How to Back Up the Windows Registry

How to Back Up the Registry on Windows

Need to make changes to your registry settings and be safe? Make a backup before. Find out here how to back up the registry on Windows (in parts or as a whole).

First, Three 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

Creating a Complete Backup

Time needed: 3 minutes.

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

  1. Open Registry Editor.

  2. Pick File | Export… from the menu.

    Pick "File | Export…" from the menu

  3. Select All under Export range.

  4. Navigate to the folder where you want to save the copy of your Windows Registry.

    Online storage: 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 registry backup under File name:.

  6. Make sure Registration Files (*.reg) is selected under Save as type:.

    Make sure "Registration Files (*.reg)" is selected under "Save as type:"

  7. 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.

Backing up a Specific 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 reg branch and key.
  6. Make sure Registration Files (*.reg) the active selection under Save as type:.
  7. Click Save.

Backing up a Specific Value

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

  1. Create a backup for the key that contains the value you want to back. (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”=””.
  6. Select File | Save to save the changes to the “*.reg” file.
    Keyboard shortcut: For saving, you can also press CtrlS.

How to Back Up the Windows Registry: FAQ

Can I restore the Windows 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 September 2022)

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