How To Backup And Restore Windows Explorer Quick Access Settings

There are a lot of times when we feel the need to create a backup of the files and folders on our PCs. It can be a safety measure or to restore all of them later. Migrating files & folders from one storage drive to another or from one device to another is a common practice for PC users. However, there may be instances where one might need to create a backup of Windows Explorer Quick Access settings.

Creating a backup of our files and folders is a lot easier than backing up something like Windows Explorer Quick Access settings. In this article, we’ll be taking a look at the steps you can follow to create a backup of the Windows Explorer Quick Access settings on your computer. We’ll also go over how you can restore the backed-up Quick Access settings successfully later in this article. However, let’s learn a bit about Quick Access first. So without any further delay, let’s begin.

What Is Windows 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 that the system has 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 create a backup of Windows Explorer Quick Access settings. These settings include your pinned folders and the memory of your frequently accessed files.

Backup And Restore Quick Access Settings

How To Create A Backup Of The Windows Explorer Quick Access Settings?

As mentioned earlier, the Windows 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 Windows Explorer Quick Access settings to migrate it to a safe place and restore them later.

There are essentially two ways to create a backup of Windows Explorer Quick Access settings on the PC. These two ways involve using the File Explorer and Command Prompt. We’ll discuss each of them before moving on.

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 on the top right corner of File Explorer.
%AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Recent\AutomaticDestinations

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 of the files, right-click and click on Copy, or you can copy all of those files by pressing Ctrl + C.Backup quick access settings from file explorer
  • After copying the files, paste them into a folder to store the backup. You can save the backup of the Windows 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.

Restore Quick Access Settings with File Explorer

Now that we’ve talked about how to create a backup of Windows 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):
%AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Recent\AutomaticDestinations
  • Paste the files you copied from the backup folder in this destination by pressing Ctrl + V.

Relatively straightforward, right? Creating a backup of Windows 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.

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 at 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:
appdata%\microsoft\windows\recent\automaticdestinations

Note: Refrain from making any changes here

Backup quick access settings using command prompt

  • 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 Windows ExplorerBackup Quick Access Settings using cmd
  • 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"

Backing up Quick Access Settings Using Command Prompt

  • You’ve now created a backup of the Quick Access settings using Command Prompt.

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.

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.

This article discussed how to create a backup of the Quick Access settings in Windows Explorer and restore them. While using File Explorer to do so 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 the File Explorer a lot more convenient. That said, we’ll wrap this guide up and hope that this guide was of help to you.

He has a keen interest in Technology, Online Tools, Windows, Troubleshooting, and anything when it comes to Windows OS.

Leave a Reply