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Windows Server - Start Menu Layout

    Question

  • Hi,

    I'm trying to remove every icons from the start menu, in order to only use the All apps area by the way of a GPO.

    So I have tried to apply a "blank" layout : here is the xml :

    <LayoutModificationTemplate Version="1" xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/Start/2014/LayoutModification">

      <LayoutOptions StartTileGroupCellWidth="6" />

    <DefaultLayoutOverride>

        <StartLayoutCollection>

          <defaultlayout:StartLayout GroupCellWidth="6" xmlns:defaultlayout="http://schemas.microsoft.com/Start/2014/FullDefaultLayout" />

        </StartLayoutCollection>

      </DefaultLayoutOverride>

    </LayoutModificationTemplate>

    The problem is that the "search" icon always remains and it seems that it is why the start menu layout doesn't apply : 

    Then I have applied another XML layout template with some applications (I am sure this xml file is correct) and same thing : the search application remain in a group named "Windows Server".

    I have never added the search application to the start menu and I have never created such a group.

    Moreover the shortcut search is not present in C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs as well as in C:\Users\<user>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs.

    I'm using Windows Server 2016 TP5...

    Thank for your reply!


    Friday, July 15, 2016 4:11 PM

Answers

  • Hi,
    Appreciate your update and share again.
    As far as I know, this key controls the notification from apps, it may break live tiles pinned to Start which was said by someone in the following article:
    http://www.tenforums.com/general-support/26373-how-reset-notification-these-apps-2.html
    Please Note: Since the web site is not hosted by Microsoft, the link may change without notice. Microsoft does not guarantee the accuracy of this information.
    If the key is not working to remove search icon, it seems that there is no solution to remove this on an online image.
    Windows Search Feature pack might has to be removed from the image and needs to be build a new image without this component, it may need the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) for assistance. This might help to remove the icon totally. You could see more details about Windows Search  from: https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff794403(v=winembedded.1001).aspx
    Regards,
    Wendy

    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help and un-mark them if they provide no help. If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com.

    Friday, August 5, 2016 2:18 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Hi,
    I would suggest you have a try following the thread as below to see if it works:
    Remove search from start menu in windows 2008 r2
    https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/windowsserver/en-US/7288d443-11d9-431a-8430-9e79464b3af4/remove-search-from-start-menu-in-windows-2008-r2?forum=winserverGP
    And you could test the XML file on a windows server 2008 or 2012 to see if it is working. If so, it may be the only problem on Windows Server 2016 TP5. Since the Server 2016 is still not released widespread by officially and many of the features in technical preview 5 were early previews meaning there is still a significant amount of work to be done.
    Regards,
    Wendy

    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help and un-mark them if they provide no help. If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com.

    Monday, July 18, 2016 2:39 AM
    Moderator
  • Thanks you for your answer.

    It is a link to a message from the great Martin Binder which already gives me a big help with another subject related to group policy in the past.

    I ever tested the "Remove search link from start menu" in the past and it didn't work : so I tested it again to confirm that it doesn't work on Windows Server 2016 TP5.

    Anyway, is there a workaround? If the search icon presence is not stored somewhere in an xml file, where could it be stored? In an other file somewhere in the Default folder? In a registry setting?

    Wednesday, July 20, 2016 10:22 AM
  • Hi,
    Based on my research and test, I can’t find a solution to just remove search icon. However, you could have a try to disable search function from server instead
    Regards,
    Wendy

    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help and un-mark them if they provide no help. If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com.

    Tuesday, July 26, 2016 3:32 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi,

    I have used a software that monitor the registry changes (Process Monitor). For that I have used many filters in order to catch only the registry set value operation. I have disabled the policy that locks the start menu layout, so that I can test what is happening when I remove the icon (right click "unpin from start menu").

    This is the key that gets changed :

    \SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\PushNotifications

    AppDB

    The problem is that AppDB value is a long binary, I have tried to export the new value and put it in a GPO rule, but nothing has changed : the search icon is still there for a new user...


    Tuesday, August 2, 2016 3:11 PM
  • Hi,
    Appreciate your update and share again.
    As far as I know, this key controls the notification from apps, it may break live tiles pinned to Start which was said by someone in the following article:
    http://www.tenforums.com/general-support/26373-how-reset-notification-these-apps-2.html
    Please Note: Since the web site is not hosted by Microsoft, the link may change without notice. Microsoft does not guarantee the accuracy of this information.
    If the key is not working to remove search icon, it seems that there is no solution to remove this on an online image.
    Windows Search Feature pack might has to be removed from the image and needs to be build a new image without this component, it may need the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) for assistance. This might help to remove the icon totally. You could see more details about Windows Search  from: https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff794403(v=winembedded.1001).aspx
    Regards,
    Wendy

    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help and un-mark them if they provide no help. If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com.

    Friday, August 5, 2016 2:18 AM
    Moderator
  • ok so in my case, it seems that the best way is to wait the next Windows Server 2016 release...

    Thank you, I will close this thread and I will inform you when I get some news

    Monday, August 22, 2016 8:26 AM
  • I confirm by testing the same configuration with same GPOs:

    The bug has been fixed in the Windows Server 2016 stable release!

    Tuesday, October 11, 2016 10:17 AM