Update: You can watch a video demonstrating the steps below on our YouTube Channel: https://youtu.be/beNH4Lko9jg
If you would like to customize the Start Menu and Taskbar, without using the Copy Profile feature of sysprep, you can do so by completing the following steps.
Configure the Start Menu as you would like it to be for all users.
Open PowerShell and run Export-StartLayout -Path [Path\LayoutModification.xml]
Browse to and open the LayoutModification.xml file that you specified in step 2.
Add xmlns:taskbar="http://schemas.microsoft.com/Start/2014/TaskbarLayout" to the first line of the file, before the closing >.
Open the attached Taskbar-XML-Snippet.txt to find a code sample.
Duplicate/Edit the "taskbar:DesktopApp" line to specify the applications you want pinned to the Taskbar.
Copy the edited XML and paste it on a new line above </LayoutModificationTemplate> in the LayoutModification.xml file you created.
Copy the XML file to C:\Users\Default\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\ on your reference virtual machine.
Alternatively, you can download the LayoutModification.xml file, attached to this article, and copy it to the location above. This layout creates an Office app collection in the Start Menu, and puts Outlook, File Explorer, and IE in the task bar.
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