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Following this tutorial, I used the following command to create a layout XML document of my Windows 10 Start Menu in PowerShell:

Export-StartLayout -Path "C:\Users\$Env:USERNAME\Layout.xml"

Here is my Layout.xml:

<LayoutModificationTemplate xmlns:defaultlayout="http://schemas.microsoft.com/Start/2014/FullDefaultLayout" xmlns:start="http://schemas.microsoft.com/Start/2014/StartLayout" Version="1" xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/Start/2014/LayoutModification">
  <LayoutOptions StartTileGroupCellWidth="6" />
  <DefaultLayoutOverride>
    <StartLayoutCollection>
      <defaultlayout:StartLayout GroupCellWidth="6">
        <start:Group Name="Default">
          <start:DesktopApplicationTile Size="2x2" Column="4" Row="4" DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\MySQL\MySQL Workbench 6.3 CE.lnk" />
          <start:DesktopApplicationTile Size="2x2" Column="2" Row="0" DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%APPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\System Tools\Command Prompt.lnk" />
          <start:DesktopApplicationTile Size="1x1" Column="0" Row="3" DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%APPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Control Panel.lnk" />
          <start:DesktopApplicationTile Size="2x2" Column="4" Row="2" DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Eclipse Neon.lnk" />
          <start:DesktopApplicationTile Size="2x2" Column="4" Row="6" DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Git\Git GUI.lnk" />
          <start:DesktopApplicationTile Size="2x2" Column="2" Row="6" DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Windows Media Player.lnk" />
          <start:DesktopApplicationTile Size="2x2" Column="2" Row="2" DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\System Tools\Task Manager.lnk" />
          <start:DesktopApplicationTile Size="1x1" Column="0" Row="0" DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%APPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Documents.lnk" />
          <start:DesktopApplicationTile Size="2x2" Column="2" Row="4" DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Mozilla Firefox.lnk" />
          <start:DesktopApplicationTile Size="2x2" Column="4" Row="0" DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Microsoft Visual Studio 2010\Microsoft Visual Studio 2010.lnk" />
          <start:DesktopApplicationTile Size="1x1" Column="0" Row="1" DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%APPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Pictures.lnk" />
          <start:DesktopApplicationTile Size="1x1" Column="1" Row="2" DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%APPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Downloads.lnk" />
          <start:DesktopApplicationTile Size="1x1" Column="1" Row="0" DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%APPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Music.lnk" />
          <start:DesktopApplicationTile Size="1x1" Column="1" Row="1" DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%APPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Videos.lnk" />
          <start:DesktopApplicationTile Size="1x1" Column="0" Row="2" DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%APPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\AppData.lnk" />
          <start:DesktopApplicationTile Size="1x1" Column="1" Row="3" DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%APPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Administrative Tools.lnk" />
        </start:Group>
      </defaultlayout:StartLayout>
    </StartLayoutCollection>
  </DefaultLayoutOverride>
</LayoutModificationTemplate>

For this layout:

my layout

When I go into User configuration > Administrative templates > Start menu and Taskbar, set the path to my Layout.xml:

Start Layout - Local Group Policy Editor

I log out and log back in, it removes all of my local user's links. Everything located in %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs is removed from the Windows 10 start menu:

icons removed

How do I import my Start Menu items without Windows 10 excluding all of my local AppData links? There's another user account on this computer, so I can't try a hacky solution like moving all of the links into %ALLUSERSPROFILE% and trying it from there.

  • Personally I love close votes without an explanatory comment. – NobleUplift Oct 22 '17 at 22:31
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    Thorough post. I'm unable to replicate the problem as you describe it. My %AppData% entries stay on my Start Menu after enabling Start Layout. I stored my .xml file on the desktop of the user (a local admin) I was testing this with, not sure if that matters. What's the path to your xml file? Try updating the %AppData% paths in the .xml to the fully qualified path (C:\users\NobleUplift\AppData\Roaming\foo.lnk). Otherwise, I might try moving the %AppData% entries to a group other than Default. They're also the only entries you have at size 1x1 (small). Try bumping them to 2x2 (medium). – root Oct 23 '17 at 13:23
  • Thanks for the reply. My Start Layout path was C:\Users\NobleUplift\AppData\Roaming\StartMenuLayout.xml. I also tried the fully-qualified path last night and that didn't seem to make a difference. Trying a different group/different sizes is a good idea. I spent a lot of time finally getting my Start Menu back the way I wanted it to be, so I'll probably use my other user account to test it. – NobleUplift Oct 23 '17 at 15:22
  • 1
    I tried putting my .xml in Roaming but the problem did not occur. You should see something in Event Logs -> System if items are being rejected. – root Oct 23 '17 at 20:05

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