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How to Back Up the Windows Registry (All or in Parts)

How to Back Up the Windows Registry (All or in Parts)

Need to make changes to your Windows registry and be safe? Make a backup before. Find out below 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.

Neither the original bells’ foundry, Edwards and Company of Norwalk, nor any other would ordinarily make bells so large and loud.

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 Windows Registry Backup

To create a backup copy of your entire registry in Windows:

  1. Open Registry Editor.
  2. Select File | Export… from the menu.
  3. Make sure All is selected under Export range.
  4. 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.
  5. Type the desired file name for the Windows registry backup under File name:.
  6. Make sure Registration Files (*.reg) is selected under Save as type:.
  7. Click Save.
    • Keyboard shortcut: You can also press Enter, of course.

As an alternative to backing up the Windows 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:

  1. Launch Registry Editor.
  2. 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.
  3. Select File | Export… from the menu.
  4. Make sure Selected branch is selected under Export range.
  5. Now go to the folder where you want to save the copy of your Windows Registry branch and key.
  6. Make sure Registration Files (*.reg) the active selection under Save as type:.
  7. Click Save.

Create a Backup for a Specific Windows Registry Value

To save as a backup just the data for one Windows registry value:

  1. Create a backup for the Windows registry key that contains the value you want to back up using Registry Editor. (See above.)
  2. Click the “*.reg” file you just created with the right mouse button.
  3. Select Edit from the context menu that has appeared.
  4. Find the key listed between square brackets ([]).
    • Example[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE­SOFTWARE­Microsoft­Windows­CurrentVersion­DateTime­Servers].
  5. 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”.
  6. 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 1803; updated May 2018; title image: StockUnlimited)

Heinz Tschabitscher

Heinz Tschabitscher

Has been writing about email, communication and technology in an engaging and informative manner since 1997. Find out more.