How to hide Common Program Groups from Start Menu in Windows 10
Windows 10 comes with a completely reworked Start menu, which combines Live Tiles introduced in Windows 8 with classic app shortcuts. It has an adaptive design and can be used on displays with various sizes and resolutions. In this article, we will review how to exclude folders and shortcuts from the All Users profile, known as 'Common Program Groups' from the Start Menu in Windows 10.
In Windows 10, the Start menu is completely different. It has nothing common with the its previous implementations. It is a Universal Windows Platform (UWP) app which combines the list of installed apps with Live Tiles and shortcuts pinned to the right pane.
Items in the Start menu come with a context menu which allows performing various actions like "Pin to taskbar", "Uninstall", and so on.
Tip: The Start menu features the 'Recently added apps' list which shows the classic and Store apps you've recently installed.
Windows 10 Start menu combines items available for the current user with apps and shortcuts available for all users of the PC. It includes shortcuts from the following folders.
- Shortcuts stored in the common (public) user profile available to all users: C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs
- Shortcuts from the current user profile: %userprofile%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs.
When a new user account is created, Windows uses the folder C:\Users\Default\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs as the template for its Start menu, adding the shortcuts stored in that folder to his personal user profile.
If you can exclude shortcuts stored in the common user profile for users, so the user registered in your Windows 10 operating system will see only the Start menu shortcut from his personal profile folder. This can be done with either Group Policy or a Registry tweak.
To Hide Common Program Groups from Start Menu in Windows 10,
- Open Registry Editor.
- Go to the following Registry key:
If you do not have such a key, then just create it.
- Here, create a new 32-bit DWORD value NoCommonGroups. Note: Even if you are running 64-bit Windows, you still need to use a 32-bit DWORD as the value type.
Set it to 1 to disable the common profile shortcuts in the Start menu.
- To make the changes done by the Registry tweak take effect, restart Windows 10.
You are done!
Later, you can delete the NoCommonGroups value to restore the common shortcut visibility in the Windows 10 Start menu.
To save your time, I made ready-to-use Registry files. You can download them here:
Finally, if you are running Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise, or Education edition, you can use the Local Group Policy Editor app to configure the options mentioned above with a GUI.
Hide Common Program Groups from Start Menu with Group Policy
- Press Win + R keys together on your keyboard and type:
- Group Policy Editor will open. Go to User Configuration\Administrative Templates\Start menu and Taskbar.
- Enable the policy option Remove common program groups from Start Menu as shown below.
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