Add or Remove Folders on Start List in Windows 10

Lately I wanted to modify the appearance of the Start Menu of my users and after some feedback it appears that many of them didn’t liked the folders which appeared on the left side of the Start Menu.


My initial thought was that everything is configured in the Start Layout XML. After digging a bit on Microsoft documentation, modifying settings on my machine and exporting layouts over and over again, I didn’t find a single line in the XML configuring my Start Menu folders (PS: there is an awesome article regarding Start Menu Layouts here).

Normally if you start the Settings app and go to the “Chose which folders appear on Start” you can configure everything from there.

However, I did manage to find a workaround for configuring the folders. All the settings can be stored in the following registry key:


The Start key was not present on my machine so I created it. Next, i created the following two DWORD keys:

AllowPinnedFolderDocuments = 0

AllowPinnedFolderDocuments_ProviderSet = 1


Let me explain what each of them means:

AllowPinnedFolderXXXXX = Shows or Hides the folder

AllowPinnedFolderXXXXX_ProviderSet = Allows the user to toggle (configure) the setting in the Settings app


After I added the two keys and restarted the Explorer, the Documents folder was gone from the left menu. Now, if we have a look in the settings app, there are 9 possible folders which can appear in the left menu (apparently the Settings button is considered a folder). So if we want to hide all of them and deny the user access to modify the Start Menu, we should import the following registry file:


Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00


Now, after I restart the Explorer, all my folders are gone:

And if I go into the Settings and try to configure this, all the sliders will be disabled, and the message “Some of these settings are hidden or managed by your organization”:

Now, all that is left is to import the reg file on a PC, create a new GPO on the domain controller and link this policy to OU where I have my Domain Computers.

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