Windows Quick Tips – Backup/Restore Registry

windows-registry-iconHere at Dave’s Computer Tips, we harp on making backups. Dedicated readers know how critical this is to safeguarding your data and, for that matter, your entire system, from being compromised in a multitude of sinister ways. But how about your Windows Registry? We are always giving you the standard warning about how you should backup your Registry before making any changes. And how a mucked up Registry, in a worst-case scenario, can even prevent your computer from booting properly. A dreadful thought, indeed!

Today, I’ll show you how dead-simple it is to make a backup of your Windows Registry. This won’t take but a couple thousand words or so. Just kidding. I’ll give it to you in less than 500 300. Promise.

Backing Up Your Windows Registry

Open the Registry

  1. Type WinKey + R
  2. Type regedit and hit OK

Back Up The Whole Registry

  1. In the left panel, Right-click Computer and choose Export
  2. In the window that opens, choose a folder and file name, then Save

You’ve done it!

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Back Up A Single Hive Or Key

  1. Right-click the Hive or Key and choose Export

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Restoring A Backup

Simply click on the saved .reg file you created and it will be merged into the Registry after you say OK to a warning message.

There is simply no excuse for not backing up the Registry before making changes to it. It is quick and easy and will cover your butt in the event that you’ve made an error.

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That leaves me 255 53 words to play around with now that you know how to back up your Windows Registry. What do you think? Should I continue?

Naw– good ’nuff!  🙂


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About the Author

Richard Pedersen

Richard received his first computer, a C-64, in 1982 as a gift and began dabbling in BASIC. He was hooked! His love for computing has led him from the old “XT” boxes to the more modern fare and from clunky 10MB hard drives to smooth and fast modern day SSD drives. He has run BBS services, Fido mail, and even operated his own computer repair business.


    • Hi James,

      The Windows Quick Tips articles are generally geared towards Windows 10. However, to open the Registry Editor in Windows 7, do the following:

      1. Click the Start Button, then choose Run
      2. In the Edit Box, type “regedit.exe” (without quotes) and hit the Enter key

      Hope this helps,