As you know Microsoft introduced a mixed Start menu on Windows 10, the right side contains live tiles. The left side give you access to different settings and apps installed on your computer. Unfortunately if you remove the tiles by mistake you can’t add them since there is no UI to do the job yet.
All data about the Start menu is stored in a database inside a folder named TileDataLayer. If the database get corrupted causing the Start menu to stop working properly, you can’t reset it from Windows 10 settings… But there is a fix that you can follow to reset your Start menu layout on your Windows account.
In this tutorial you will learn how to reset the Start menu and recover all lost tiles with a bonus at the end, you can add your own custom tiles using a third party software.
Reset Start Menu Layout on Windows 10
What You Need to Reset Start Menu
If you want to reset the Start menu on Windows 10, you have to create a new account to copy the original Start menu database from it and paste it on your account. To do this we will need two accounts.
- Current Account: Your personal account which have a – corrupt – Start menu that you want to reset.
- Administrator account: This account will be used to copy the database files from and use it to reset the other account. You can’t paste database files from your current account since file can’t be replaced if they are used.
Step 1. Create a New Account
Open the Settings app. Click on Accounts.
Select “Family & other people“.
Click on “Add someone else to this PC“. And follow the steps on How to Create an Administrator Account on Windows 10!
Once you have created a new account on your Windows 10 PC, let’s see how to enable the built-in administrator account.
Step 2. Enable the Built-in Administrator Account
You can use your newly created account to login and copy the Start menu database files or enable the hidden administrator account for good measure. Sometimes Windows won’t let you copy the files from and to an account because the files are used by the system.
Press the buttons Windows+X to open the power user menu and click on “Computer Management“.
Open “Local Users and Groups” and select “Users“.
Right-click on “Administrator” account and choose “Properties“.
Uncheck “Account is disabled” and click “OK“.
Now the built-in administrator account is activated. You can sign out from the Start menu to login to your administrator account.
Step 3. Reset the Start menu layout
Log out from your current account and login to the built-in administrator account.
Use the shortcut Windows+E to open the Explorer. The press CTRL+F1 to display the ribbon. Go to the tab “View” and check “Hidden items” to view all hidden folders and files in the Explorer.
OLD-USERNAME is your the username of your old account.
Navigate the following path:
Rename the folder “Database” to “Database.bak” and press “Enter“.
Keep this window open, we will need it later.
In a new Explorer window (Windows+E) access this path:
Copy the Database folder into the old user TileDataLayer folder.
Sign out from the built-in administrator account and login to your old account.
If the Start menu is back to work. Open Run using the Windows+R shortcut and open this path:
And remove the folder
Don’t forget to disable the built-in Administrator account.
Open the power user menu using the Windows+X shortcut and select “Computer Management“.
Expand “Local Users and Groups” and select “Users“. Open properties of the “Administrator” account by a double-click.
Check “Account is disabled” and restart your computer.
You can also remove the other account from the Settings app.
There you have it! You have just reset your Start menu back to the original settings.