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How to quickly change the apps that appear on the Windows 8 Start screen?

Posted on 2013-02-02
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Last Modified: 2015-02-22
I have a dozen Windows 8 machines to configure, and there is a specific list of apps that I would like to appear on the  Start screen.  Other than one-by-one removing all the apps I don't want, and one-by-one adding all the ones I do want ... Where is the folder that contains this list of apps, similar to the "Desktop" folder in Windows 7?  How can I quickly save that folder from one correctly-configured machine and restore it onto the other machines?  Thanks
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Question by:Dwight Baer
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LVL 4

Assisted Solution

by:adez12
adez12 earned 50 total points
ID: 38847265
After poking around a little bit, check this directory out:

C:\Users\UserName\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Application Shortcuts
2013-02-02-12-12-32.png
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Assisted Solution

by:Dwight Baer
Dwight Baer earned 0 total points
ID: 38847733
It didn't work.

Within C:\Users\UserName\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Application Shortcuts ...
I created a "Save" folder and moved the contents down into the Save folder.
Then I copied the contents of the Application Shortcuts folder from the correctly-configured machine into the Application Shortcuts folder.  No change happened in the icons/tiles that appear on my Windows 8 Start screen.

Something is "different" about the Application Shortcuts folder.  I tried to rename it to "Application Shortcuts.old" and then paste in the entire Application Shortcuts folder in, instead.  But it reported that it was copying in 29 identical files and wanted to know if I wanted to overwrite them.  In other words, renaming that folder had no impact - Windows still saw it as being there, with the old name.

So obviously I don't yet understand how the W8 Start screen works.

I'd like to hear from someone who's actually done this procedure.  Windows 8 has been around for a while - I'm sure there are lots of experts who have had to configure the Start screens for an entire lab and they've found a fast way to do it.
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LVL 24

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Alan Henderson earned 450 total points
ID: 39053468
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Author Closing Comment

by:Dwight Baer
ID: 39069090
Thanks very much, vallis.
I included the answer from adez12 because, although it was wrong, it was nevertheless related.  I always try to give people points who put themselves out and try to respond to my questions.
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Expert Comment

by:kengreg
ID: 40624796
C:\Users\JohnDUsername\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows

appsFolder.itemdata-ms
appsFolder.itemdata-ms.bak

This post was relying on a link. Here's the relevant path and filename.

I found this thread to be very helpful.
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