Guide Pin Configuration Manager Software Center to taskbar with GPO. Work with Windows 10 1607 and Windows Server 2016 or above.

1. Copy Software Center link from C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Microsoft System Center\Configuration Manager to Desktop and rename to SoftwareCenter;

2. Copy it to \\<your domain name>\SYSVOL\<your domain name>\scripts;

3. Create *.xml file (in my case pinup.xml) and paste next script:

4. In this script we pin to taskbar: Internet Explorer, File Explorer and SCCM Software Center. (do not pin File Explorer from %windir%, it’s work with bugs).

5. To remove the default pinned items, you must replace

with

6. Copy pinup.xml to \\<your domain name>\SYSVOL\<your domain name>\scripts;

7. Start Group Policy Management;

8. Right Mouse Button click on GPO object and click Edit;

9. Navigate to Computer Configuration\Policies\Administrative Templates\Start menu and Taskbar;

10. Right Mouse Button click on Start Layout and click Edit;

11. Select option Enabled and enter path to our *.xml file in Start Layout File; Click OK;

12. Close All windows. (As you see, my taskbar clean). Reboot your target machine;

13. Result!

FAQ:

  • What happens if a user deletes an item we pinned to the Taskbar using the .xml file and Group Policy?
    Users can delete an item we pinned to the Taskbar. However, the icon will be added back the next time that we modify the .xml file. If you don’t modify the .xml file, the user’s configuration won’t change.
  • What if I add a shortcut that the user has already pinned to the Taskbar?
    Nothing happens. Windows won’t add a second icon.
  • What if we pin an item the end user has already pinned to the Taskbar, and then we remove the icon through our .xml file?
    The icon won’t be removed.
  • What if we remove a pinned app in the.xml file that we deployed with Group Policy?
    The pinned item will be removed from the Taskbar as soon the Group Policy is applied when the user logs on again.
  • What if a user changes the order of the pinned items in the Taskbar?
    The user’s order configuration will be maintained when we add or remove items.
  • What happens to the Taskbar if the computer is no longer targeted by a Group Policy?
    The Taskbar will keep the configuration that we previously deployed via Group Policy.
  • What happens if I add Taskbar shortcuts to an .xml that is applied to Windows 10 1511 machines?
    Older version of Windows 10 can’t read this .xml file and will ignore it altogether.