Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Using Group Policy Editor to Customize the Start Screen and Taskbar
Using Group Policy Editor to Customize the Start
Screen and Taskbar
The Group Policy Editor is a great component of Windows that enables you to
make dozens of advanced setting changes that are hidden from normal users.
The Group Policy Editor works by enabling you to define various rules, called
the policies , which tell Windows how to behave.
The collection of policies is known as Group Policy, of which there are two
types: local and domain based. Local is when the policy resides in and is
controlled on the local computer. A domain-based policy is a policy that resides on an
Active Directory domain controller to which multiple computers are connected.
Domain policy is primarily used only in businesses that need a way to control
multiple computers from a central location. In this topic, some tweaks use local
Group Policy to configure the Start menu because most of you are customizing
your home computers and do not have them connected to a Windows domain.
The actual policies and way you set them are the same for both types of group
policies, so you can apply these same techniques to a domain policy if desired.
The policies are set and modified using the, you guessed it, Group Policy
Editor. This is the tool that you will be using to set the policies to help you
customize the Start menu. First, you learn how to use the policy editor, and then
all the policies relevant to customizing the Start menu.
Setting Policies with the Group Policy Editor
Using the Group Policy Editor is a lot like using the Registry Editor. It is based
on a hierarchical structure of sections that all policies are organized within.
All policies are divided into two sections: Computer Policies and User Policies.
Computer Policies are settings that apply to components of Windows such as
hardware and global feature settings. User Policies are settings that can vary
between users on a computer. This is where most of the policies that you will
use to customize the look of your interface are located.
Now that you know the basics of the Group Policy Editor, dive in and start
using the policy editor:
1. Open the Start screen, enter gpedit.msc in the Search box, and press Enter.
2. After the Group Policy Editor has loaded, you see the hierarchical structure
and Computer and User policies sections mentioned previously.
3. Navigate through User Configuration, Administrative Template, and then
select Start Menu and Taskbar.
4. You see a list of all policies that you can configure. Right-click a policy
that you want to configure and select Edit.