Windows 11 may soon restore apps during setup

Martin Brinkmann
May 24, 2023
Updated • May 24, 2023
Windows 11 News

One of the features that Microsoft's Windows operating system was lacking up until now was an option to restore installed apps on devices during setup. Google's Android operating system, for instance, supports the functionality, so that all apps from Google Play may be installed on a new device automatically.

Microsoft revealed that Windows 11 will be getting such functionality this year. It works for Microsoft accounts and will save information about apps in the cloud. A user who has used the feature on a PC in the past may use it to restore apps and some settings on another device. This may speed up setup of a new Windows PC, but there is a caveat.

The backup and restore feature is powered by Microsoft Store, which may also mean that it is limited to apps offered on the Store. Microsoft has not specified this and we will have to wait until the company reveals more details about the feature or releases it to the public. Windows users who do not use the Microsoft Store much or at all won't really benefit from the feature if it is limited to the Microsoft Store catalog.

The feature works as expected. Windows users who sign-in with a Microsoft account receive a prompt during the initial setup of the device. Microsoft asks them whether they want to restore apps and settings from a backup.

Users who accept this will have the apps downloaded from the Microsoft Store when they select the application icons on their taskbar and Start Menu. It is not as automated as it could be, as apps appear to be downloaded only when a user activates an icon for the first time.

Functionality may change before the official release or improved at a later stage. Microsoft could, for instance, use the Windows Package Manager winget to download non-Store programs to the user's device, if they were part of a cloud backup. This is speculation however.

Closing Words

Microsoft customers who use the Store to download apps will benefit from this feature the most, there is no doubt about that. It still sounds a bit unpractical, if it is true that apps are only downloaded when users click on the pinned icons after setup.

Now You: useful feature or not, what do you think? (via Windows Central)

Article Name
Windows 11 may soon restore apps during setup
Microsoft Windows 11 users may soon restore applications during setup if they have used the operating system's cloud backup feature.
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  1. Anonymous said on May 24, 2023 at 9:15 pm

    1) Will application data be sent to Microsoft too ? This can be very sensitive, despite Microsoft apparently only calling this “settings”. Maybe that would be the worst consequence yet of the existence of the Microsoft Store, like turning Microsoft into Apple overnight from a privacy point of view.

    2) Will the sync be end-to-end encrypted, or will Microsoft (and the usual fascists and other data predators behind) have effortless access to all user data ?

  2. ilev said on May 24, 2023 at 8:07 pm

    I have removed all Microsoft store apps from my Windows 10 and don’t won’t any ever.

    1. Anonymous said on May 24, 2023 at 11:57 pm

      Quote: “an option to restore”.

      Provided that is true it won’t make an iota of difference to @ilev and many others but you will need to stick with your bloatware removal tool (which might be painstaking individual app removal using Powershell then manual deletion of left-overs).

  3. Tachy said on May 24, 2023 at 8:04 pm

    Windows already has the abiltiy to reinstall apps you do not want, how is this different?

  4. basingstoke said on May 24, 2023 at 6:22 pm

    I knew what this was as soon as I saw the title:

    “Google’s Android operating system, for instance, supports the functionality, so that all apps from Google Play may be installed on a new device automatically” really an apples to oranges comparison, isn’t it? But anyway, the only feasible thing they could introduce support for is “Store” apps.

    “The backup and restore feature is powered by Microsoft Store, which may also mean that it is limited to apps offered on the Store.” Yep that’s all this is gonna be, those are the only apps MS could ever theoretically “””certify””” to meet their standards and criteria – anything to get less “unmanaged” apps on people’s desktops and more “store” apps, makes MS very happy.

    Microsoft’s last good innovation was probably the little asterisk you get at the top of unsaved notepad documents…

    1. JM said on May 25, 2023 at 10:09 am

      Stop being opinionated if you don’t now what is going on in tech world. Most of your assumptions are wrong. Watch the Microsoft Build material.

      1. basingstoke said on May 26, 2023 at 2:04 pm

        Okay so looks like it just relies on winget? Wow super revolutionary :)

        I haven’t personally used winget but I’ve heard of it before, however a quick google search found this tid-bit of info:

        “One of winget’s limitations is that it can only work with items registered in its package database”

        Is this true?

        So it’s still limited to a curated list of programs, pretty much just like the MS store – so when you said “Most of my assumptions were wrong” you must have meant “My assumptions were mostly not wrong”? I don’t see any other way to look at it, LOL.

        And if you think there’s something I missed from the video, or didn’t watch far enough, try linking a more accurate timestamp next time… I don’t have time to sit thru all their drivel.

        I was honestly worried when you commented, maybe thinking I was way off the mark, looks like I really wasn’t… ¬_¬

      2. basingstoke said on May 26, 2023 at 11:24 am

        I’m on a PC with no audio output and the “auto-captions” aren’t doing anything, thanks for just linking a video and nothing else. When I am able to watch your linked video in the evening on a different computer, I will reply then.

        I don’t care whether I know about “what’s going on in the tech world” but I sure as hell get to (read: have to) work with enough modern MS products to have a somewhat informed opinion a lot of the time – can’t wait to see how my assumptions differ from what MS actually promised lol

  5. VioletMoon said on May 24, 2023 at 4:22 pm

    Could be a great feature when setting up a new computer. Transferring data is relatively straightforward; the ideal would be some hybrid clone system that takes all the settings and programs from one computer and merges them with the new computer and updated OS, updated apps, any new drivers, etc. Including the transfer of licenses! Dreamland . . . .

    Even taking an image of Windows 10 drive and transferring the entire system to a new Windows 11 computer that boots correctly and runs efficiently–heaven!

    But so many users prefer Windows 10.

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