Considering the amount of emphasis put on the new Modern UI apps by Microsoft, it’s fairly clear that these apps are meant to play a pivotal role in the success of Windows 8. While not ready to rival app stores on competing platforms, the Modern UI apps library in Windows Store is steadily growing, with the aim to bring Modern UI variant of all popular apps to the platform. Windows 8 offers a file history option that lets you backup your system but while quite handy, this feature doesn’t allow backing up only the app data of Windows Store apps. So if you plan to reinstall Windows 8 and want to retain your progress and settings for the Windows Store apps and games you have installed, you’d be out of luck. Well, not anymore, thanks to Windows 8 Apps Data Backup. It is a lightweight app that lets you backup and restore app data for your Windows Store apps, allowing you to retain your settings and progress, and (manually) sync the data between two Windows 8 computers.
Upon launch, the application presents you with two main buttons at the top named Backup and Restore. Clicking the backup button displays the list of installed Windows 8 apps, from which you can mark the apps that you want data to be backed up for. However, make sure you’re not running any of these apps at the time of backup to avoid any errors. You can either make a custom selection, or use the Select all button to quickly mark all the apps in the list.
The application gives the choice to compress the backup in a ZIP archive to save space, at the cost of a longer backup time. Likewise, you can also choose where to store the data file.
In order to restore app data, click the Restore button and then select the source file. Once the backup is loaded, you will be presented with the list of apps for which data was backed up. Do note that the tool does not backup or restore the apps themselves, so make sure you have already installed all the apps before attempting to restore their data. Once you’re all set, just click Restore Now to begin the restore process, which doesn’t take more than a couple of minutes.
Windows 8 Apps Data Backup is great at what it does, and can prove to be indispensable for situations when you want to retain your app data between OS re-installation, or use the same data across multiple Windows 8 computers. The app works on both 32-bit and 64-bit editions of Windows 8. Unfortunately, it won’t work on Windows RT tablets, as they use a different (ARM) architecture. Testing was carried out on Windows 8 Pro, 64-bit.