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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
    20 Mar 2017
    Designer Media Ltd

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    Brink's Avatar
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    Posts: 25,184

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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, and the group names.

    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.

    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:


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

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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 an Account

    1. If you haven't already, enable the built-in Administrator account.

    2. Sign out the user account (ex: Brink) with the Start menu layout you want to back up.
    Note   Note
    If you don't sign out of the account (ex: Brink) you want to back up its Start menu layout, you will not be able to back up the account's Start menu layout since it will be in use.


    3. Sign in to the built-in Administrator account.

    4. Set to show hidden files and folders. (see screenshot below)

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    5. Open File Explorer, and open the hidden TileDataLayer folder below for the account (ex: Brink) you want to back up its Start menu layout.

    C:\Users\<user name>\AppData\Local\TileDataLayer

    Note   Note
    Substitute <user name> in the folder path above with the actual user name of the account (ex: Brink) you want to back up its Start menu layout.

    For example: C:\Users\Brink\AppData\Local\TileDataLayer


    6. Right click or press and hold on the Database folder, and click/tap on Copy. (see screenshot below)

    Click image for larger version. 

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    7. Browse to the folder location where you want to save a copy of the Database folder, right click or press and hold on an empty area in this save to folder, and click/tap on Paste.
    Note   Note
    This Database folder is the backup of the Start menu layout for the account from step 2.



    8. If you like, you can set to don't show hidden files and folders anymore.

    9. When finished, you can close File Explorer if you like.






    Backup and Restore Start Layout in Windows 10 OPTION TWO Backup and Restore Start Layout in Windows 10
    To Restore Start Menu Layout to an Account

    1. If you haven't already, enable the built-in Administrator account.

    2. Sign out the user account (ex: Brink) that you want to restore a Start menu layout.
    Note   Note
    If you don't sign out of the account (ex: Brink) you want to restore a Start menu layout to, you will not be able to restore a Start menu layout to the account since it will be in use.


    3. Sign in to the built-in Administrator account.

    4. Set to show hidden files and folders. (see screenshot below)

    Name:  File_Explorer_Options_show_hidden_files.png
Views: 2991
Size:  21.4 KB

    5. Open File Explorer, and open the hidden TileDataLayer folder below for the account (ex: Brink) you want to restore a Start menu layout to.

    C:\Users\<user name>\AppData\Local\TileDataLayer

    Note   Note
    Substitute <user name> in the folder path above with the actual user name of the account (ex: Brink) you want to restore a Start menu layout to.

    For example: C:\Users\Brink\AppData\Local\TileDataLayer


    6. Right click or press and hold on the Database folder from step 2, click/tap on Rename, rename the folder to Database.old, and press Enter. (see screenshots below)
    Note   Note
    The Database.old folder will serve as a backup of this account's (ex: Brink) current Start menu layout.


    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    7. Open a separate File Explorer window, browse to where you saved the backup of the Database folder created using Option One, right click or press and hold on the Database folder, click/tap on Copy, and close this File Explorer window.

    8. Right click or press and hold on an empty area in the TileDataLayer folder from step 5, click/tap on Paste, and close this File Explorer window. (see screenshot below)

    Click image for larger version. 

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    9. If you like, you can set to don't show hidden files and folders anymore.

    10. The next time the user (ex: Brink) from step 2 signs in, their Start menu layout will be restored to how it was from the backup.



    That's it,
    Shawn


  1.    22 Jun 2016 #1
    Join Date : Oct 2013
    Posts : 25,184
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 17040

    This tutorial has been updated to work again.
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  2.    02 May 2017 #2
    Join Date : Nov 2013
    Chicagoland
    Posts : 33,724
    Dual boot Windows 10 FCU Pro x 64 & 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 : 25,184
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 17040
    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 : 33,724
    Dual boot Windows 10 FCU Pro x 64 & 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 : 25,184
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 17040
    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 : 33,724
    Dual boot Windows 10 FCU Pro x 64 & 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 : 25,184
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 17040
    Thread Starter
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  8.    03 May 2017 #8
    Join Date : Nov 2013
    Chicagoland
    Posts : 33,724
    Dual boot Windows 10 FCU Pro x 64 & 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 : 25,184
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 17040
    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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