I'm setting up mandatory profiles in remote desktop server 2012 R2 as we basically have them very locked down with users only able to access shared data and standard applications.

However I've setup the start menu layout XML in GPO and it is working fine until I log in to a user account with a mandatory profile. The profile registry has the XML file 'baked' in to the registry as well as being applied via GPO on login however it refuses to apply the layout to the start menu.

I honestly cannot think how to troubleshoot or move further with this issue, all the applications are there when you click the down arrow on the start menu it is just the first metro screen layout that is trashed.

Any ideas or suggestions (or even better if someone has had this issue and fixed it) would be great!

1 Answer 1


For anyone else having this issue it seems to be apparent that the start menu layout XML GPO does not work with mandatory profiles..

If you need to change the start menu layout in 2012 R2 (I'm guessing Windows 8 as well) then export the start menu as BIN and import back to the Server using elevated powershell.

This will then eliminate the need for the GPO as it replaces the start menu file within the default user profile so it will be applied to all users on logon.

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