Reset Windows 8 Start Screen to its Default State, Unpin All Tiles

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When you install an application from the Windows Store it is automatically pinned to the Start screen. You will get a bloated menu with tons of apps if you decide to go on an install spree (a high possibility on a fresh Windows 8 install). Later on, unpinning each not-so-frequently-needed-app can be a pain, so here’s a quick way to unpin all Start screen tiles in one go and restore the menu to its default state.

Resetting Windows 8 Start screen

Windows 8 Start screen settings are saved in a file called appsFolder.itemdata-ms at this location C:\Users\[Username]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows. Whenever you pin an item or change tiles layout, this file gets updated. So, to delete existing data and restore the Start menu, you just have to delete appsFolder.itemdata-ms file. This can be done manually by going to the location and deleting the file, or simply run these commands in Command Prompt with elevated privileges:

DEL %LocalAppData%\Microsoft\Windows\appsFolder.itemdata-ms
DEL %LocalAppData%\Microsoft\Windows\appsFolder.itemdata-ms.bak
tskill explorer

Reset Windows 8 Start Screen

The first two lines deletes the main settings file and its backup file. The third line kills and restarts the Explorer.exe process. If you choose the manual method, restart explorer from Task Manager for changes to take effect.

Do note that this command deletes only the Start screen setting, your application settings are still intact.

With a fresh menu, you can customize it to your liking by pinning only those applications which you want.