Join Jim Boyce for an in-depth discussion in this video Start menu, part of Windows 10 for IT Pros.
- Let's start our discussion of Windows 10 Navigation with a closer look at the Start Menu and how you can tailor it to your needs. With that understanding you'll be better positioned to plan how you'll roll out apps, and potentially customize the Start Menu, and address user questions about the Start Menu. Here I've opened a domain Windows 10 session since I'll be covering group policies shortly. A quick look at the Start Menu will show you that it's a melding of the Windows 7 Start Menu and the Windows 8 Start Screen. On the left side you have options for changing your account settings, locking and signing out.
Below that you have most used apps, or frequently used apps, followed by File Explorer, Settings, and the Power button where you can disconnect a remote session, shut down the device, or restart the device. Down below you have the All apps button, click that and you can access all of the apps installed in Windows 10. And open an app just by clicking on it. Here I'll click Back to go back to the Start Menu. As you can see the right side of the Start Menu is a lot like the Windows 8 Start Screen where you have tiles that represent, or give you access, to different apps.
And like in Windows 8 you've got live tiles that dynamically show information, Weather tile is a great example where it's showing the current weather for the current location. Also like the Windows 8 Start Screen the tiles in the Window 10 Start Menu are customizable. For example, it's easy to move a tile from one place to another. Before I do that I'm going to resize the menu a little bit to give us a little more space to work with. Now that I've got it resized you can see that you can drag tiles around, relocate them, and so on. Now that we have a larger work area let's create a new group, and I'll show you how to move tiles around within a group.
So I'm just going to drag the Fun Companion tile down here, which creates a new group. And you'll notice that it doesn't have a title, but I can add a title easily enough just by highlighting the title, clicking, and typing a name. If I don't like the location I can just move it back. Removing tiles from the Start Menu is just as easy. Let's say I don't use the Sports app so I'll remove that app tile. You might want to do the same thing for your users to prevent them from easily accessing tiles or apps that you don't want them to have access to, or just to clean up the display a little bit, to clean up the Start Menu.
So I'm just going to right click on the tile and Unpin from Start, and it's gone. It's also easy to resize tiles. For example, I'd like to see the Weather tile a little larger, to give me more information. So I'll just right click the tile, resize it to, let's say a large size, and as you can see it now has more real estate to display additional information. Now I'm going to switch it back again, so I'll just right click, resize, medium, and it goes back.
And then I'll just readjust the position of this tile. Let's cover one last customization topic. You'll find some settings for the Start Menu in the personalization app, or area of the settings app. So I'll click Settings, go to Personalization, and Start. Here you can see you have a small selection of Menu options that you can use to determine whether or not you show most used apps, turn on or off the recently added apps, show the start menu in full screen, and show recently opened items in jump list on the start of the taskbar.
You can see the customization is really very easy in the Windows 10 Start Menu. And no doubt your users, at least the more technically savvy ones, will have no trouble making changes. But you might also want to control the types of changes that users can make to the Start Menu, or deploy your own customizations. If you have Windows 10 Enterprise, or Windows 10 Education, both of which are available through volume licensing, you can use group policy to customize the Start Menu. This capability will help you ensure that your users have a consistent user experience, make specific apps available on the Start Menu, and also prevent users from making certain changes, if you so choose.
First, you need to create the desired layout on a reference device that has the apps and other resources installed that you want to expose through the Start Menu. After setting up the reference device, which I've done here, you export the Start Menu configuration to an XML file, using a PowerShell command. I already have a PowerShell session open so I'll click it and open it up. Now I've already created a folder called C colon backslash layout, so that's where I'll put it. And now I'll use Export StartLayout Path and specify the location of the file, press Enter, and Windows 10 has created that XML file.
With the XML file created I can now use the group policy editor to configure the policy. So I'll switch over to a domain controller virtual machine to demonstrate. Here I've already copied the Start.xml file from the reference machine to a WebShare folder on the domain controller. I have IIS running and I've created a virtual directory that points to the WebShare folder. That way the users will be able to use HTTPS to get to the XML file. Now I'll switch over to the group policy management editor and navigate to User Configuration, Administrative Templates, Start Menu and Taskbar, and you'll see that there's a Start Screen Layout policy which I'll double click now.
I'll enable the policy. With the Start Layout file I'll reference the URL to the Start.xml file that I copied over to the WebShare folder. Now I just click Okay. Keep in mind that when this setting is enabled the user can't change the layout of the Start Menu, so make sure to use it only in situations where you really want to lock down the Start Menu and prevent users from making any changes.
Jim Boyce also goes under the hood, focusing on security features such as Secure Boot, Device Guard, Passport, Windows Hello, and other protections against malware and phishing. He discusses networking with Windows 10, and using virtualization solutions such as Hyper-V and Remote Desktop. To close out the course, Jim reviews backup and recovery, cloud integration with OneDrive, and Windows 10 update branches and licensing considerations.
- Understanding what's different in Windows 10
- Navigating the Windows 10 interface, including the Action Center
- Switching apps
- Implementing Windows 10 security
- Adding passport and multifactor authentication
- Managing application compatibility
- Working with the new Microsoft Edge browser
- Using virtualization
- Backing up Windows 10
- Managing OneDrive
- Updating Windows 10