Backup and Restore Registry in Windows 10/8/7

Before working in the Windows Registry, it is always a good idea to back it up first, so that you have the option of restoration, should something go wrong. This article shows the different ways to backup and restore the Windows Registry or its Hives.

Windows 10 includes a scheduled task that creates backups of the Windows Registry regularly when the system is idle. These backups are placed in the C:\Windows\System32\config\RegBack which is used in the System Restore operation.

Backup and Restore Registry

Before you begin, it is a good idea to create a System Restore Point first.

Backup Registry

You can save or backup your Registry using Regedit or the Registry Editor in Windows. Open Run box, type regedit and hit Enter to open the Registry Editor.

To back up the complete Registry, open Regedit, select Computer and right-click on it. Now select Export. Give the file a name and set a location where you want it saved.

Backup and Restore Registry

The complete registry backup will be saved as a .reg file.

To backup a part of the Registry, navigate to the Registry key or Hive that you wish to. To back it up, click File > Export.

You can save or Backup your Registry in the following formats:

  • A .reg registration file,
  • Registry Hive Files. Saves a binary image
  • Text Files which can be read in Notepad
  • The older Win9x/NT4 format

Select your Export range and Save as type and click on Save to save the backup.

Registry Keys that are not backed up when you create a system restore point

Most of the registry is backed up when you create a system restore point. I say most because the keys that are not included are listed at:


Restore the Registry

To restore the registry from an exported hive, in the left pane of the Registry Editor, select the desired Registry key, where you want restoration done.

Next, click Files > Import on the File menu. Navigate to the backed up file. Click OK to the confirmation prompt.

Alternatively, you can also simply double-click the backed up .reg file, to directly add it.

If you find this a bit difficult, you can always use free tools to achieve the same.

Free Registry Backup software

  1. RegBack is a free Registry backup software that lets you backup and restore the Windows Registry in a few seconds.
  2. ERUNTgui is a graphic user interface for the popular registry backup and restore program ERUNT and NTREGOPT.
  3. Registrar Registry Manager will let you easily manage Windows Registry.

Read: When & Why does Windows automatically save the Registry?

Post ported from WinVistaClub and updated and posted here.

Posted by on , in Category Windows with Tags
Anand Khanse is the Admin of, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.


  1. Alexander Ryan Baggett

    RIght 1 key at a time? for 200+ keys from various software in who knows where. I need something that automates this, as this approach is a not effective.

  2. Mom

    Please advise Anand: if I want to restore only the “default” hive using the Regbak utility, do I uncheck all of the other system and current user hive restore options? I’m only showing corruption on my default hive in event viewer.

  3. cl5001

    This is a really badly written guide – i started to try and follow it but there’s a lot not explained, in particular what is it that you are exporting – the folder or each individual file?

    the drop down menu in the screenshot obscures what’s happening

    This works perfectly…

  4. it’s extremely easy. You *can* backup any portion of the registry you want, but if you start at “Computer”, you are backing up the whole thing. Also, your link is completely irrelevant…something about changing background colors.

  5. cl5001

    Fair point – i remember i did look up how to change the background colour in picture viewer and perhaps it was another of Anand’s explanations that linked to this, as when you alter the setting it’s recommended that you back up your registry. But i’d stand by the fact that the drop-down menu doesn’t help with the visual image

  6. Roberto Silva Blanch

    Fixed, thanks a lot….!!!!! 🙂

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