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Windows 7 Thread, "Recently Used Application" List - Configure? in Technical; Is it possible to centrally configure what appears on users' Recent Apps list, i.e. their Start Menu? We've just gone ...
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    "Recently Used Application" List - Configure?

    Is it possible to centrally configure what appears on users' Recent Apps list, i.e. their Start Menu? We've just gone to Windows 7, and I'd like to tidy up all the rubbish off the users' Start Menus before they log in. I'm not too fussed about forcing apps to appear there (although will take that if anyone knows how), but I would like to clear the list so that it immediately starts adding apps for the users rather than having the Snipping Tool and Paint and such like on.

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    I know how to configure which apps appear on the top of the start menu by having them pinned there for certain users as that's how I've got it set up here. I've also seen a GPO setting that will clear the recent programs list for new users, but as we've not deployed Win 7 here ourselves yet (doing it as we speak), I'm not sure whether it will start to populate that list with programs as the users load them up.

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    Pinning IE to the Start Menu would be helpful - how is that done? Do you recall roughly where the GPO setting was?

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    Right, just tested it, and it works perfectly fine. If you open up Group Policy and go to User Configuration -> Policies -> Admin Templates -> Start Menu, you'll find an option for "Clear the recent programs list for new users". Enable it and it'll work perfectly. New users will get a clean start menu, and will populate with recent programs as they use it (make sure the GPO "Turn off user tracking" in the same section is disabled, otherwise it won't track or show the recently opened programs).

    Pinning items to the start menu involves a bit of registry work, and is ideally used either on a mandatory profile that everyone uses, or a default profile that roaming profiles will be created from. If your users already have roaming profiles that you'd need to edit each profile individually. If you're happy doing that then I'll explain how to pin things to the start menu

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    Thanks. I've made those GPO changes now.

    Not many of our users have logged in to the Win7 network yet, so changing the default profile would be fine. How is that done, then?!

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    Okey dokey. Log into a machine with a local profile (one that doesn't have any pinned items), and pin whatever programs you want to the start menu. Then go to C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Intern et Explorer\Quick Launch\User Pinned\StartMenu and copy the shortcuts there to \\SERVER\NETLOGON\Default User.V2\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\User Pinned\StartMenu (or wherever you have your default profile stored).

    Then load up regedit and export the key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Curre ntVersion\Explorer\StartPage2 to a reg file. Load the Hive \\SERVER\NETLOGON\Default User.V2\NTUSER.DAT into the appropriate place in regedit, and import that reg file back in (remember to edit the reg file to reflect the location of the loaded hive). Unload the hive, and you're all done. I've used the same trick here and it works perfectly. If I've not explained anything clearly enough let me know

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    With you except for loading the hive ntuser.dat bit - not sure what you mean by that...

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    When in regedit, highlight one of the main keys (such as HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE) and click file -> Load Hive. You can then browse your network for the NTUSER.DAT file that is in your default user folder on your server. Give it an appropriate name (such as Default), then edit the reg file appropriately to reflect the loaded hive. So for example, you would change the part in the reg file that says 'HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Curr entVersion\Explorer\StartPage2' into something like 'HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Default\Software\Microsoft\Win dows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\StartPage2'. When you've done that, you can import the reg file.

    When you're done, highlight the loaded Hive name, then click file -> Unload Hive. Job done
    Last edited by DaveyPitch; 26th July 2011 at 02:34 PM.

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