OSD – Customising the Windows 11 Start Menu

By | 9th January 2024

With the release of Windows 11, Microsoft changed how you customise the Start Menu in a way that it is the same for all users when they first log in.

With Windows 10, this was a case of simply exporting the start menu to an XML file, which could then be re-imported with ConfigMgr during OS Deployment. With Windows 11, this is no longer possible

So how do you do it?

Well, fairly easily as it turns out – here’s how

First, login as a test user and customise the start menu pins to how you want it to look
Next navigate to: %LOCALAPPDATA%\Packages\Microsoft.Windows.StartMenuExperienceHost_cw5n1h2txyewy

There will be a number of folders in here, but the one we are interested in is the “LocalState” folder

This one folder contains the file “start.bin” – this one file contains the layout of our start menu and canbe easily copied and replaced.

The easiest way to do this is to copy the whole LocalState folder to a network share that can be accessed during OS Deployment.

Once that folder is copied, all you need to do is create a new “Run Command Line” Task Sequence Step in ConfigMgr with the following in your command line

(Make sure you replace the \\SERVER\SHARE\Path part of the robocopy command to patch where you stored your LocalState folder

Save the task sequence – and that’s it

Now, when you build a new Windows 11 machine your default pins will be there when users first login.


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