What we used to call Start Menu in the earlier versions of Windows, Microsoft seems to have started to call it just the Start. This is perhaps because the new Start does not look like its ancestors and gives you access to launch the newer full screen apps as well as tradition programs. Basically, the Start layout in Windows 10 contains some of the recently used programs and apps. As you use your Windows PC and install new apps, this Start layout may change and look a little different. If you do not want anyone on a Windows 10 PC, whether standalone or connected to a network, to change the Start layout then you can fix it through group policy settings. This way you can fix the Start layout to stay the same irrespective of the user activities.
Here is how you can set Start layout in the Windows 10 group policy:
- Press Windows logo key to open Start and type “powershell” to look for Power Shell. Click/touch on Powershell in the search results to open Powershell.
- In the Powershell type Export-StartLayout -Path “E:\StartLayout.XML” to export the current Start layout to a file E:\StartLayout.XML. Of course, you can export Start layout to any other file you please.
- Press Windows logo key+R, type gpedit.msc and press Enter to open Group Policy editor.
- In the Group Policy Editor, navigate to Computer Configuration → Administrative Templates → Start Menu and Taskbar.
- Double-click on Start Layout in the right side panel. Select Enabled and type in the full path name of the Start layout file that we saved in the step 2 above.
- Click on the OK button to save the settings.
From now on, all the users on the Windows 10 PC will see the same Start layout as you had saved earlier in form of an XML file. This can be used to enforce the same Start look for all the users on one or more Windows computers.