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    Backup and Restore Start Layout in Windows 10

    Backup and Restore Start Layout in Windows 10

    How to Backup and Restore Start Menu Layout in Windows 10
    Published by Category: Backup & Restore
    21 Nov 2017
    Designer Media Ltd

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    Posts: 25,804

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    How to Backup and Restore Start Menu Layout in Windows 10

    information   Information
    The layout of your Start menu includes how you resized the Start menu or full screen Start, pinned items, how the tiles of pinned items are sized, arranged into groups, group names, and used in Live Folders.

    This tutorial will show you how to back up and restore the Start menu layout of any user account on your Windows 10 PC.

    You must be signed in as an administrator to be able to back up and restore a Start menu layout of any account other than your own.
    Note   Note
    This can be handy if you do not want to have to setup your Start menu layout from scratch again. Say after a clean install of Windows 10.

    You can restore the backup of a Start menu layout to any user account on the PC.

    CONTENTS:
    • Option One: To Backup Start Menu Layout of Current Account
    • Option Two: To Restore Start Menu Layout to Current Account


    EXAMPLE: Start menu layout in Windows 10
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Default_Start_layout.jpg 
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    Backup and Restore Start Layout in Windows 10 OPTION ONE Backup and Restore Start Layout in Windows 10
    To Backup Start Menu Layout of Current Account

    1. Press the Win+R keys to open Run, type regedit into Run, and click/tap on OK to open Registry Editor.

    2. Navigate to the key below in the left pane of Registry Editor. (see screenshot below)

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\CloudStore\Store\Cache\DefaultAccount

    Name:  Backup_Start_layout-1.jpg
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    3. Right click on the DefaultAccount key in the left pane of Registry Editor, and click/tap on Export. (see screenshot above)

    4. Navigate to where you want to export this DefaultAccount key to as a .reg file, type a file name (ex: "DefaultAccount_for_Brink") you want for this .reg file, and click/tap on Save. (see screenshot below)
    Note   Note
    This .reg file is your backup of the DefaultAccount key
    Name:  Backup_Start_layout-2.jpg
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    5. You can now close Registry Editor if you like.

    6. Open File Explorer (Win+E), click/tap on the icon in the address bar, copy and paste %LocalAppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Shell into the address bar, and press Enter. (see screenshot below)

    Name:  Backup_Start_layout-3.jpg
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    7. Copy the DefaultLayouts.xml file in the "%LocalAppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Shell" folder. (see screenshot below)

    Name:  Backup_Start_layout-4.jpg
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    8. Paste the DefaultLayouts.xml file into the same location (ex: "My Start Layout Backup" folder) you exported the .reg file from step 4 above to keep them together as the backup of your Start layout. (see screenshot below)

    Name:  Backup_Start_layout-5.jpg
Views: 453
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    Backup and Restore Start Layout in Windows 10 OPTION TWO Backup and Restore Start Layout in Windows 10
    To Restore Start Menu Layout to Current Account

    Note   Note
    This option requires that you already have a Start layout backup created from Option One above.

    1. Press the Win+R keys to open Run, type regedit into Run, and click/tap on OK to open Registry Editor.

    2. Navigate to the key below in the left pane of Registry Editor. (see screenshot below)

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\CloudStore\Store\Cache\DefaultAccount

    Name:  Restore_Start_layout-1.jpg
Views: 452
Size:  49.4 KB

    3. Right click on the DefaultAccount key in the left pane of Registry Editor, and click/tap on Delete. (see screenshot above)

    4. Click/tap on Yes to confirm deleting the DefaultAccount key. (see screenshot below)

    Name:  Restore_Start_layout-2.png
Views: 449
Size:  13.3 KB

    5. You can now close Registry Editor if you like.

    6. Open the location (ex: "My Start Layout Backup" folder) of the Start layout backup created from Option One, and double click/tap on the .reg file (ex: "DefaultAccount_for_Brink") to merge it. (see screenshot below)

    Name:  Restore_Start_layout-3.jpg
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    7. When prompted, click/tap on Yes (UAC), Yes, and OK to approve merging the .reg file. (see screenshot below)

    Name:  Restore_Start_layout-4.png
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Size:  18.6 KB Name:  Restore_Start_layout-5.png
Views: 450
Size:  15.5 KB

    8. Open File Explorer (Win+E), click/tap on the icon in the address bar, copy and paste %LocalAppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Shell into the address bar, and press Enter. (see screenshots below)

    Name:  Backup_Start_layout-3.jpg
Views: 452
Size:  48.4 KB
    Name:  Restore_Start_layout-7.jpg
Views: 449
Size:  51.5 KB

    9. In a separate File Explorer window, open the location (ex: "My Start Layout Backup" folder) of the Start layout backup created from Option One, right click on the backed up DefaultLayouts.xml file, and click/tap on Copy. (see screenshot below)

    Name:  Restore_Start_layout-8.jpg
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Size:  73.3 KB

    10. Paste the backed up DefaultLayouts.xml file from step 9 into the %LocalAppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Shell folder from step 8 above. (see screenshot below)

    Name:  Restore_Start_layout-9.jpg
Views: 455
Size:  63.5 KB

    11. When prompted, click/tap on Replace the file in the destination option to replace the current DefaultLayouts.xml file with your backup copy. (see screenshot below)

    Name:  Restore_Start_layout-10.png
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Size:  18.5 KB

    12. Close File Explorer.

    13. Sign out and sign in to apply the restored Start layout.


    That's it,
    Shawn


  1.    22 Jun 2016 #1
    Join Date : Oct 2013
    Posts : 25,804
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 17046

    This tutorial has been updated to work again.
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  2.    02 May 2017 #2
    Join Date : Nov 2013
    Chicagoland
    Posts : 34,885
    Dual boot Windows 10 FCU Pro x 64 & current Insider 10 Pro

    Hi Shawn. Thanks for this tutorial. It's handy.

    Can this Database folder be exported and used on a different machine signed in with the same account? Or does one have to use another tool to use a WIM?

    How about importing an account to another machine?
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  3.    02 May 2017 #3
    Join Date : Oct 2013
    Posts : 25,804
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 17046
    Thread Starter

    Hey Tony,

    Yep, you can use the backup on another computer.

    Anything that was in Start not installed on the other computer just wouldn't be included.

    Not sure about importing an account, but you could use the same Microsoft account on both computers and have both set to sync settings to help.
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  4.    02 May 2017 #4
    Join Date : Nov 2013
    Chicagoland
    Posts : 34,885
    Dual boot Windows 10 FCU Pro x 64 & current Insider 10 Pro

    Quote Originally Posted by Brink View Post
    Hey Tony,

    Yep, you can use the backup on another computer.

    Anything that was in Start not installed on the other computer just wouldn't be included.

    Not sure about importing an account, but you could use the same Microsoft account on both computers and have both set to sync settings to help.
    Thanks, Shawn. Yes, I have the tower, lappy, and phone all synced and all signing in with the same MS account. The phone I understand would be different, but the tower and lappy just don't seem to mesh in a lot of things. The lock screen and the wallpaper for starters. The lappy has been on Insider, but it seems to be happening since I recently got back into Insider with the tower. I still get OneDrive sync, emails, notifications, location, and the like of course.

    I'm thinking it may be a corrupt MS account. I have a feeling it's on the lappy. That's why the Start screen backup, the question on importing an account, and questions on WIM lately to fix. There are Windows ADK tools to import accounts, but I'm going to create a admin local account and delete the original MS account after signing out, then make it a MS account out of the local to see if that works. Does that sound feasible?

    BTW, since CU, are you receiving SMS text notifications from your phone and able to answer while on your PCs? That's the cat's meow.
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  5.    02 May 2017 #5
    Join Date : Oct 2013
    Posts : 25,804
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 17046
    Thread Starter

    Sure you could do that to for a new account on the PC for your MSA.

    Oh yes, I've been able to receive and send SMS text messages on the PC that were synced across from by Windows 10 Mobile phone. Both were signed in with the same MSA. The first time it happened, it took me by surprise for a moment. I like it though.

    Turn On or Off App Synchronization Between Devices in Window 10 - Windows 10 Apps Features Tutorials
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  6.    02 May 2017 #6
    Join Date : Nov 2013
    Chicagoland
    Posts : 34,885
    Dual boot Windows 10 FCU Pro x 64 & current Insider 10 Pro

    Thanks so much, @Brink.

    Took me by surprise too. Great stuff. Wondering if they'll continue to develop that app to initiate a text. Maybe via Skype. That would be sweet.
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  7.    02 May 2017 #7
    Join Date : Oct 2013
    Posts : 25,804
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 17046
    Thread Starter
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  8.    03 May 2017 #8
    Join Date : Nov 2013
    Chicagoland
    Posts : 34,885
    Dual boot Windows 10 FCU Pro x 64 & current Insider 10 Pro

    LOL! Thanks again, Shawn! I have some catching up to do!
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  9.    03 May 2017 #9
    Join Date : Oct 2013
    Posts : 25,804
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 17046
    Thread Starter

    LOL, you're most welcome Tony. It can be hard to keep up with all the changes and added features.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

 
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