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Customize Windows 11 Taskbar layout using an XML file and Microsoft Intune

How to change the Windows 11 Taskbar layout using an XML file deployed using an Endpoint Manager (Intune) Windows app (Win32) package. 

Windows 11 default Taskbar layout

The default Windows 11 taskbar layout includes: Task view, Chat (Teams personal), MS Edge and the Microsoft Store.

In this guide, we will create a new Windows 11 taskbar layout that only has File Explorer and Google Chrome pinned.

To customize the Taskbar layout, we will need to:
  1. Create an XML file for new Taskbar layout
  2. Copy the new Taskbar layout XML file to the Default user profile using command line
  3. Create an Intune Windows app (Win32) package to deploy the new Taskbar layout XML file to the Default user profile

Create XML file for new Windows 11 Taskbar layout

Create an XML file for the new Taskbar layout by copying the example XML file provided by Microsoft

Customize the Taskbar on Windows 11

Edit the Taskbar layout XML file

Make the following changes: 

Replace default apps with apps you have pinned

Unpins the default apps and replaces them with the apps you have pinned in the XML file

CustomTaskbarLayoutCollection PinListPlacement="Replace"

Pin Windows Explorer to the Taskbar


Pin Google Chrome to the Taskbar

taskbar:DesktopApp DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Google Chrome.lnk"

Save the XML file as LayoutModification.xml

Example: Windows 11 Taskbar LayoutModification.xml

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
	<CustomTaskbarLayoutCollection PinListPlacement="Replace">
				<taskbar:DesktopApp DesktopApplicationID="Microsoft.Windows.Explorer"/>
				<taskbar:DesktopApp DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Google Chrome.lnk"/>

Copy LayoutModification.xml to default user profile

We'll use the command line to copy the new Taskbar layout XML file to the Windows 11 Default user profile

The Default user profile Taskbar layout will be copied and used to create the Taskbar layout for new User profiles.

This means new users will get a customized "default" Taskbar layout that is not mandatory. They can change the Taskbar and pin or unpin apps themselves. 

:: copy-taskbar-layout.cmd
@echo off
copy /Y .\LayoutModification.xml C:\Users\Default\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\ 

Deploy new Windows 11 Taskbar XML layout using Intune

Create Windows app (Win32) package

Download the Microsoft Win32 Content Prep Tool from GitHub

Microsoft Win32 Content Prep Tool command line options

-c setup folder containing all the files you want to package.
-s application setup file .cmd .exe or .msi
-o output file

Run the following command to create a Windows app (Win32) package containing the copy-taskbar-layout.cmd and LayoutModification.xml
The output file copy-taskbar-layout.intunewin will be created and we will deploy this to Windows 11 devices in the next steps.

Save both these files: copy-taskbar-layout.cmd and LayoutModification.xml
Into the folder: C:\Temp\Windows 11\Windows 11 Taskbar layout

Open Command Prompt (run as Administrator)

cd C:\Temp\Microsoft-Win32-Content-Prep-Tool-master

IntuneWinAppUtil.exe -c "C:\Temp\Windows 11\Windows 11 Taskbar layout" -s "C:\Temp\Windows 11\Windows 11 Taskbar layout\copy-taskbar-layout.cmd" -o "C:\Temp\Windows 11\Windows 11 Taskbar layout-Intune" 

Create Windows app (Win32) in Intune

Microsoft Endpoint Manager admin center

Apps - Windows - Add

App type: Windows app (Win32)

App package file

Select the copy-taskbar-layout.intunewin package file

App information

Name: Windows 11 Taskbar Layout
Publisher: Microsoft


Install command: copy-taskbar-layout.cmd
Uninstall command: copy-taskbar-layout.cmd
Install behaviour: System
Device install behaviour: No specific action


Operating system architecture: 64-bit
Minimum operating system: Windows 10 1607

Detection rules

Rules format: Manually configure detection rules

Rule type: File
Path: C:\Users\Default\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Shell
File or folder: LayoutModification.xml
Detection method: File or folder exists


In this example, we are not using Dependencies or Supersedence

Click Next


Required group - add Windows 11 dynamic device group
End user notifications: Hide all toast notifications

Review + create

Click create

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Comments 2

Guest - AJ on Monday, 17 April 2023 20:09

how do we get the "copy-taskbar-layout.cmd" file?

how do we get the "copy-taskbar-layout.cmd" file?
TechLabs on Saturday, 29 April 2023 11:51

Hi there, its included in a code block in the blog

:: copy-taskbar-layout.cmd
@echo off
copy /Y .\LayoutModification.xml C:\Users\Default\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\

Hi there, its included in a code block in the blog :: copy-taskbar-layout.cmd @echo off copy /Y .\LayoutModification.xml C:\Users\Default\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\
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