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Items on Start Menu Windows 2012 and Windows 8 (AD environment)

Posted on 2014-12-17
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Last Modified: 2014-12-17
I am trying to find the location of the shortcuts that are pinned to the start menu. Whichever blogs or sites I look I see either

\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\  or
\AppData\Roaming\Windows\Start Menu\

However, when I look in my profile on my Windows server and on my Windows 8.1 (in an Active Directory Environment) in both I don't have the second location and in the first location I do not see my icons. I am not sure if it is different in a stand alone machine from a Network environment but would love to know where this location is.

Thanks,
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Question by:swenger7
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5 Comments
 
LVL 59

Expert Comment

by:Cliff Galiher
ID: 40505487
The entire start screen, apps and layout, is stored in a single file, proprietary, and cannot be simply manipulated.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj134269.aspx
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Author Comment

by:swenger7
ID: 40505509
I am not trying to manipulate it. I trying to find the location so that I can figure out why if my %appdata% for the users are redirected to a network location so that the same files will be available when they log on to different servers running identical applications, yet the start menu doesn't appear. So for example if they customize their excel and then log onto a different server, their custom settings are there, yet when they pinned the program to the start menu and then log onto a different server, those pinned items are not there
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LVL 59

Accepted Solution

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Cliff Galiher earned 2000 total points
ID: 40505527
There are many settings in appdata that are not included in a roaming profile or in a redirected folder. This is by design, and the start screen layout is one of those settings.
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Author Comment

by:swenger7
ID: 40505570
I had not realized that but you are correct. I looked on the local server and there is also a c:\users\username\appdata. That's too bad. Especially when many offices have multiple servers for redundancy, I can't understand why Microsoft felt it necessary to keep certain items local. Now the users will have to customize their sessions multiple times.

Thanks for the explanation
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LVL 59

Expert Comment

by:Cliff Galiher
ID: 40505680
There are legitimate reasons. You rarely want your mouse configuration to roam, for example. Different machines have different mice and different devices. Keeping those settings local makes perfect sense. It is up to an application developer to support that.

Back to the start screen, not all machines will have the same applications or modern apps installed. So the layout needs to be machine specific to an extent. You can get some added flexibility by linking a local account to a Microsoft account. That way modern apps are also associated with that ID and you leverage that to provide uniformity across devices.
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