VMware UEM v9 – Setting a default Windows 10 start menu

Windows 10 brings different obstacles for VDI and similar to previous versions of Windows, VMware have provided a fling to optimise the OS ready for a View deployment.  This work well but as always the image still needs to be tailored for your environment.  The fling can be found here.

For a recent deployment I was using VMware UEM to manage user profiles, I used UEM to set folder redirection, apply security policies, manage program menus and shortcuts, manage printers and mapped drives.  One thing that I was missing was the users still got a start menu that included “Life at a glance” and “Play and Explore” which for a home user might be useful but for a VDI session its not.  Users couldn’t access the games for instance but it still displayed the below.


For this deployment I wanted a generic start menu then use UEM to present shortcuts for the apps.  To do this I used the GPO to point to a custom saved xml file, this applied the generic items I wanted but it could also be changed in the future by simply changing the xml file.  The following will illustrate the process.

First I use a Windows 10 machine and create the start menu I want, for me I only want it to show Microsoft Edge.


Now in UEM I import the ADMX template – Management Console – User Environment – ADMX-based Settings – Manage Templates – Add Folder


I then go back to the desktop where I created the start menu and start Powershell.  I then need to run the following to export it and copy the exported xml file to a network location that the desktop pool will be able to access.

>export-startlayout C:\temp\StartMenu.xml


The xml file looks like this, edit it further if required.


I then go back to UEM – Management Console – User Environment – ADMX-based Settings – Create.  I need the specific settings found in Start Menu and Taskbar – Start Layout


I then Enable this and point to the network location where I stored the exported xml file.


I then save this and add any conditions required the same as any other UEM setting.  Now the desktops / users that meet the condition will be applied the start menu.  If I need to change this in the future I can simply change the xml file and UEM can apply it for me.


The related Microsoft article can be found here.  

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *