How to backup the registry in Windows

Trust me on this one: you’ll absolutely rue the day you accidentally deleted a crucial registry key without backing it up.  Even the most dispassionate computer geeks feel the angst of this error and the ramifications haunt them for days.

That’s why it’s important to backup the registry before you change it.  Here’s my trenchant explanation on how to backup your registry in Windows 8.1.  The steps are virtually identical in Windows 8, Windows 7 and Windows Vista.

God help you if you’re still running Windows XP.

Make sure you’re logged into the computer as an Administrator then on the desktop open the Run box by pressing

Windows Key + r

Windows 8.1 Regedit

Now in the Registry Editor you can backup the specific registry key or subkey that you need to modify by simply clicking and choosing File and Export.

Windows 8.1 Registry Editor Export

Or if you want to backup the whole shebang right click Computer in the left pane and choose Export.

Windows 8.1 Full Registry Export

Save the file with the name Complete_Registry_Backup and then wait for a while because it could take between 5 to 15 minutes to finish.

Windows 8.1 save registry export

I usually save the Registry to My Documents and an external USB drive for good measure.

If you ever need to restore the exported registry just click File and go to Import.

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Posted in How To, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Vista Tagged with: