Backup Quick Access Toolbar buttons in Windows 10

Windows 10 has the Ribbon UI in File Explorer with a Quick Access Toolbar at the top. Yesterday we saw how it can be customized using tricks described in the article How to add any Ribbon command to the Quick Access toolbar in Windows 10. Suppose some day, you re-install Windows 10 or move to another PC with Windows 10, you wouldn't want to lose all your settings and start over again. Today I would like to share how you can backup and restore the Quick Access Toolbar's buttons and settings and apply them later to your current PC or any other PC.

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Here is how my Quick Access Toolbar looks in Windows 10:

Windows 10 cmd admin addedSince I've taken the time to customize it, I most definitely don't want to lose the customized commands and their order.

So, here is the solution.

How to backup Quick Access Toolbar buttons in Windows 10

To backup your Quick Access Toolbar buttons in Windows 10, you need to use Registry Editor.

  1. Open the Registry editor. If you are not familiar with Registry Editor, follow our detailed tutorial.
  2. Navigate to the following key:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Ribbon

    Tip: You can access the desired Registry key with one click.Windows 10 ribbon registry key

  3. Right click on the 'Ribbon' key on the left side and choose "export".Windows 10 backup quick access buttons
  4. The Export Registry File dialog will appear on the screen. Choose the desired location where you want to save your Quick Access Toolbar settings: Windows 10 ribbon registry export dialog

That's it! Now, to restore your Quick Access Toolbar settings on the same PC or on a fresh Windows 10 installation, just close all File Explorer windows and double click the file you have created. The next time you open File Explorer, your Quick Access Toolbar will be restored! The same can be done in Windows 8.1 and Windows 8.

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13 thoughts on “Backup Quick Access Toolbar buttons in Windows 10

  1. Dude

    Doesn’t work. Thanks for wasting my time.

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      It works like a charm. You are welcome.

      Reply
      1. N0pn0pn0pnulllll

        No sir, it does not. Time wasted on this. Also, this does not work if you try using HKEY_USERS and utilize the Ribbon within the profile’s registry so don’t bother with that either in the case you were thinking to do so..

        Reply
      2. Kristian

        Nope. This definitely doesn’t work. good thing there is a real working solution in the comments.

        Reply
  2. not woring

    put your exported reg hex encoded section into ascii and U’ll see that there is xml with absolute no quick access recovery info, this is no solution at all

    Reply
  3. Yasin Karaçivi

    SOLUTION:

    %appdata%\microsoft\windows\recent\automaticdestinations

    Copy all the files in this directory to another folder. After installing a clean Windows, copy the files you backed up into this directory and close all file explorer windows, and then open them again.

    Reply
    1. Danilo Körber

      This worked fine.

      Reply
    2. Fuad

      Works perfectly, thank you!!

      Reply
    3. ThaiBao

      It works like a charm, thank you

      Reply
    4. Tom

      This works –

      to do it you need to open a RUN command and then pop in the: %appdata%\microsoft\windows\recent\automaticdestinations

      Copy that and paste in the same directory on the new PC

      Reply
  4. winston

    After double clicking the exported register key, it does not work. Quick Access remains unchanged.

    Reply
  5. Ryan

    After importing, restart explorer.exe and you should then see Quick Access populated.

    Reply
  6. JB

    This didn’t work.

    Reply

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