Customizing your Organization's Windows 10 Start Menu Layout

System admins, using either PowerShell or Group Policy, can establish a custom Start Menu for their users that can be set-up during the deployment of Windows 10.

Richard Hay, Senior Content Producer

March 9, 2016

2 Min Read
Customizing your Organization's Windows 10 Start Menu Layout

Since Windows 8.1, and now on Windows 10, organizations have had the ability to determine exactly how the Start Menu would appear on each of their managed desktops.

Under Windows 8.1 and the initial release of Windows 10 last July there were two choices when it came to these layouts.

The first was to have a locked down layout that could not be modified by users and the second one was to allow the user to customize the layout which would include removing anything the organization had placed there in the deployment.

Talk about two extreme ends of the spectrum.

Well with the release of Windows 10 Version 1511, which is also now the Current Branch for Business (CBB) of Windows 10 for the enterprise, those two options have had an element of common sense applied.

This change allows you to have the best of the initial two options by allowing a customized layout that can have entire groups of Live Tiles locked down to the end user but allows them to customize other areas of the Start Menu.

Over on Microsoft's Deployment Guys blog they provide all of the details that will get you started deploying your customized Windows 10 Start Menu broken down into these areas:

  • Exporting a Start layout

  • Applying a Start layout

  • Updating a Start layout

  • Partially locking down groups in the Start layout

The instructions are available for using both PowerShell and Group Policy to establish your custom Start Menu.

Updated to reflect that Version 1511 is Current Branch for Business (CBB) vice Long Term Servicing Branch (LTSB).

But, wait...there's probably more so be sure to follow me on Twitter and Google+.


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About the Author(s)

Richard Hay

Senior Content Producer, IT Pro Today (Informa Tech)

I served for 29 plus years in the U.S. Navy and retired as a Master Chief Petty Officer in November 2011. My work background in the Navy was telecommunications related so my hobby of computers fit well with what I did for the Navy. I consider myself a tech geek and enjoy most things in that arena.

My first website – – came online in 1995. Back then I used GeoCities Web Hosting for it and is the result of the work I have done on that site since 1995.

In January 2010 my community contributions were recognized by Microsoft when I received my first Most Valuable Professional (MVP) Award for the Windows Operating System. Since then I have been renewed as a Microsoft MVP each subsequent year since that initial award. I am also a member of the inaugural group of Windows Insider MVPs which began in 2016.

I previously hosted the Observed Tech PODCAST for 10 years and 317 episodes and now host a new podcast called Faith, Tech, and Space. 

I began contributing to Penton Technology websites in January 2015 and in April 2017 I was hired as the Senior Content Producer for Penton Technology which is now Informa Tech. In that role, I contribute to ITPro Today and cover operating systems, enterprise technology, and productivity.

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