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Group Policy Settings for Start Menu and Taskbar

Updated: September 30, 2009

Applies To: Windows 7

The Start menu and taskbar have changed significantly in Windows 7. Several Group Policy settings are added to allow you to control these areas. In addition, many legacy Group Policy settings are updated.

Group Policy settings introduced in Windows 7

The following Group Policy settings are introduced in Windows 7 to control the Start menu and taskbar.

The full path of this node in the Group Policy Management Console is:

User Configuration\Administrative Templates\Start Menu and Taskbar

Available policy settings:

 

Name Explanation Requirements

Change Start Menu power button

This policy setting allows you to set the default action of the power button on the Start menu.

If you enable this policy setting, you can choose one of the following available options: Shut Down, Sleep, Log off, Lock, Restart, Switch User, or Hibernate. By default, Shut Down is the default action.

At least Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2

Do not allow pinning items in Jump Lists

This policy setting allows you to control if users can pin items to Jump Lists.

If you enable this policy setting, you prevent users from pinning files, folders, Web sites, or other items to their Jump Lists in the Start menu and taskbar. Items that are already pinned to their Jump Lists continue to show, but users cannot unpin the existing items from their Jump Lists.

At least Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2

Do not allow pinning programs to the Taskbar

This policy setting allows you to control if users can pin programs to the taskbar.

If you enable this policy setting, users cannot change the programs that are currently pinned to the taskbar. Programs that are already pinned to the taskbar continue to show, but users cannot unpin existing programs or pin new programs.

At least Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2

Do not display or track items in Jump Lists from remote locations

This policy setting allows you to control if items from remote locations are tracked on user’s computers and appear in their Jump Lists.

If you enable this policy setting, the Start menu and taskbar track only files that users open locally on their computers. Files that users open over the network from remote locations are not tracked and they do not show in their Jump Lists.

noteNote
This setting does not prevent Windows from displaying remote files that users have explicitly pinned to their Jump Lists.

At least Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2

Remove pinned programs from the Taskbar

This policy setting allows you to control if programs can be pinned to the taskbar.

If you enable this policy setting, you prevent pinned programs from showing on the taskbar, and users cannot pin programs to the taskbar.

At least Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2

Turn off automatic promotion of notification icons to the taskbar

This policy setting allows you to control new notification icons.

If you enable this policy setting, new notification icons are not temporarily promoted to the taskbar.

noteNote
Users can still configure icons to show or hide in the Notification Control Panel.

At least Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2

Add Search the Internet link to Start Menu

This policy setting allows you to add the Search the Internet link.

If you enable this policy setting, a button called Search the Internet displays when the user types a search term in the Start Search text box. This button launches the default browser with the search term.

At least Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2

Remove See More Results or Search Everywhere link

This policy setting allows you to control if the See more results or Search Everywhere links appear.

If you enable this policy setting, the See more results or Search Everywhere links do not show when the user performs a search in the Start Search text box.

At least Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2

Remove Downloads link from Start Menu

This policy setting allows you to specify if there is a link to the Downloads folder on the Start menu.

If you enable this policy setting, the Start menu does not contain a link to the Downloads folder.

At least Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2

Remove Homegroup link from Start Menu

This policy setting allows you to specify if there is a link to Homegroup on the Start menu.

If you enable this policy setting, the Start menu does not contain a link to Homegroup. In addition, Homegroup is removed from the Start menu options, preventing users from adding the Homegroup link to the Start menu.

At least Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2

Remove Recorded TV link from Start Menu

This policy setting allows you to specify if there is a link to Recorded TV on the Start menu.

If you enable this policy setting, the Start menu does not contain a link to the Recorded TV library.

At least Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2

Remove Videos link from Start Menu

This policy setting allows you to specify if there is a link to Videos on the Start menu.

If you enable this policy setting, the Start menu does not contain a link to the Videos library.

At least Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2

Remove the Action Center icon

This policy setting allows you to specify if the Action Center icon appears.

If you enable this policy setting, the Action Center icon is removed from the notification area. In addition, the Action Center does not display any balloon notifications.

At least Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2

 

In addition, a policy setting is added to the following node in the Group Policy Management Console:

User Configuration\Administrative Templates\Desktop

Available policy setting:

 

Name Explanation Requirements

Turn off Aero Shake window minimizing mouse gesture

This policy setting allows you to control the Aero Shake feature.

If you enable this policy setting, application windows are not minimized or restored when the user shakes the active window with the mouse.

If you disable or do not configure this policy setting, the Aero Shake feature applies.

At least Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2

Changes to legacy Group Policy settings

The following Group Policy settings to control the Start menu and taskbar are updated in Windows 7.

The full path of this node in the Group Policy Management Console is:

User Configuration\Administrative Templates\Start Menu and Taskbar

Available policy settings:

 

Name Explanation Requirements

Prevent grouping of taskbar items

This policy setting allows you to specify if users can group items in the taskbar.

If you enable this policy setting, the grouping of taskbar buttons is set to Never Combine (similar to the default behavior in Windows XP). Taskbar items from the same application are still placed next to each other.

At least Windows XP Professional or Windows Server 2003 family

Force Classic Start Menu

This policy setting does not apply to Windows 7 because the Classic Start menu is removed.

Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003, and Windows XP

Show QuickLaunch on Taskbar

This policy setting does not apply to Windows 7 because users can launch programs from the taskbar.

Windows Vista only

Turn off taskbar thumbnails

This policy setting does not apply to Windows 7.

Windows Vista only

Prevent users from resizing the taskbar

This policy setting’s existing functionality from Windows Vista remains unchanged.

If you enable this policy setting in Windows 7, it disables the new Use small icons option in the taskbar Properties dialog box.

At least Windows Vista

Prevent users from moving taskbar to another screen dock location

This policy setting’s existing functionality from Windows Vista remains unchanged.

If you enable this policy setting in Windows 7, it also disables the new Taskbar location on screen option in the Taskbar properties dialog box.

At least Windows Vista

Remove Recent Items menu from Start Menu

This policy setting’s existing functionality from Windows Vista remains unchanged. However, by default in Windows 7, the Recent Items menu does not show in the Start menu because Jump Lists provide similar functionality.

If you enable this policy setting, the system saves document shortcuts, but it does not display the Recent Items menu in the Start menu and users cannot turn on the Recent Items menu.

If you disable this policy setting, the Recent Items menu appears in the Start menu, and users cannot remove it.

If you do not configure this policy setting (this is the default state), users can choose to turn on or turn off the Recent Items menu.

noteNote
This setting does not prevent Windows programs from displaying shortcuts to recently opened documents. See the Do not keep history of recently opened documents policy setting.

noteNote
This setting does not hide document shortcuts that are displayed in the Open dialog box. See the Hide the dropdown list of recent files policy setting.

At least Windows 2000

Remove pinned programs list from the Start Menu

This policy setting’s existing functionality from Windows Vista remains unchanged.

In Windows 7, the Pin to Start Menu context menu command is removed and users cannot use drag-and-drop to pin items in the Start menu.

At least Windows XP Professional or Windows Server 2003 family

Clear history of recently opened documents on exit

This policy setting’s existing functionality from Windows Vista remains unchanged.

n Windows 7, recently and frequently used items that appear in the Jump Lists that are associated with programs in the Start menu and taskbar are cleared when users log off.

At least Windows 2000

Do not keep history of recently opened documents

This policy setting’s existing functionality from Windows Vista remains unchanged.

In Windows 7, Jump Lists that are associated with programs in the Start menu and taskbar do not show lists of recently or frequently used files, folders, or Web sites.

At least Windows 2000

Remove Clock from the system notification area

This policy setting’s existing functionality from Windows Vista remains unchanged.

In Windows 7, the behavior of the clock has changed. The clock always shows in the system notification area, even if the user is logged in remotely to a Windows Server 2008 R2 session. (In Windows Server 2008, the clock did not show when logging in remotely.)

At least Windows XP Professional or Windows Server 2003 family

 

In addition, the following policy setting is updated.

The full paths of these nodes in the Group Policy Management Console are:

Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Desktop Window Manager

User Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Desktop Window Manager

Available policy setting:

 

Name Explanation Requirements

Do not allow window animations

This policy setting’s existing functionality from Windows Vista remains unchanged.

In Windows 7, it also disables the Peek feature.

At least Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2

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