I'm pushing a generic, Win10 Enterprise v1709 WIM via SCCM OSD, except for one problem.

When a user logs in, they get all the consumer apps on the start menu (which I don't want).

If I add a line:

REG ADD "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\CloudContent" /v DisableWindowsConsumerFeatures /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f

to the customization script that runs in one step of the Task Sequence (and sets a number of other things), then they don't get the apps, but they do get a bunch of "broken" tiles. The Start Menu looks like this: Tiles with "P~Microsoft..."

Everything I have read says that registry key should work and the Start Menu should be mostly empty space with Edge and maybe one or two other default tiles. What am I doing wrong?

  • "Everything I have read says..." If you don't mind me asking, what are your sources? We are always glad to help, but a question of this nature might be more appropriate within the Server Fault community. – Run5k Jun 25 '18 at 21:02
  • If you search for "how to remove consumer applications" or "DisableWindowsConsumerFeatures" there are lots of blog posts and various question/answer sites that point to setting that registry key. I can try on Server Fault, but this was my first stop figuring this might be familiar to super users. – Teknowledgist Jun 25 '18 at 21:13
  • Totally understandable, but there is a lot more domain-level expertise within the Server Fault realm. That being said, have you considered utilizing the LTSC version of Windows 10 Enterprise? It essentially eliminates almost everything from the Start Menu. – Run5k Jun 25 '18 at 21:16
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    @Teknowledgist - So what did you read exactly? Most Windows 10 users don't understand not only are there restrictions on some of the group policies based on the edition of Windows (Enterprise, Home, Professional, Enterprise LTSB) there are restrictions based on the version (1703,1709,1803). So when whatever you read was written is vital information. In fact, most authors of these technical articles, don't realize those restrictions either. – Ramhound Jun 26 '18 at 12:24
  • @Ramhound - I agree that it is a royal mess out there with regards to which tweaks work with which release and edition. However, the DisableWindowsConsumerFeatures setting has been pretty consistent for Enterprise since the 1511 release. And it does work. Those apps aren't installed when I use it, but there are still broken tiles where the apps would have been. – Teknowledgist Jun 26 '18 at 12:40

TLDR: The "erroneous", "defaultuser0" account/profile is necessary - don't delete it!

I figured out the problem and thought somebody might find it helpful in the future... the "defaultuser0" account is needed!

On other systems (and a different imaging process entirely -- Ghost), I have noticed a defaultuser0 account (in the Admin group!) and profile when I was logged in and installing custom software. As is described in many other places, this account is some kind of bug/error and it should be (and has been) safely delete-able. I've never seen any issues with deleting it.

Apparently, in some situations, deleting it does cause a problem.

Because that defaultuser0 account is apparently reasonably prevalent, one of the last steps in my process ("Task Sequence") that installs a default Windows 10 1709 Enterprise and some software and configures default settings was to delete the "defaultuser0" account and profile if they exist. As soon as I commented out the lines:

net user defaultuser0 /DELETE
Del /F /S /Q %SystemDrive%\Users\defaultuser0

of the completion script that runs just before the final reboot, all the Start menu items went away and I got a start menu with only the Edge, OneNote and Photos tiles as I had expected all along. In addition to fixing the Start Menu, a few other unusual behaviors (e.g. first user to log in must do so twice) that I was going to track down later went away.

Hope this helps someone.

  • "this defaultuser0 account is some kind of bug/error and it should be (and has been) safely delete-able." Good find! For future reference, almost all of the references I have seen emphasize that the %SystemDrive%\Users\defaultuser0 profile folder was safe to delete, because it's a bit of a distraction seeing it with the "real" user folders. However, the account should be left alone. – Run5k Jun 30 '18 at 11:54

When a user logs in, they get all the consumer apps on the start menu (which I don't want).

I might be a bit late to post, but the following will achieve a blank Start Menu.

Using a LayoutModification.xml at Installation Time will allow for Start Menu modification. This must be done prior to First Log In - and can be done at OOBE to boot in to Audit Mode (CTRL+SHIFT+F3): OOBE First Power On Screenshot

When in Windows Audit Mode, customise the Start Menu, and once complete, use an Elevated PowerShell command, and then reboot back to OOBE:

Export-StartLayout -Path C:\Users\Default\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\LayoutModification.xml

For an empty Start Menu Layout, copy the code below and create a XML document "LayoutModification.xml" in the following directory:

  • C:\Users\Default\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Shell

NOTE: The reason why the comment about naming and path is in the middle of the document and not at the start of the file, is because some parse applications used throughout Microsofts releases for ADK have had issues in the past when the first line for an xml is not the schema, as well as encoding Unicode, ASCII/ANSI, and with or without BOM

<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" />
      <defaultlayout:StartLayout GroupCellWidth="6">
<!--    THIS FILE SHOULD BE NAMED "LayoutModification.xml" and placed in the following Directory: C:\Users\Default\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\   -->
        <start:Group Name="Productivity">
          <start:Tile Size="2x2" Column="0" Row="0" AppUserModelID="Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe!MicrosoftEdge" />

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