Need to make changes to your registry settings and be safe? Make a backup before. Find out here how to back up the Windows registry (in parts or as a whole).
First, 3 New York Bells Like No Others
After four score years and spotless service, a refurbishment was in line for the three bells that so prominently signal trading’s beginning and end at the New York Stock Exchange. The exchange decided to get backups as well, just in case; this, of course, proved difficult.
If you want to create a backup in time, Registry Editor can found a “.reg” file for you today:
How to Back Up the Windows Registry
Create a Complete Registry Backup
Time needed: 3 minutes.
To create a backup copy of your entire registry in Windows:
- Open Registry Editor.
- Pick File | Export… from the menu.
- Select All under Export range.
- Navigate to the folder where you want to save the copy of your Windows Registry.
Tip: Select an online drive location such as OneDrive, iCloud Drive or Google Drive for an instant remote backup and the option to easily open the created backup on another computer.
- Type the desired file name for the registry backup under File name:.
- Make sure Registration Files (*.reg) is selected under Save as type:.
- Click Save.
Windows keyboard shortcut: You can also press
Enter, of course.
As an alternative to backing up the registry individually, you can also create a system restore point; this will include a copy of the Windows registry’s current state.
Create a Backup for a Specific Windows Registry Key
To back up a specific part of the Windows registry:
- Launch Registry Editor.
- Find the key you want to back up and make sure it is highlighted.
- Note: Your backup will include the selected key as well as all keys nested below it.
- Select File | Export… from the menu.
- Make sure Selected branch is selected under Export range.
- Now go to the folder where you want to save the copy of your registry branch and key.
- Make sure Registration Files (*.reg) the active selection under Save as type:.
- Click Save.
Create a Backup for a Specific Windows Registry Value
To save as a backup just the data for one registry value:
- Create a backup for the registry key that contains the value you want to back up using Registry Editor. (See above.)
- Click the “*.reg” file you just created with the right mouse button.
- Select Edit from the context menu that has appeared.
- Find the key listed between square brackets ().
- Example: [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionDateTimeServers].
- Delete all value and data pairs under it you do not want in the backup.
- Note: The values are listed between quotation marks (“”); the data follows = and the data type.
- Example: A value could look like “2”=”time.nist.gov”.
- Select File | Save to save the changes to the “*.reg” file.
- Keyboard shortcut: For saving, you can also press Ctrl S.
How to Back Up the Windows Registry: FAQ
Can I restore the registry from a backup?
Yes. Importing .reg files to restore the Windows registry to a backed up state or to modify settings swiftly is easy.
(How to back up the Windows registry (all or in parts) tested with Windows 10 1909; updated December 2019; title image: StockUnlimited)