PolicyPak Start Screen and PolicyPak Scripts: Restore the Start Menu after an error

If you designed a Start Menu that you cannot work around, and you want to revert it all back to basics, here’s how you would do that.

PolicyPak Start Screen and PolicyPak Scripts: Restore the Start Menu after an error

Hi. This is Jeremy Moskowitz. In this video, I’m going to show you how you can recover if you decide you want to revert back from something you did in PolicyPak Start Screen and Taskbar Manager.

You can see here, this is the default layout this user got from Microsoft. Here’s the thing. This layout actually could change from time to time. Also, before Start Screen and Taskbar Manager comes in, a user could move some things around and do their own stuff.

What I’m going to show you in this video is how to use PolicyPak Scripts Manager to revert out any setting that a user might have made or something you did in PolicyPak Start Screen and Taskbar Manager.

To get started with this, let me go ahead and create a new GPO here. In this GPO, what I’m going to do is just show you the kind of ways that somebody might make an error. We’ll go to “Start Screen Manager for Windows 10” here. We’ll “Add/New Collection.”

A collection has a configurable option called “PARTIAL (PRESERVE)” or “FULL (REPLACE).” You probably heard about this. I’ve used this in other videos. A lot of times folks will do “FULL (REPLACE)” even though we tell you that it’s going to remove everything the user already has and then put in your own stuff. We even give you one last “WARNING,” and you can click “OK” here.

Now all the groups are going to take this on. If we were to “Add/New Group” here and we were to call this “Hello 1” group here – it doesn’t really matter – I’ll just add one or two icons here just to prove a point. Right click, “Add/New Desktop Application Tile” and “Registered Application.” I’m going to pick “Adobe Reader,” just one single application here, and put it here and call it “Acro.”

If I go over to my endpoint here which has the layout as Microsoft defined it and also whatever the user did here, if I were to then run GP Update (“gpupdate”), we’re going to get the Start Screen and Taskbar Manager to do the thing. That is going to erase all the stuff and put in my one group that has the one item that I just declared. Let’s go ahead and wait for that to finish up. Okay, there we go. That’s what we expect.

You might think, “Oh, wait. That wasn’t what I wanted at all.” If that’s the case, there is a way around this or a way to revert out of this situation. What you’ll do is, first things first, you will get out and uncheck “Link Enabled” for that GPO that you are currently doing here.

Then what you’ll do is “Create a GPO in this domain, and link it here” and use PolicyPak Scripts: “PP Scripts to restore start screen.” You’ll click “Edit” here. We’ll expand “PolicyPak,” go to “Scripts Manager,” right click, “Add/New Policy” here.

What we’re going to do is a one-time “PowerShell script” to “Run script as user.” I’m going to copy and paste in the script that I found. You can find it also. We should have it in the same place where you found this video. I’ll also put it in the YouTube comments if you find it in YouTube.

The idea is that you’re removing this item from the account and then you also kill Explorer. When you do that, what happens is that whatever you have here will be replaced with whatever Microsoft’s default flavor of the moment is, which is pretty close to what you saw earlier.

We’re going to go ahead and paste that in. Remember, “Run script as user.” Then we’re going to not do an off script. There’s no reason to do a “revert action” here. You don’t want to run it “Always.” That’s crazy. You want to just run it one time, so we’ll go ahead and run it “Once.” Then we’ll say “Revert out start menu” and you’re ready to go.

Remember that policy that did the original work here to deliver the start screen is unlinked and is no longer affected. Now we’re ready to run GP Update (“gpupdate”) here. We should see a flash of Explorer being killed. There we go. That means it did the work right there.

If we click back on the start menu, it’s pretty close to what the user had before we got started. This is the latest offering. If you were to log off and log back on, there’s a strategy that Microsoft has to offer new tiles to the use that has the default start menu. This is as close as you’re going to get to what the original setup was from Microsoft land.

I hope this helps you out. Looking forward to getting you started with PolicyPak real soon.

The Snippet:

Remove-Item 'HKCU:SoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionCloudStoreStoreCacheDefaultAccount$start.tilegrid$windows.data.curatedtilecollection.root' -Force -Recurse
Get-Process Explorer | Stop-Process