Windows 11 update will see the Start Menu decluttered at last, but only for some

Windows 11 Start menu
(Image credit: TechRadar)

Tweaking the Start Menu, Taskbar and System Tray is now possible in Windows 11 (opens in new tab) following a new update that introduces multiple group policies.

For the time being, multiple group policies are only supported in the latest Windows 11 build (Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 22610) for users on the software giant’s Dev and Beta Channels.

While IT admins can configure Microsoft’s new group policies locally by opening the group policy editor and heading to User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Start Menu and Taskbar, they can also be deployed remotely through Microsoft Endpoint Manager (opens in new tab) by using a profile with custom settings in Intune.

A simpler Windows 11 experience

In a recent post (opens in new tab) on the Windows Insider Blog, the software giant explained that these new policies will allow IT admins to “simplify their Windows 11 experience across Start, taskbar and the system tray”. 

The new MDM and group policies introduced by Microsoft include Disable Quick Settings flyout, Disable Notification Center and calendar flyouts, Disable all taskbar settings, Disable search (across Start & taskbar), Hide Task View from taskbar, Block customization of ‘Pinned’ in Start, Hide ‘Recommended’ in Start, Disable Start context menus and Hide ‘All apps’ in Start.

In addition to allowing IT admins to simplify their Windows 11 experience, the company’s latest Insider Preview Build also includes a number of changes and fixes for known issues. For starters, Microsoft has updated the Family Safety Widget (opens in new tab) with a new location-sharing view to show where family members use the app.

Another big change in this latest build of Windows 11 is the fact that the aging SMB1 (opens in new tab) (Server Message Block) file-sharing protocol is now disabled by default. However, for businesses that still need to use SMB1 to connect to older devices, Microsoft plans to provide an out-of-band unsupported install package.

Via BleepingComputer (opens in new tab)

Anthony Spadafora

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.