We're currently rolling out Windows 10, and trying to configure GPOs for ease of use for student accounts. As part of that, we're looking at forcing users to save to their Home Folders (H: drives).

We're able to remove the Libraries, Quick Access and the Documents folders from under This PC. They've been removed as Folder Redirection has caused issues in the past with Adobe CC.

The last part we'd like to configure is the "Choose which folders appear on Start" area, on the left hand side. We'd like to have only File Explorer, Settings and Personal Folder, but I can't find which GPO or registry key to configure to set it. We already set the tiles and program list via GPO.

Additionally, we would want to configure where Personal Folder goes. It currently goes to C:\Users[username] - redirecting to H:\ would be preferred.

Student accounts are set up with a mandatory profile, so changing the settings on that is also an option.

Many thanks.

  • Just don't give them write permissions in any other folder, which is probably already the case? – harrymc Sep 17 '18 at 11:44
  • When they log in with their domain accounts, it automatically creates a C:\Users[Username]\ folder, which is deleted on log-off. Unfortunately we can't set it as read-only, as some software seems to be hardcoded to use that location, and folders within in (Documents, AppData), to keep temporary files. – TBFC Sep 17 '18 at 11:53
  • I meant make other folders read-only. – harrymc Sep 17 '18 at 11:54
  • All the policies we can set are in the path:Computer Configurations/User configurations -> Policies-> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components-> File Explorer, if there is no such policies, it could be difficult to meet your requirements directly. – OOOO Sep 18 '18 at 2:53

There is no such policy that will configure Start at once, moreover, it's not possible. First, you need to remove unwanted items from %ProgramData%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs. This refers only to the Win32 desktop apps.

Secondly, you need to uninstall and de-provision ModernApps (like Xbox, etc.) that are installed in the system. There is no way to remove them from the menu like .lnk file. They are added automatically to the Start menu if they are registered in the system. You can remove them using Powershell (run elevated Powershell window): e.g. For delete Maps you can use:

Get-AppxPackage *windowsmaps* -Allusers | Remove-AppxPackage

To remove provisioned WindowsApps from user accounts:

Remove-AppXProvisionedPackage -Online -PackageName <PackageName>

Read more here and there.

Finally, you can configure tiles in the Start menu to display only required items. Here you can use one of 2 options:

  1. GPO to push required Start layout
  2. Local xml file and registry setting to force apply the same file
  3. Import XML file for Start layout into the default profile.

The first two do not allow to modify layout items, while the last one applies the default layout to the user profile allowing him to change it.

To prepare XL file you need to use Powershell:

Export-StartLayout –path <path><file name>.xml

All three options are well described in Microsoft Docs.

  • As mentioned in the question, we've already configured the program list and the tiles. My question is specifically about the options to the left of the Start Menu, over the Power button (Settings, Documents, Personal Folder etc..), which you can configure manually by right clicking and choosing "Personalise this list". – TBFC Sep 20 '18 at 7:16

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