Backup and Restore Start Menu Layout in Windows 10

In Windows 10, Microsoft has revived the Start menu, which has been welcomed by many users. Compared to the Start menu in previous versions of Windows, the new menu is updated with the ability to pin live tiles of Modern apps. Today, we'll see how to create a backup copy of your Start menu layout and restore it when needed in Windows 10.

Windows 10 Pin To Start With Drag And Drop In Start Menu

The user can customize the Start menu in Windows 10 by pinning various app tiles, creating tile folders, and changing its height by resizing the menu pane. Once you have customized it according to your preferences, it is a good idea to create a backup of your Start menu layout, so you will be able to restore its layout later after a Windows reinstall or if your Start menu settings accidentally get reset. Here is how you can do it.

Note: The instructions below are applicable to modern Windows 10 versions (1709, 1803 etc). The previous version of the procedure can be found here.

Tip: Here's how to tweak your PC to ensure top performance for a specific type of task, be it gaming, document work or something else.

To backup the Start Menu layout in Windows 10, do the following.

  1. Open the Registry Editor app.
  2. Go to the following Registry key.
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\CloudStore\Store\Cache\DefaultAccount

    See how to go to a Registry key with one click.Windows 10 Start Menu Layout In Registry

  3. On the left, right-click on the DefaultAccount key, and select "Export" in the context menu.
  4. Navigate to the folder where you want to store your Start menu backup, specify the name for the REG file and click on the Save button.Windows 10 Backup Start Menu Layout
  5. Now, open File Explorer.
  6. Go to the folder %LocalAppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Shell. You can copy and paste this line to the address bar of the app.Windows 10 Start Menu Layout Folder
  7. You'll see the file DefaultLayouts.xml. Copy it to the folder where you store your *.reg file.Windows 10 Start Menu Layout File

You are done.Windows 10 Start Menu Layout Backup Copy

Later you can restore your Start menu layout as follows.

Restore the Start Menu Layout in Windows 10

  1. Open the Registry Editor app.
  2. Go to the following Registry key.
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\CloudStore\Store\Cache\DefaultAccount

    See how to go to a Registry key with one click.Windows 10 Start Menu Layout In Registry

  3. On the left, right-click on the DefaultAccount key, and select "Delete" in the context menu.Windows 10 Restore Start Menu Layout Step 1
  4. Navigate with File Explorer to the folder with your Start menu location backup files.
  5. Double-click on the *.reg file and confirm the merge operation.Windows 10 Restore Start Menu Layout Step 2
  6. Now, right-click on the file DefaultLayouts.xml and select "Copy".
  7. Paste it to the folder %LocalAppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Shell. Click on the option Replace the file in the destination when prompted.
  8. Sign out from your user account.
  9. Sign in to your user account to apply the Start menu layout.

That's it.

To save your time, you can use Winaero Tweaker. It comes with the following option:

Winaero Tweaker Start Menu Layout

Using it, you can quickly back and restore the Start menu layout.

Download Winaero Tweaker

Related articles:

  1. Rename Start Menu Items in All Apps in Windows 10
  2. Move favorite apps to the top of Start Menu in Windows 10
  3. Add Items to All Apps in Start Menu in Windows 10
  4. How To Pin Regedit To Start Menu in Windows 10
  5. Add Run as different user to Start Menu in Windows 10
  6. How many Start menu shortcuts you have in Windows 10

Driver Updater

11 thoughts on “Backup and Restore Start Menu Layout in Windows 10

  1. throkr

    Thanks, Sergey, very handy to have … :-)

    Reply
  2. Sepehr

    Could you please add this feature to winaero tweaker?
    It would be really amazing

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      I’ll do.

      Reply
  3. throkr

    Thank you, Sergey, very handy to have … :-)

    Reply
  4. David H Johnson

    This tip is amazing. It works perfectly!

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      Great.

      Reply
  5. Darth Agnon

    Is this option already added to Winaero Tweaker?

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      Not yet.

      Reply
  6. John F.

    October 23, 2018

    Hello,

    I do not know why it works but it works. So thank you very much.
    I made the copy using your wonderful “Winaero Tweaker” program.

    Does this mean that Windows 10 (1803) now backup the “C:\Users\xyz\AppData\Local\TileDataLayer” directory in the registry key “HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\CloudStore\Store\Cache\DefaultAccount “?

    I am curious and would really like to know where Windows 10 actually backs up the tile configuration.

    Thank you so much!

    Reply
  7. Giuseppe

    I have followed the “manual instructions”, backup/restore registry and XML, it is works fine. Many many thanks!

    Reply
  8. Sargon

    May I ask why we need to restore the DefaultLayouts.xml file? It seems to contain the default Microsoft tile layout and user tile modifications do not appear to affect this file in any way. Am I missing something?

    I know you can replace this file with a custom exported layout that would then apply to newly created accounts on this machine, but that’s another topic.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.