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The Metro/Modern UI apps are stored in %ProgramFiles%\WindowsApps, except there isn't one for the Desktop tile.

Where is this one, is it a special case somehow - where is the manifest / XML that describes this tile?

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I used Process Monitor to watch what happened when I moved the Desktop tile on the Start screen, and discovered some writing to the following file:

%LocalAppData%\Microsoft\Windows\appsFolder.itemdata-ms

There's a lot of interesting stuff in %LocalAppData%\Microsoft\Windows\WinX as well.

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The Desktop tile is a link stored in

%programdata%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs

The Filename is

desktop.lnk

The Windows App Store link (store.lnk) is stored there, too.

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The Desktop is not an app, it is explorer.exe, an integral part of the OS.

It is located in the C:\Windows folder

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1  
Thanks Moab - it has a tile however, so there must be a manifest that describes the tile somewhere? – Paul Oct 23 '12 at 1:47
    
Possibly, but it could be buried in the explorer exe itself or called by the exe. There is an "AppRepository" folder located at C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows, but is permission locked. – Moab Oct 23 '12 at 3:02
    
Hmmm. Doesn't seem to be in there either. – Paul Oct 23 '12 at 3:06

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