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I need to create a child-theme from Twenty Seventeen on a site that has been running for a while so I can make some modifications. If I switch it to the child theme will I loose all the menus, widgets and other things set in the customizer? Are there any other issues I might run into?

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    Yes you will lose all theme specific settings (menus, customizer, ...). There might be other issues, depending on your specific setup – kero Oct 9 '18 at 16:53
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Yes,the Customizer settings will not carry over from parent to child. Activating a new child theme essentially means you are starting from scratch with regards to the Customizer. Perhaps, try cloning the site and run it on a development server or local machine, and make the switch, then see what is lost.

I did find a free plugin that i tested out, and successfully exported and imported the customizer settings on the twentyseveteen theme/child theme. Super easy. Maybe give that a try. Customizer Export/Import https://wordpress.org/plugins/customizer-export-import/

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