ARCHIVED: In Windows, how do I back up the registry?
Under certain circumstances, you may need to restore the Windows registry from a backup file. For best results, UITS recommends that you create this backup file, as well as backups of other important documents, at a time when your computer is problem-free.
There are three methods for backing up your registry:
On this page:
- In Windows 8, press Win
-c; from the Charms menu, choose
Search, and then click
In Windows 7 and Vista, from the
Startmenu, click the "Search programs and files" or "Start Search" field.
In Windows XP, from the
- In the "Apps", "Start Search", or "Open:" field, enter
- Under the
- In the
Export Registry Filedialog box, in the "File name:" field, enter a name for your registry file (e.g.,
- To select a destination folder other than the default, from the
drop-down menu next to "Save in:", select your preferred destination.
Using System Restore
Although the System Restore feature does not mention the registry by that name, it does create a backup of the registry.
Windows 8 and 7
- In Windows 8, press Win-
eto open the
Computerwindow. In the list of locations on the left, right-click
Computer, and then select
In Windows 7, from the
Computer, and then choose
- On the left, click
System Protectionto open the
- Under "Protection Settings", click
Create.... This will set a new restore point.
Windows Vista and XP
Using the Backup tool
Note: In Windows 8 and 7, you cannot save the registry using the Backup utility.
In Windows Vista and XP, you can use the Backup tool to create backup copies of the registry. Since the Backup tool is designed to save all the data on your computer, in order to make a backup file of only the registry, you will need to restrict the backup to what Microsoft calls the "System State". To run this tool:
- From the
Accessories, and then click
System Tools. Select
Note: If this doesn't match what you see, refer to About navigation settings in Windows.
- If the
Backupwindow appears, click
Backup Wizard (Advanced).
- When the
Backup Wizarddialog box appears, click
Only back up the System State data, and then click
- In the "Choose a place to save your backup:" field, enter a
location in which to save the backup file. In the "Type a name for
this backup:" field, type a name for the backup file.
Note: Since the file will be fairly large, you may want to choose an option other than the default, such as a flash drive, a blank CD, or a Zip disk. If you choose to save the backup to your hard drive, you may lose this file if you reformat your computer without saving it onto removable storage media first.
- The next window will display a summary of your choices. If there
are any mistakes, click
Backto make corrections. Otherwise, click
Last modified on January 07, 2013.