How to Reset, Backup and Restore Start Menu Layout

In this post, you’ll see the steps to backup, restore and reset the Start menu layout. I am using a Windows 10 PC here. Let’s get started.

Reset Start Menu Layout

Open the Registry Editor. I suggest that you back up the Registry before proceeding.

Expand the following keys:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > CloudStore > Store > Cache.

Right-click on the DefaultAccount key.

Press the Delete option and then press the Yes button in the confirmation pop-up.

Restart your PC or File Explorer.

That’s it.

Now open the Start menu and you will see the changes.

Backup Start Menu Layout

You can complete this task in two ways. Use the one you prefer.

Method #1

Open the Registry Editor. I suggest that you back up the Registry before proceeding.

Expand the following keys:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > CloudStore > Store > Cache.

Right-click on the DefaultAccount key.

Select the Export option.

Save it in the folder you want.

Now open the Run Command. Type %localappdata%/microsoft/windows/shell and press Enter.

Copy the DefaultLayouts XML file and paste it in the same place where you have the .reg file you saved before.

That’s all.

Note: Use method #1 to restore this backup.

Method #2

Open elevated Windows PowerShell.

Type in the following command and then press Enter:

Export-StartLayout -Path “C:\sl.xml”

Within the double quotes, like above, you must specify the path where you want the backup file and file name together with the XML extension. Replace it as you wish.

Note: Use method #2 to restore this backup.

Restore Start Menu Layout

You can complete this task in two ways. Choose the one you like.

Method #1

Open the Registry Editor. I suggest that you back up the Registry before proceeding.

Expand the following keys:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > CloudStore > Store > Cache.

Right-click on the DefaultAccount key. You can see the Delete option in the context menu. Hit it.

Click Yes in the confirmation pop-up.

Now go to where you have the Start menu layout backup.

Double-click the .reg file and then click Yes on the UAC pop-up.

Click Yes in the confirmation pop-up.

Copy the DefaultLayouts XML file and paste it into the Shell folder.

The latter folder can be accessed by using this command (%localappdata%/microsoft/windows/shell) in the Run command box.

Restart File Explorer or PC.

That’s it.

Method #2

Open the Registry Editor. I suggest that you back up the Registry before proceeding.

To restore the Start menu layout for all users, expand the following keys:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SOFTWARE > Policies > Microsoft > Windows.

To restore the Start menu layout for the current user, expand the following keys:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Policies > Microsoft > Windows.

Here, I do this for the “current user,” but the steps are the same for “all users.”

Press the Explorer key. If you do not see this key, you need to create it.

Here’s how: Right-click on the Windows key, select New > Key, enter the name as Explorer and then press Enter.

In the right pane, right-click on a space.

Select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value.

Enter the name as LockedStartLayout and press Enter. Double-click on it.

Enter 1 in the Value data field and then press the OK button.

Now, right-click on the space.

Select New > Expandable String Value.

Enter the name as StartLayoutFile and press Enter.

Double-click it. Specify the path of the backup XML file (for example: C:\sl.xml). Press the OK button.

Restart your PC or File Explorer.

That’s all.

Notes:

You may notice that the Start menu layout is locked. If you prefer, you can unlock it by deleting the DWORD created above. Remove the Expandable String Value created above if you prefer, and the Start menu layout will not be affected.

Alternative of Method #2

Type gpedit.msc in the Run command box and then press Enter.

To restore the Start menu layout for the current user, go to User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Start Menu and Taskbar.

To restore the Start menu layout for all users, go to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Start Menu and Taskbar.

Here, I do this for the “current user,” but the steps are the same for “all users.”

Now you’ll see “Start Layout.” Double-click on it.

Select Enabled and then enter the path of the backup XML file in the field (for example: C:\sl.xml).

Click OK.

Restart your computer.

Notes:

You may notice that the Start menu layout is locked. Remember that you can unlock it by following the steps above and choosing Not Configured or Disabled. Note that this will not affect the Start menu layout.

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Thirumalraj
How To Raj was founded and run by Thirumalraj, an MCA graduate. Since August 2015, he has been blogging on his other blog, Technology Hint. Learn more about How To Raj here.