How Do I Backup and Restore the Windows Registry?

Author Laplink Software on January 16, 2012 | Print | Bookmark
Last updated on April 4, 2012

Document relates to: All Laplink Products



Certain troubleshooting techniques require editing the Windows registry. However, it is always a good precaution to save a backup of the registry before doing any edits in case something goes wrong. This will allow you to recover your Windows installation.



There are several methods or tools available to backup the Windows Registry. A common method is described here. For other methods, see Windows On-Line Help.

For Windows XP and newer, see also Article 670: How to Create a Windows Restore Point

Windows Registry Editor program (REGEDIT)

  1. From the Windows Start menu, click Run (if Run is not present, hold the Windows key and press R to bring up the Run line), type REGEDIT and click OK.

  2. From the Registry menu and click Export Registry File.

  3. Under Export Range, click All.

  4. Navigate to the folder where you want to save and give a name to the file. We recommend the Windows Desktop folder, or your My Documents folder as these are most accessible.

  5. Click Save. A copy of your computer's Registry is now backed-up.

To restore a back-up created with this method, follow these steps:

  1. If possible, boot the computer to the Windows desktop, or boot the computer to Safe Mode.
  2. NOTE: If you have problems booting to Safe Mode, see Technical Document 102: How Do I Boot into Safe Mode? for additional instructions.

  3. Using Windows Explorer, navigate to the folder where you saved your backup registry file. Double-click the file.
  4. OR
    If you saved the file in your Desktop folder, double-click the Registry icon on your desktop.

    The backup is automatically merged into the registry and restores the previous values. 

  5. If you've booted to Safe Mode, restart your computer and return to your normal mode.

NOTE: If you are unable to boot the computer to either the Windows desktop or to Safe Mode, please contact your computer manufacturer or Microsoft for additional assistance.

This Article can be found by searching for:

Keywords: How To: Windows, Registry, Backup, Restore

Platforms: Win95, Win98/SE, WinNT, WinMe, Win2K, WinXP, WinVista, Win7

Article#: 111

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Last updated on April 4, 2012 with 7487 views

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