Force or set a fixed home screen layout for users under Windows 8.1



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The boot screen introduced in Windows 8 last year has now received and updated Windows 8.1 with the recent Windows 8.1 update. You can lock the start screen , display it in Start mode (16) or Apps. Technically, you can also use Windows 8.1 to control the layout of the boot screen. Today, in this article, we show you the path to a fixed layout with the new Start Screen Control feature of Windows 8.1.

Start Screen Control

Above, the screenshot of Start Screen is in Windows 8.1, and this clearly shows that you can group tiles and name a group. For example, we created a group of native applications on the left and entertainment as another group on the right. This is called the fixed provision. That is, we only want this layout, that is, no user should be able to change it. Let’s see how we can get this fixed layout.

Set a fixed boot screen layout for users in Windows 8.1



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1 First open Windows PowerShell as administrator and paste the following command to export the above boot screen layout to an XML file :

Export-StartLayout -Path -As XML

In the above command, edit the red part with the desired location here to save the output XML file. We need to use it as an XML file generated in Group Policy Editor. If you do not include part As XML, the output is a binary file that makes no sense for GPO. Here is an XML file, output:

You can open the XML file in Internet Explorer to see the encoding:

2 Now open the Group Policy Editor (16) by pressing Windows + R and entering Enter. In the Local Group Policy Editor window, navigate :

User Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Start Menu and Taskbar

3 As shown in the window above, search and double-click the Start Screen Layout parameter to open the configuration window:

4 In the Startup Screen Layout window, select Enabled first, then insert the location of the XML output file created in step 1 (16). Click Apply, followed by OK. Close the local group policy editor (16) and restart the explorer (16) to observe the changes.

Users can customize it.span>span>(2)

Once this has happened, you will notice that customizing the Home screen is now disabled. And so the starting screen layout of is determined.



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