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ZileXa

Windows 10 Start menu layout export/backup/import

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What is the deal with the Windows 10 Start Menu?
All online guides explain you can export and import it by backing up some files, but these files do not exist anymore in the final version of Windows 10.

 

I figured out a way to actually export the whole Start Menu layout by using this Powershell command:

Open Powershell with admin rights (or click WIN+X, select "Command Prompt (Admin)", type powershell and hit enter):

Export-StartLayout -Path C:\StartLayout.XML

This works, the XML file actually contains the layout. But I do not know how to import it to an existing Win10 machine.

This is the documentation from Microsoft:

 

https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/hardware/mt171092%28v=vs.85%29.aspx

 

But this only works by importing the XML file into a Windows Image. Since most people simply install Windows via the free upgrade, I need a way to import it on an exisiting Win 10 installation. Any ideas?

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But have you tried in Windows 10 if the Import-StartLayout:

https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn283403(v=wps.630).aspx

 

actually works on the running windows?

:unsure:

(it did in previous versions):

http://stealthpuppy.com/customizing-the-windows-8-1-start-screen-dont-follow-microsofts-guidance/

POWERSHELL -NonInteractive -Command Import-StartLayout -LayoutPath .\CustomStartScreenLayout.bin -MountPath %SystemDrive%\

jaclaz

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I tried several ways, it complains about %systemdrive%. If I simply use C:\ it does not throw an error. But the layout is not applied to my start menu,  also not after a reboot. And I also tried exporting to xml instead of bin and importing xml, no difference.

PS C:\> POWERSHELL -NonInteractive -Command Import-StartLayout -LayoutPath "C:\Users\zilex\Desktop\start.bin" -MountPath %SystemDrive%\Import-StartLayout : Cannot find path 'C:\%SystemDrive%\' because it does not exist.At line:1 char:1+ Import-StartLayout -LayoutPath C:\Users\zilex\Desktop\start.bin -Moun ...+ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~    + CategoryInfo          : ObjectNotFound: (C:\%SystemDrive%\:String) [Import-StartLayout], ItemNotFoundException    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : PathNotFound,Microsoft.Windows.StartLayout.Commands.ImportStartLayoutCommandPS C:\> POWERSHELL -NonInteractive -Command Import-StartLayout -LayoutPath "C:\Users\zilex\Desktop\start.bin" -MountPath %SystemDrive%Import-StartLayout : Cannot find path 'C:\%SystemDrive%' because it does not exist.At line:1 char:1+ Import-StartLayout -LayoutPath C:\Users\zilex\Desktop\start.bin -Moun ...+ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~    + CategoryInfo          : ObjectNotFound: (C:\%SystemDrive%:String) [Import-StartLayout], ItemNotFoundException    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : PathNotFound,Microsoft.Windows.StartLayout.Commands.ImportStartLayoutCommandPS C:\> POWERSHELL -NonInteractive -Command Import-StartLayout -LayoutPath "C:\Users\zilex\Desktop\start.bin" -MountPath C:\PS C:\>
Edited by ZileXa

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Well, it seems like %systemdrive% is not resolved correctly, in case:

http://forums.iis.net/t/1180288.aspx?Powershell+environment+variables+issue

http://blogs.microsoft.co.il/scriptfanatic/2011/01/02/expanding-strings-and-environment-variables-in-powershell/

but it should anyway throw an error as well if the "C:\" doesn't work :unsure: of course it could be one of the n (stupid BTW) changes in Windows 10, after all it was undocumented for 8/8.1.

Maybe it is only a "permission" (like UAC or similar) issue or maybe they removed the possibility altogether.

 

I would however also try having the .bin or .xml on another drive (just in case there is some "conflict" when having same source and destination drive)

 

jaclaz

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Actually, according to the stealthpuppy-link you posted, ImportLayout only imports it into the Default user profile. And I checked, indeed a new file has been added in that profile! So C:\ probably did work!

C:\Users\Default\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\LayoutModification.xml

 

The only question now is, how to get this applied for an existing user account..

Edited by ZileXa

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I see :), that will probably apply only to a newly created user profile. :(

 

jaclaz

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i has tried and tired for importing start menu layout

but the only think it can work is 

https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/hardware/mt171092(v=vs.85).aspx

Goto Use classic Windows deployment

this will work but you need to keep all .lnk files in wim file itself

still i had not tested the thing did it works on the .lnk files if the original target of that file is not present

(i.e., i will install softwares later after setting the start layout by creating .lnk files on a customized place)

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i has tried and tired for importing start menu layout

but the only think it can work is 

https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/hardware/mt171092(v=vs.85).aspx

Goto Use classic Windows deployment

this will work but you need to keep all .lnk files in wim file itself

still i had not tested the thing did it works on the .lnk files if the original target of that file is not present

(i.e., i will install softwares later after setting the start layout by creating .lnk files on a customized place)

 

Again, that is *ONLY* for creating your own customized Windows Setup. My question/this topic is about applying a W10 Start Menu for existing users.

 

Non-business laptops/computers will be upgraded to W10 for free by consumers. It does not make sense to create my own Win Setup, since I will never be able to use it. In order to get the free upgrade, a user must use the MS Upgrade tool or Windows Update. So I will never have the chance to use the solutions described on that page. That is really only for system administrators.

 

I am helping people to upgrade (clean) and use Chocolatey (check chocolatey.org) to unattendedly install the necessary software, set some registry settings. This is 1 CMD file and 1 REG file. Perfect, but I still have to do the following manually:

1. create some basic Start Menu (setting up the tiles)

2. associating applications/set default app for.. (also cannot be done silently in W10)

3. Some application-specific settings

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@zilexa

See if - by chance - this thingy here still works :unsure::

http://profiletool.sourceforge.net/

 

since essentially it is a Python script, unless something really "revolutionary" :whistle: was implemented in Windows 10, it should be possible to make easily minor adjustments if needed.

 

jaclaz

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Again, that is *ONLY* for creating your own customized Windows Setup. My question/this topic is about applying a W10 Start Menu for existing users.

 

Non-business laptops/computers will be upgraded to W10 for free by consumers. It does not make sense to create my own Win Setup, since I will never be able to use it. In order to get the free upgrade, a user must use the MS Upgrade tool or Windows Update. So I will never have the chance to use the solutions described on that page. That is really only for system administrators.

 

I am helping people to upgrade (clean) and use Chocolatey (check chocolatey.org) to unattendedly install the necessary software, set some registry settings. This is 1 CMD file and 1 REG file. Perfect, but I still have to do the following manually:

1. create some basic Start Menu (setting up the tiles)

2. associating applications/set default app for.. (also cannot be done silently in W10)

3. Some application-specific settings

 

yes but i posted that link for the below thing in that page 

 

 

 

Once you have created the LayoutModification.xml file and it is present in the device, the system overrides the base default layout and any Unattend settings used to customize Start. If you continue to use an Unattend answer file to customize Start, see Supported Unattend settings for Start for information on how this affects Start.

 

i used everything to change layout but no luck

so windows 10 is not allowing any layout changing after user login 

i used copy profile in an earlier image using sysprep but i had much issues with those installations so i am not going to sysprep windows 10 anymore 

 

i am very happy to hear that you are doing work on chocolatey i refer that site so many times for getting some switches and

for associating application or setting default app the only possible way to catch registry modifications so you can make a reg key or batch script easily 

i use regshot to catch modifications in registry while doing this as per my view the only easiest way to catch such things 

Edited by kmaheshkumar

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It is possible now to unpin existing items from the Windows 10 Start menu and pin new items to it. But it is a hassle if you want your own Start menu layout because you will need to create unpin commands for each default pinned program first (after installation, there are a lot in there). I guess if you do it once, you never have to do it again.

 

This script should also support pinning and unpinning to taskbar, but that part does not work unfortunately.

 

https://github.com/npocmaka/batch.scripts/blob/master/hybrids/jscript/pinnerJS.bat

 

in your CMD file, use (example):

call pinnerJS.bat "%programdata%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Skype.lnk" startmenu 

or to remove:

call pinnerJS.bat "%programdata%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Skype.lnk" unstartmenu 

Found via:

http://stackoverflow.com/questions/32034313/how-to-pin-to-start-menu-using-a-batch-file-windows-10

I emailed the creator and left a message on stackoverflow, hopefully he can fix the taskbar issue.

Edited by ZileXa

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i tested it before a month but recently it got updated and i haven't tested with new one

 

post here if it works or not

Edited by kmaheshkumar

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It works for start menu. Not for taskbar because Microsoft removed the call the author is using. He is looking into it but said that there is no alternative in Win10 for the call he is using in the script. So there won't be a taskbar solution, Start menu only.

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for me just pinning to start is not sufficient 

i need to arrange them in groups with specific sizes as per my requirement (mostly so many need only this)

but it will irritate us to unpin much pinned tiles by default

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