Removing Windows Server 2012 Start Context Menu

Microsoft Windows Server 2012

When you right click on the Windows server 2012 (or even Windows 8 for that matter) you will get a context menu pop up that shows quick links to various system tools. Whilst these may be of great use, within an RDS environment there is a call for removing the menu or at least changing it.


Group policies will allow you to disable access to the various tools and mmc’s that are listed within the context menu but its obviously better if RDS users do not see them at all. There is easy way of removing or changing the context menu and it involves nothing more than a folder structure and shortcuts.¬†You will need to note that there are “sections” to the context menu and this also can easily be controlled.


Depending on how well your RDS environment is progressing you can either apply the changes you wish to the default user profile so that newly created profiles receive this version of the context menu or you will need to script it a little.

All the context items are essentially shortcuts that are stored within c:\users\%username%\appdata\local\microsoft\windows\winx and within this folder you will see 3 more folders called group 1,2 and 3. These correlate to the sections I mentioned earlier.

If you wish to remove the context menu you can simply delete the groups1-3 folder and thats it job done. However please note if the server has already been put into production then you will also need to complete this for each user account that already has a profile created on the server. The script only needs to be as simple as the below and then repeated for groups 2 and 3 and added to a login script or any other corporate method you may employ.

“del /Q c:\users\%username%\appdata\local\microsoft\windows\winx\group1”


In the example of this blog I’ve removed everything except the desktop menu item by simply deleting groups 2-3 leaving only group 1 which only has the Desktop shortcut in it.







Author: Dale Scriven

2 thoughts on “Removing Windows Server 2012 Start Context Menu

  1. Here is what I did:

    it leave control panel (to access printers, controlled by gpo) and file explorer to access mapped drives.

    cd C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\WinX\group3
    del /q *.*
    cd C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\WinX\group2
    del “1 – run.lnk”
    del “2 – search.lnk”
    del “5 – task manager.lnk”

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