The Quick Access feature in File Explorer lets you easily access the files and folders without searching or wasting time to figure out where you need to go. However, at times you may have reset Windows or reinstalled it. In these cases, you will lose access to quick access even though the rest of the files are intact. This post will share how to backup & restore Quick Access in Windows 11/10.
What Is File Explorer Quick Access?
Quick Access is nothing more than a feature present in Windows entirely for convenience. It sorts out your most frequently visited folders, recently accessed files, and pinned folders/files and arranges them in one place so you can quickly re-access them.
You’ll see your most visited folders, recently opened files, and the folders the system pinned to Quick Access by default there. You can also manually pin files and folders to Quick Access as per your needs. This feature is of great use for those who browse many files and folders on their computers. Hence, knowing how to backup and restore quick access in Windows is important. These settings include your pinned folders and the memory of your frequently accessed files.
How to Backup & Restore Quick Access in Windows?
As mentioned earlier, the File Explorer Quick Access settings include your pinned folders and frequently accessed data in the File Manager. In this section, we’ll learn how we can create a backup of File Explorer Quick Access settings to migrate it to a safe place and restore them later.
There are two ways to create a backup of Windows/File Explorer Quick Access settings on the PC. These two ways involve using File Explorer and Command Prompt. We’ll discuss each of them before moving on.
1] Backing Up Quick Access Settings Using File Explorer
You can follow the steps listed below to create a backup of your Quick Access settings using File Explorer:
- Press Win + E or type File Explorer in the search bar from your computer’s Start Menu and hit Enter. It will open the File Explorer window.
- Now you’ll need to navigate to a specific folder in File Explorer. For that, paste the location listed below in the search bar in the top right corner of File Explorer.
You can also press Ctrl + L to access the address bar.
- You should now see many files in the location you just opened. Press Ctrl + A to select all of them at once.
- After selecting all the files, right-click and click on Copy, or you can copy all of those files by pressing Ctrl + C.
- After copying the files, paste them into a folder to store the backup. You can save the backup of the File Explorer Quick Access settings in this folder.
It is all you need to do to create a local backup of the Quick Access settings of your File Explorer. As long as the folder where you pasted the files you copied from the destination mentioned in the second step above is intact, your Quick Access settings will remain intact and unchanged. However, we recommend copying that folder somewhere else to be safe.
2] Restore Quick Access Settings with File Explorer
Now that we’ve discussed how to create a backup of File Explorer Quick Access settings using File Explorer let’s talk about how to restore those settings. Listed below are the steps you need to follow to restore the Quick Access settings you backed up earlier:
- Press Win + E or open File Explorer from the Start Menu.
- Navigate to the backup folder in the previous step
- Copy all those files once again from your backup folder.
- Navigate to the following destination (paste this location in the address bar of File Explorer):
- Paste the files you copied from the backup folder in this destination by pressing Ctrl + V.
Relatively straightforward, right? Creating a backup of File Explorer Quick Access settings and restoring them in File Explorer can be done in just a few clicks and the traditional copy-paste way of backing up data. Let’s now talk about using Command Prompt to backup and restore the Quick Access settings.
3] Backing Up Quick Access Settings Using Command Prompt
This way of backing up and restoring the Quick Access settings in Windows is slightly more complex when compared to the way we just discussed. However, it has its perks and is safer.
Here are the steps you can follow to create a backup of the Quick Access settings using Command Prompt:
- Press Win + R when on your desktop’s home screen. It will launch the Run program. Copy and paste the following command in the Run box and press the enter key:
Note: Refrain from making any changes here
- Go to your C drive, and make a new folder by right-clicking in a blank area and selecting New > Folder
- Rename this folder to TempQA, and close the File Explorer
- Type’ Command Prompt’ in your computer’s Start Menu and select Run as administrator. Type the following command and hit Enter:
robocopy %appdata%\microsoft\windows\recent\automaticdestinations "C:\TempQA"
- You’ve now created a backup of the Quick Access settings using Command Prompt.
4] Restore Quick Access Settings from Command Prompt
- Launch Command Prompt once again as an administrator and hit Enter after typing the following command:
robocopy "C:\TempQA" %appdata%\microsoft\windows\recent\automaticdestinations *.automaticDestinations-ms
- Close the program. Close File Explorer if it is/was running and restart it again. It should restore your Quick Access folder and settings.
This article discussed how to backup and restore Quick Access in File Explorer. While using File Explorer is easy and quick, using Command Prompt to do the same may be the safer option in some cases. It is up to you. Quick Access is a great feature that makes accessing proper files/folders in File Explorer much more convenient. That said, we’ll wrap this guide up and hope that this guide was of help to you.
Where Do Files Go When Removed From Quick Access?
The quick access feature is just an access point for all the essential and recently opened or created files. Even if you remove files or folders from quick Access, those folders will still be available at their original location.
What Does ‘Do Not Automatically Add To Quick Access’ Do?
Choosing this option will exclude specific folders and directories from the list of quick access’ automatically added. New files or recently visited files in these folders will not be automatically added in Quick Access.