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To enable a policy setting, just double-click on it, and then select the radial button labeled “Enabled” and click Ok. With some settings, before you actually see any change, you’ll need to close the group policy editor, then log out and log back in to Windows.
In any version of Windows, one of the most frequently used parts of the GUI is the start menu, where you can launch programs and access all the vital locations in your PC’s file structure. You can customize the start menu, to an extent, by editing the Taskbar and Start Menu Properties in the control panel, but if you really want to get down to the nitty gritty you’ll need to use the Group Policy Editor.
You can find all of the policies associated with the start Menu in User Configuration > Administration Templates > Start Menu and Taskbar. There are tons of options to look at here, and the info panel will help you figure out what they all do, but here’s a few interesting ones, to get started:
Add Search Internet link to Start Menu
Enabling this setting will add a link to the start menu search bar which opens your default browser and performs a search for your term. Requires Windows 7 or Server 2008.
Turn off user tracking
Don’t like that your PC keeps track of which programs you run and which documents you open? Enable this policy setting to tell Windows not to keep track of this information. Turning off tracking will disable features that use the information, like the frequently used program lists.
Turn off automatic promotion of notification icons to the taskbar
Are you the type that likes to keep your taskbar host to only the icons that you specify? If so, turn this setting on to keep Windows from letting any icons into the taskbar without your permission. This is only available in Windows 7.
Using the Group Policy Editor, you can change the image used as the background of the login screen.To do so, simply go the Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > System > Logon folder, and enable the Always use custom logon background setting.
Now, if you place and image called backgroundDefault.jpg in C:\Windows\System32\oobe\info\backgrounds Windows will use that image as the background of the logon screen.