Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Does Windows 8 support creating a locked down start screen

  1. #1


    Posts : 7
    Windows 8

    Does Windows 8 support creating a locked down start screen


    I am developing a tablet experience that will be handed out to a number of employees in a number of stores. I want to customize the start screen a certain way and basically lock it so that employees (or customers) cannot move icons around, install new apps, or run unapproved applications. Is there anyway to enforce this or can I be pointed in the direction of someone at Microsoft that may know more? We'll be purchasing a lot of a Windows 8 tablets but who knows what customers will do with this device in their hands and i really don't want to have to be manually resetting my experiences every day. Thanks so much for any help you can provide. I think Windows 8 makes for a great kiosk type functionality and I hope to see that there is some way to perform tasks like this.

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  2. #2


    Posts : 5,707
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    From what I know, you can't lock down the Start Screen. It's basically like the Desktop, you can move icons around freely. I think there maybe third party tools that impose certain restriction, like preventing changes like that from happening after restarting/shutting down. I've worked on several laptops that ran xp where they had a program related to DeepFreeze that flushed out any changes to the OS that wasn't made by an administrator.

    If you don't want to do third party options, best bet is to let people customize their Start Screens and Desktops to THEIR personal use. Good chances are that if they've never used Windows 8 before, they won't change much. (Don't teach them how to move things around... )

    Through an administrative Group Policy, you can prevent installing of programs/apps, disable access to the Windows Store, or even customize the Desktop. This is just a password protected admin account restrictions over a standard user account.

    What exactly will Windows 8 be used for? On tablets and/or a touch kiosk?
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  3. #3


    Posts : 7
    Windows 8


    The tablet will be used by the salespeople to demo certain items to customers, show videos, certain websites, and run one preapproved application I created. Occasionally customers will be left with the tablet and I do not want them mucking around and changing layouts or icons on the start screen. Nor do I want the salespeople doing that as I want to enforce a consistent experience across all my tablets. I have layed out over 80 tiles, colour coded and grouped in certain ways with custom icons using OblyTile. I also do not want customers or sales people to be installing unapproved apps from the app store. This seems like it should be a fairly common business use case that should be enforceable by a group policy... Has MS really not though this far ahead?
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  4. #4


    Posts : 5,707
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    Everything that you described except for the Start Screen layout is enforceable through Group Policy, it's been thought out.

    Like on the Desktop, a user can muck around their Desktop icons to their fitting as they're the one using it and different people want things differently arranged. That I believe isn't enforced by Group Policy either.
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  5. #5


    Posts : 7
    Windows 8


    The problem with this is the store customers or employees should not be considered the user. I am the user, using windows 8 to create an experience that I will hand to people who probably have no idea what Windows 8 is. They will accidentally or purposely move tiles around and do unexpected things that would ruin the experience I have created. It would seem that I need to create my own application but then there is nothing stopping people from closing my app.
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  6. #6


    Posts : 5,707
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    I can honestly tell you, having shown many people Windows 8, as long as you don't show to move the tiles around I'd say it'd be a non-issue. If you tell them not to mess around with the Start Screen, they'll probably follow those orders.
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  7. #7


    Posts : 7
    Windows 8


    Quote Originally Posted by Coke Robot View Post
    I can honestly tell you, having shown many people Windows 8, as long as you don't show to move the tiles around I'd say it'd be a non-issue. If you tell them not to mess around with the Start Screen, they'll probably follow those orders.
    "Probably" being the problem there. We will be using hundreds of devices across many stores passing through the hands of thousands of customers and Murphy's law is bound to take effect. Is there not some registry hack or something that can be tweaked?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

Does Windows 8 support creating a locked down start screen
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