Customize Windows 8.1 Start Screens by Using Group Policy

The Export-StartLayout cmdlet exports the layout of the Start screen of the current user. You can export layout as an .xml file to verify the layout, or you can export layout as a .bin file to modify the layout of an existing Windows image. Specify the appropriate file name extension, .bin or .xml, in the name of the file. To modify the layout of a Windows image, export the layout as a .bin file, and then import it into a Windows image by using the Import-StartLayout cmdlet.

1. Sign in to your test computer with the administrator account.

2. Customize the Start screen as you want users to see.

3. From the Start screen, open Windows PowerShell as Administrator. At the Windows PowerShell command prompt, enter the following command:

export-startlayout –path <path><file name>.xml

– The path is a required parameter that specifies the path and file name for the export file. You can specify a local path (for example, FileServerStorageGPOStartLayoutOffice01.xml).

Configure Start Screen Layout policy settings in Local Group Policy Editor

1. On the test computer, open Local Group Policy Editor. To do this, open a command prompt from the Start screen, and type gpedit.

2. To display the Start Menu and Taskbar administrative template, in the console tree, under User Configuration, expand Administrative Templates, and then click Start Menu and Taskbar.

3. Right-click Start Screen Layout in the right pane, and click Edit.

To enable the customized Start screen layout on the computer, enter the following settings, and then click OK:

  1. Select the Enabled option.
  2. Under Options, specify the path to the .xml file that contains the Start screen layout. For example, typeC:UsersSalesStartLayoutOffice01.xml.
  3. Optionally, enter a comment to identify the Start screen layout.

Watch on my Channel step by step  Start Screens by Using Group Policy

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