On a shared PC, that is being used by many users either in your home or an office, the usual complaint is that someone changed the settings – the desktop background, the browser settings, the Start Menu layout or something else that can be customized in a Windows PC. And then the IT guys have to spend a lot of their time in fixing these small settings back. As far as the Start Menu is concerned, you can easily freeze it to a custom Start Menu layout using a simple Windows policy setting. Here is how:
- First of all manually customize the Start Menu of a PC to your desired look and feel. Once this is done, we can save the layout of the Start Menu and force it to use the same layout from now on.
- Press the hotkey Win+R, type powershell and press Enter. This will start the PowerShell CLI window.
- In the powershell window give the command : Export-StartLayout -path D:\Start\StartMenu.XML. Of course, you can change the path and filename of the XML file. This is the Start Menu layout file.
- Press the hotkey Win+R, type regedit and press Enter to open the Windows Registry Editor.
- In the Registry Editor, open HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer.
- Right-click on the right-side pane, choose New → Dword (32-bit) Value to create a new DWORD value. Give this value a name LockedStartLayout and set its value to 1.
- Once again, right-click on the right-side pane, choose New → Expandable String Value to create a new expandable string value. Give this value a name StartLayoutFile and set its value to the full path of the Start Menu XML layout file.
- That’s it, you are all set. From now on, nobody can change the Start Menu layout in your PC unless the policy settings are altered by a system administrator.