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 10/8/7 includes a scheduled task that creates backups of the Windows Registry regularly when the system is idle. These backups are placed in the following location,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.
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.
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
- RegBack is a free Registry backup software that lets you backup and restore the Windows Registry in a few seconds.
- ERUNTgui is a graphic user interface for the popular registry backup and restore program ERUNT and NTREGOPT.
- Registrar Registry Manager will let you easily manage Windows Registry.