for my environment, and haven’t fully tested it yet, but initial trials seem promising.

    The other link recommended going to HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\currentversion\explorer and adding the following DWORD “SpeicialRoamingOverrideAllowed” with a decimal value of 1.

    This didnt work for me but adding the same regkey to HKLM\Software\Microsoft\windows\currentversion\explorer

    The above is supposed to address this when your are using a redirected start menu in WIN10 AND a roaming profile, (which we have to to support some legacy applications). My environment is non persistent Citrix VDI and is similar to the School, requirements Mr. Prudente talked about


    • Very interesting. We’re not using a roaming profile but we are redirecting the user’s document folder, so perhaps the same issue comes into play. It’s crazy how there are all these little quirks we as admin have to work around. Thanks for the feedback.


      • Windows 10 is “raw sewage theater”, I am POSITIVE that MS is trying to abandon its traditional enterprise management pieces and force everyone to run cloud based. The world had a good, working, understood, business class OS, and now they’re turning it into a chromebook.

        In this particular case I THINK what is happening is in order to fake everyone out and make Win10 look like its loading faster, its loading an incomplete desktop and expecting it to catch up. Sometimes it does, but when it doesn’t it doesn’t.


        • Can’t argue with a thing you’re saying. Case in point, I am trying to buy some WIn 10 licenses to use with a VMWare VDI setup. MS can’t figure out how to sell them to me. All I get is “use Azure.” That’s not what I’m asking!


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