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Windows 7: Add/Remove Default Start Menu Items


06 May 2010   #1

Windows 7
 
 
Add/Remove Default Start Menu Items

I'm preparing a Windows 7 image for deployment, and there are a number of items I'd like to change on the Start Menu and Taskbar. Unfortunately, however, these are not items convered under the Tarkbar and Start Menu Properties box.



An out of the box Win 7 installation will have a number of items on the Start Menu by default, but we don't want any of them
  • Getting Started
  • displayswitch
  • Remote Desktop Connection
  • Sticky Notes
  • Snipping Tool
  • Calculator
  • Paint
  • Magnifier
These icons are different because they aren't 'pinned' but rather held there like a list of recently used items.
  • How can I clear this?
As for the Taskbar, the default pinned icons usually include IE, Windows Explorer, Windows Media Player, and perhaps something else, but we only want to keep IE available and unpin the rest.

Despite setting the CopyProfile directive to true in my sysprep unattend file, even though I've fully customized the Admin account, various Start Menu and Taskbar customizations don't replace the Default [User] template profile. To overcome the pin/unpin issue I wrote a script that would run during the user's first logon to do this. (I can link someone if they need/want it.)
  • Is there an easier way to setup default pinned/unpinned items in the Default [User] profile?
Update 6/12: For what its worth, I solved this and posted the solution here
SOLVED: How to Pin to Start Menu/Task Bar for Default User

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

06 May 2010   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Pro 64 SP1
 
 

On the start menu you can right click, remove from list.

the taskbar you right click, unpin from taskbar.

As for how to not have them there in the first place, I don't know how you would do that.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 May 2010   #3

Windows 7
 
 

Thanks for the prompt response!


Yes you are correct in that one can go in and manually 'remove from list' each item. If I we were only dealing with a small number of users, I wouldn't mind, but when we're talking over 1500 people, they're...
  • not going to read the instructions on how to remove the icons,
  • going to have questions about said icons which translates into increased call volume requesting support for these features, which isn't bad in and of itself, but its beyond our current training scope.
Not to mention, it looks unpolished and this won't fly with management. I'm guessing those icons are stored someplace in the registry, but I'm not sure where I can find that or how, since, even running a registry monitoring tool, will capture way too much information.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


12 Jun 2010   #4

Mac OS X 10.6.3, Windows 7, Windows XP, Linux variations
 
 

Phylum,

If you didn't find this answer, I found one that might help. Below are the links, but I'm putting in a brief description before the links for those on the Windows SevenForums.

Brief description
Microsoft is now enforcing the way that you create the default profile. Copying the profile can have some odd effects on new users if the profile is not cleaned up and copied over correctly. The "copyprofile" option in the sysprep does not do everything and is not fully documented yet. We could at least hope that Microsoft or someone would document this. The vbscript that was created by JuliusPIV on the Microsoft Technet forums is great. I didn't want to Pin any icons on the Start Menu or Taskbar, so I modified it and just unpinned everything. I think on the site, the "End Function" line is missing from the script.

Where answer was fixed...
SOLVED: How to Pin to Start Menu/Task Bar for Default User

Link referred to in answer...
Pin Items to the Start Menu or Windows 7 Taskbar via Script - The Deployment Guys - Site Home - TechNet Blogs

Reason you have to do it this way... (Microsoft blog)
Configuring Default User Settings – Full Update for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 - The Deployment Guys - Site Home - TechNet Blogs

Hope this helps someone.

Dan V.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jun 2010   #5
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Easiest is to set the "number of recent programs on display" to zero. You can do that in the Start properties.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jun 2010   #6

Windows 7 Ult, Windows 8.1 Pro,
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Phylum View Post
Thanks for the prompt response!







Yes you are correct in that one can go in and manually 'remove from list' each item. If I we were only dealing with a small number of users, I wouldn't mind, but when we're talking over 1500 people, they're...
  • not going to read the instructions on how to remove the icons,
  • going to have questions about said icons which translates into increased call volume requesting support for these features, which isn't bad in and of itself, but its beyond our current training scope.
Not to mention, it looks unpolished and this won't fly with management. I'm guessing those icons are stored someplace in the registry, but I'm not sure where I can find that or how, since, even running a registry monitoring tool, will capture way too much information.
I hate to be captain obvious here but using the group policy editor for this is the way to go.

If you open a command prompt and type gpedit.msc, go to "User configuration" then too "Administrative Templates" then scroll down a bit to "Start Menu and Taskbar". You will see the list of things you can adjust or remove for your User group. You might need to experiment a bit to get the desired effect. You may need to make the adjusment on both the Standard and Extended tabs. Right clicking will give you more filter options.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jun 2010   #7

Windows 7
 
 

Hi all
Thanks again for following up. Just as a farmer doesn't plant 1 seed, I posted this issue in a number of places. Using the information I found the Deployment Guy's blog I wrote my own script and posted the solution on the Technet site.

Also, I fixed the missing End Function thanks for that!

Now that I had the solution, and keeping in the spirit of open source, sharing the wealth of knowledge, and just closing the loop in general, I went back to, what I thought was, every forum where I posted.

So I apologize for not marking this as resolved - But thanks for the attention!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jun 2010   #8

Windows 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by chev65 View Post
I hate to be captain obvious here but using the group policy editor for this is the way to go.

If you open a command prompt and type gpedit.msc, go to "User configuration" then too "Administrative Templates" then scroll down a bit to "Start Menu and Taskbar". You will see the list of things you can adjust or remove for your User group. You might need to experiment a bit to get the desired effect. You may need to make the adjusment on both the Standard and Extended tabs. Right clicking will give you more filter options.
No worries Chev65. You are correct in that one has the ability to add/remove certain icons from the Stat and Taskbar, or simply enable/disable the ability to PIN icons on the Start Menu and Taskbar. However, from what I recall reading, and in my own investigation, the icons PIN'd to the Start Menu and Taskbar that I wanted to remove were not configurable via GPO. That is to say, I didn't see any option to remove the following (and then some) icons from the Start Menu
  • Getting Started
  • displayswitch
  • Remote Desktop Connection
  • Sticky Notes
  • Snipping Tool
  • Calculator
  • Paint
  • Magnifier
Nor did I see an option to unpin Explorer or Windows Media Player from the Taskbar.

Based on what I've read in several areas on the Microsoft Technet forums among other forums online, I've determined theres no built-in easy way to do this. Now that I've figured this out, I doubt I'll be looking into this much further. That is unless of course someone has a proof of concept of an easier way!

If you find that I overlooked something, please let me know.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Apr 2011   #9

win 7 64
 
 

There is an easy way in group policy - User Policy\Admin Templates\Start Menu and Taskbar - Clear the recent programs list for new users.

Definition; If you enable this setting, the recent programs list will be blank for each new user
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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