How do I Customize End Users' Windows Experience?
Issue: After configuring a Desktop Image, Windows settings such as theme, icon placement, taskbar settings, etc. are not applied to the hosts created from the Desktop Image.
The sysprep process Nerdio Manager executes removes local profiles from the template before running the generalize command. We do this to help avoid issues with AppxPackages or other installed applications from causing the sysprep process to stall, and to minimize the amount of remediation time spent troubleshooting sysprep. In addition, the local profile that is customized is cleared.
What most of our customers have found great success with is customizing the user's default experience using group policy. Items such as default themes and backgrounds, desktop icons, task bar and start menu layouts, application preferences, etc., can all be set up and pushed to the session hosts with GPOs. For example, the start menu tiles can be customized and then saved using the Export-StartLayout PowerShell command, and then set up in Group Policy to apply the matching Import-StartLayout command once during the initial sign in.
Note: There are other options such as modifying the C:\Users\Default user profile, but please be aware that modifying the registry and start menu/taskbar preferences can be a little tricky, although this is a very easy way to setup initial shortcuts and folders.