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How to lock the Start menu layout on Windows 10

You can organize the Start menu however you like. It takes time to get it to look the way you want but it is also important to set it up so that you can use the feature comfortably. If you’re very particular to the way you’ve arranged the Start menu, you should back it up in case anything happens, or you want to replicate it later. You can also lock the Start menu layout and prevent any changes e.g., accidental drag & drop or accidental pinning/unpinning of tiles. To lock the Start menu layout, you need to edit the Windows registry.

Lock Start menu layout

Tap the Win+R keyboard shortcut to open the run box. In the run box, enter the following and tap the Enter/Return key.


This will open the registry editor. In the registry editor, navigate to the following key.


It is possible that the Explorer key does not exist. In that case, go to the following key.


Right-click the Windows key and select New>Key from the context menu. Name it Explorer. Next, right-click the Explorer key and select New>Dword (32-bit) Value. Name this value LockedStartLayout. Double-click it, and set the value in the data box to 1.

Next, you need to restart Explorer.exe, or you can restart your system. Do whatever you think is easier. Once you do that, the ‘Pin to Start’ option will no longer appear for any app, folder, shortcut, etc. You won’t see it for desktop icons, folders inside File Explorer, and apps in the apps’ list. Similarly, there will be no option to unpin items from the Start menu. You won’t be able to rearrange the Start menu tiles or resize them. The groups that you’ve created can no longer be renamed, moved, or edited.

To undo this, you can delete the LockedStartLayout value, or you can set its value to 0. Don’t forget to restart Explorer.exe or your system after you edit the registry.

Locking the Start menu is fairly restrictive; you literally cannot make any changes to it but turning the lock on/off isn’t too hard if you choose to restart Explorer.exe instead of restarting your system after each change. The Start menu is locked only for the current user. Other users who have the Start menu set up to suit their own needs will still be able to make changes to it. If you’d like to lock the Start menu for other users, log in through the user account, and make this same change.

You can lock some aspects of the taskbar as well i.e., you can disable rearranging items on the taskbar which can happen accidentally.

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