Windows 10: Backup and Restore Start Layout in Windows 10  

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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
    26 Feb 2018
    Designer Media Ltd

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    Brink's Avatar
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    Posts: 30,070

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    How to Backup and Restore Start Menu Layout in Windows 10


    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 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.

    This tutorial will show you how to back up and restore the Start screen 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.


     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
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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)

    This .reg file is your backup of the DefaultAccount key

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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)

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    7. Copy the DefaultLayouts.xml file in the "%LocalAppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Shell" folder. (see screenshot below)

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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)

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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


    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
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    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)

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    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)

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    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)

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    Name:  Restore_Start_layout-7.jpg
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    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)

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    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
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    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)

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    12. Close File Explorer.

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


    That's it,
    Shawn



  1. Posts : 30,070
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 17692
       22 Jun 2016 #1

    This tutorial has been updated to work again. :)
      My ComputersSystem Spec


  2. Posts : 38,043
    Dual boot Windows 10 FCU Pro x 64 & current Insider 10 Pro
       02 May 2017 #2

    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. Posts : 30,070
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 17692
    Thread Starter
       02 May 2017 #3

    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. Posts : 38,043
    Dual boot Windows 10 FCU Pro x 64 & current Insider 10 Pro
       02 May 2017 #4

    Brink said: 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. Posts : 30,070
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 17692
    Thread Starter
       02 May 2017 #5

    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. Posts : 38,043
    Dual boot Windows 10 FCU Pro x 64 & current Insider 10 Pro
       02 May 2017 #6

    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.   My ComputersSystem Spec


  • Posts : 38,043
    Dual boot Windows 10 FCU Pro x 64 & current Insider 10 Pro
       03 May 2017 #8

    LOL! Thanks again, Shawn! I have some catching up to do!
      My ComputersSystem Spec


  • Posts : 30,070
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 17692
    Thread Starter
       03 May 2017 #9

    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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