User Group Policy – Start Menu and Taskbar

Group Policy – Start Menu and Taskbar

Here is a classic selection of policies to shape the users experience of Windows XP or 2000 Professional.  Combine the science of securing the desktop, with the joy of mastering Group Policy settings.Group Policy Start Menu and Taskbar

Group Policy Start Menu Topics

Administrative Templates

     Windows Components

          Start Menu and Taskbar (Note Taskbar not Task Manager)

* Guy’s Top Three Group Policies


Start Menu and Taskbar (Note Taskbar not Task Manager)

These Start Menu settings remind me of where policies started – with Poledit and NT 4.0.  In this section, there are over twenty policies which just remove programs or folders from the Start Menu.  Take as an example, * ‘Remove Run menu from Start Menu’.  Ask yourself, ‘Do my users need this capability?’  If you answer in the negative, then they have no business purpose for the Run Box’.  However if you remove this feature, then be sure to make all their programs available from the Start Menu. 

Start Menu and Taskbar – Recommendations

Rather like putting blinkers on horses, restricting places such as: * My Network Places, My Music, Search and All Programs List, may make your users run faster!   If you warm to this ‘Mr Nasty’ theme, then you could remove the clock and even hide the notification area.

In amongst all the restrictive settings is one positive item that I thoroughly recommend: * ‘Add Logoff to the start menu‘.

Windows 2003 Server edit start menu

I have to say there are some ‘Luddite’ settings that I would not want on my network, like ‘Force classic Start Menu’, or ‘Prevent Grouping of Taskbar items’.

‘Remove Logoff from the Start Menu’, is an example of specialist Group Policy for particular circumstance.  For example, you have a Kiosk or public area machine and you want only a special user to be logged on.  (One who is heavily restricted!)  See the run command in Windows 8

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Start Menu Group Policy Tactics

When you employ Group Policies to lock down a Terminal Server session on a Microsoft Windows Server 2003-based I recommend that you create a new organizational unit and a test user to experiment with the settings.

Here are ideas to try:

Disable and remove links to Windows Update
Remove common program groups from Start Menu
Disable programs on Settings Menu
Remove Network & Dial-up Connections from Start Menu
Remove Run menu from Start Menu
Add Logoff to Start Menu
Disable changes to Taskbar and Start Menu Settings

Group Policy setting for Terminal Server
Disable and remove the Shut Down command or Remove and prevent access to the Shut Down command

Summary of Start Menu Group Policy

Here is a set of Group Policies to control the user’s Start Menu and Taskbar.  For example, consider removing the run command.  You can also be pro-active and add settings such as the Logoff button.

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See more user Group Policies for Windows

GPO Tips  •Troubleshooting Group Policies   •Windows Components   •GPMC

Group Policies   •Windows Settings  •Logon Script Policies  •IE Autocomplete

Security Options   • Group Policy Overview   •GPO WMI Filter Examples

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