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How to back up and restore the registry in Windows

From Microsoft Support

How to back up and restore the registry in Windows

Select Product Version:

System Tip

This article applies to a different version of Windows than the one you are using. Content in this article may not be relevant to you.
Visit the Windows 7 Solution Center

Back up the registry

Windows 8.1 and Windows 8

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search. Or, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, and then click Search.
  2. In the search box, type regedit.exe, and then press Enter. If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
  3. In Registry Editor, locate and click the registry key or subkey that you want to back up.
  4. Click File > Export.
  5. In the Export Registry File dialog box, select the location where you want to save the backup copy to, and then type a name for the backup file in the File name field.
  6. Click Save.

Windows 7 and Windows Vista

  1. Click Start, type regedit.exe in the search box, and then press Enter. If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
  2. In Registry Editor, locate and click the registry key or subkey that you want to back up.
  3. Click File > Export.
  4. In the Export Registry File dialog box, select the location where you want to save the backup copy to, and then type a name for the backup file in the File name field.
  5. Click Save.

Windows XP

Follow these steps to create a system restore point:

  1. Click Start, click Run, type %SystemRoot%\system32\restore\rstrui.exe, and then click OK.
  2. On the Welcome to System Restore page, click Create a restore point, and then click Next.
  3. On the Create a Restore Point page, type a name for the restore point and then click Create.
  4. After the restore point is created, click Close.

Note If System Restore is turned off, you receive a message that asks whether you want to turn on System Restore now. Click Yes. Then, in the System Properties dialog box, click to clear the Turn off System Restore check box, click OK, and then repeat this step. For more information, see How to turn off and turn on System Restore in Windows XP.

Restore the registry

Windows 8.1 and Windows 8

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search. Or, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, and then click Search.
  2. In the search box, type regedit.exe, and then press Enter. If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
  3. In Registry Editor, click File > Import.
  4. In the Import Registry File dialog box, select the location where you saved the backup copy to, click to select the backup file, and then click Open.

Windows 7 and Windows Vista

  1. Click Start, type regedit.exe in the search box, and then press Enter. If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
  2. In Registry Editor, click File > Import.
  3. In the Import Registry File box, select the location where you saved the backup copy to, click to select the backup file, and then click Open.

Windows XP

Use System Restore to undo registry changes in Windows XP:

  1. Click Start, click Run, type %SystemRoot%\System32\Restore\Rstrui.exe, and then click OK.
  2. On the Welcome to System Restore page, click Restore my computer to an earlier time (if it is not already selected), and then click Next.
  3. On the Select a Restore Point page, click the system checkpoint. In the On this list select the restore point area, click an entry that is named "Guided Help (Registry Backup)," and then click Next. If a System Restore message appears that lists configuration changes that System Restore will make, click OK.
  4. On the Confirm Restore Point Selection page, click Next. System Restore restores the previous Windows XP configuration and then restarts the computer.
  5. Log on to the computer. When the System Restore confirmation page appears, click OK.

About this article

Article ID: 322756
Last review: January 29, 2014

Applies to: Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition, Microsoft Windows XP Professional, Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC Edition, Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 Update Rollup 2

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