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:


Using Regedit

  1. In Windows 8, press Win-c; from the Charms menu, choose Search, and then click Apps.

    In Windows 7 and Vista, from the Start menu, click the "Search programs and files" or "Start Search" field.

    In Windows XP, from the Start menu, select Run....

  2. In the "Apps", "Start Search", or "Open:" field, enter regedit.
  3. Under the File menu, select Export....
  4. In the Export Registry File dialog box, in the "File name:" field, enter a name for your registry file (e.g., regbackup or registry).
  5. To select a destination folder other than the default, from the drop-down menu next to "Save in:", select your preferred destination.
  6. Click Save.

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

  1. In Windows 8, press Win-e to open the Computer window. In the list of locations on the left, right-click Computer, and then select Properties.

    In Windows 7, from the Start menu, right-click Computer, and then choose Properties.

  2. On the left, click System Protection to open the System Properties window.
  3. Under "Protection Settings", click Create.... This will set a new restore point.

Windows Vista and XP

See In Windows, how can I restore my computer to a previous configuration?

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:

  1. From the Start menu, select Programs, then Accessories, and then click System Tools. Select Backup.

    Note: If this doesn't match what you see, refer to Getting around in Windows.

  2. If the Backup window appears, click Backup Wizard (Advanced).
  3. When the Backup Wizard dialog box appears, click Next.
  4. Select Only back up the System State data, and then click Next.
  5. 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.

  6. Click Next.
  7. The next window will display a summary of your choices. If there are any mistakes, click Back to make corrections. Otherwise, click Finish.

This is document akts in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2013-11-07 00:00:00.

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