How to Backup and Restore Windows PC Registry

Follow these easy steps to Back up the Windows Registry.

Video Tutorial:

Click on Start.

In the search box, type regedit and hit your Enter key. The Registry Editor program will open.

Navigate to the very top of the registry key branches until you reach Computer or My Conputer

Highlight Computer by clicking on it once.

From the Registry Editor menu, Click on File and then choose Export….

In the Export Registry File, choose a location to save the file to.

Note: I usually recommend choosing an external Harddirve not your desktop or the C: drive.

In the File name: text field enter a name for the backup file. Note: This name is for you to remember what the exported registry file is for. Since you’re backing up the entire Windows Registry, I would recommend calling this file Registry Backup or something like that.

Click the Save button.

A Registration File with an REG file extension will be created in the location you chose in Step 6 and with the file name you chose in Step 7. Continuing the example from the last step, the file would be named Registry Backup with a .reg extension.

You can now Modify the registry as you wish.

If after making your registry changes, you realize that they did not give you the results you were looking for, you can simply Restore the entire Windows registry back to the point at which you backed it up.

Follow these easy steps to Restore the Windows Registry.

  1. Locate the Registration File you exported before making your changes to the Windows Registry.
  2. Double-click on the REG file to open it.
  3. You’ll next be prompted with a message in a Registry Editor window:

*Adding information can unintentionally change or delete values and cause components to stop working correctly. If you do not trust the source of this information in [REG file location], do not add it to the registry. Are you sure you want to continue?

  1. Click the Yes button.
  2. Important: Don’t take this message lightly. If you’re importing a REG file that you did not export or one you downloaded from an unknown source, be aware that you could cause damage to Windows Vista.
  3. Assuming the restoration of the registry keys was successful, you should receive the following message in a Registry Editor window:

*The keys and values contained in [REG file location] have been successfully added to the registry

  1. Click the OK button in this window.
  2. The registry keys contained in the REG file have now been added to the Windows Registry. If you know where the registry keys were located, you can open Registry Editor and verify that the changes were made successfully.
  3. Restart your computer. Depending on the changes that were made by restoring the registry keys, you may need to restart to see the changes take effect in Windows or in your programs.


I started this tech blog back in 2011 as a place to write down processes I took to fix my client systems and network. Now I write some tips and tricks to help others with the tech issues that one might encounter.

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