Windows 8’s Start Screen is where everything happens; it is a central place for you to ‘start’ using your PC. This is the first screen that you’ll see when you boot up your PC, provided you’ve not changed it to directly go to the Desktop instead. The new Windows 8.1 also has many more customization options for the Start Screen.

Windows 8

Now, let’s say you have customized this Start Screen heavily, and for some reason, you’ve lost your customizations which means you’ll need to start again from scratch. Fortunately, there’s a way for you to back up the layout of the Start Screen so that you don’t have to customize the Start Screen again. This is very useful when you reinstall Windows, or someone has rearranged the tiles.

How to backup Start Screen layout on Windows 8

Step 1: Open the Run dialog box by pressing Windows+R.

run

Step 2: Type “%LocalAppData%MicrosoftWindows” and press Enter which will open Windows Explorer. It will basically open the location of the Start Screen layout files.

Alternatively, you can also directly press the Windows key and copy and paste the above command and press Enter which will open the Windows Explorer.

Step 3: Copy two folders from this location, namely “appsFolder.itemdata-ms” and “appsfolder.itemdata-ms.bak” to a safe backup location.

Next time if something happens to the layout of Start Screen, then you can simply copy and paste both the files to their original location. You’ll get a dialog box asking whether you want to overwrite these files or not; click on replace.

That’s how you can easily replace the Start screen layout in Windows 8, and all this without using any program.