Account Cart Search

How to Standardize the Windows 10 and Windows 11 Desktop

Article posted on 8/16/2023

The desktop is a complicated and wonderful place in the world of Windows. It’s the centerpiece of productivity in Windows 10 and 11 but it’s also a dumping ground for unfinished tasks, icons that open critical applications, and widgets that either try to entertain or provide information to improve your workflows.

There are various ways to try and standardize your desktops, from using group policy workflows that won’t fully accomplish what you are trying to do, to trying to lock down accounts to stop the creation process from happening at all. But the reality is that most users need a middle ground, a solution that allows you to standardize the desktop but also allows the user some flexibility to utilize the desktop as it has been designed for several decades.

We have spent the last few months diving deep into conversations with clients about how they are using our various tools to standardize the desktops within their environment. While no two deployments are ever the same, a common theme has emerged around IT deploying a set of managed experiences for the desktop but also allowing the user to add and manipulate their own icons too.

But what do we mean by a standardized desktop?

We mean that no matter the Windows endpoint, the critical applications will always be in the same location on the desktop, and with Fences, you can lock down those icons so that the user cannot move or remove them either.

As an example, we have clients who use Fences to deploy standardized configurations in hospitals so that each department will have a common desktop experience. Meaning, Radiology, as an example, will always have its critical icons in a red fence in the top right corner of the desktop whereas Ophthalmology has its critical icons in a blue fence in the same location - Fences has the ability to support complex deployment scenarios.

With Fences, you can standardize the desktop experience based on who is logging into the endpoint; it’s a powerful tool that provides IT control over how the desktop functions. Think of it this way, if there is something you want to do with icons on the desktop, Fences is the premier solution to handle this experience.

Whether it's locking down the desktop and icons so that they can't be moved/deleted like a kiosk or allowing some icons to be manipulated and others to be fixed in place, Fences is being used by thousands of clients to do just this.

And for the full standardization experience, when paired with Start11, it doesn’t matter if it’s Windows 10, Windows 11, Windows Server, or an older version of the OS, our StartX line of products can make every version of Windows look identical.

For IT, this means reduced training time spent with each new version of Windows that is released, less time spent updating documentation, and more time spent focused on productivity rather than managing desktops. And for the user, this means less time spent looking for files or applications and more time spent knocking out tasks.

Fences 4 and Start11 are being used by hundreds of thousands of users every day and have become trusted tools by IT professionals for managing the Windows desktop experience. You can learn more about Fences 4 and Start11 on the respective app pages and if you are interested in learning more about these tools and how we can assist with large scale deployments, reach out to us at