If you’re following a guide that requires you to edit something in your computer’s registry, it’s probably suggested rather seriously that you back it up first before touching anything.
We’re here to show you how to do just that.
The registry is one of the most powerful tools that you can access on your computer, and if you know what you’re doing you can make some crucial changes. However, you’re very much in the root of your PC here, so if you start clicking and pressing things at random you’re going to break something.
Have a look at our top tips & tricks for Windows 10 to get the most from your machine!
How to back up the registry
The easiest way to do this is to create a system restore point. If something goes wrong, you can always navigate to this and restore your PC back to the state it was in when the restore point was created.
- Go to your search bar at the bottom left and type in “Create Restore point”
- Select the option and a window will appear. Click the “Create” button, give the restore point a name you’ll remember and it will be created for you.
- If you wish to restore your PC from this point at any time, type in “System Restore” in the search bar at the bottom left and open it up.
- Select the restore point you created earlier follow the prompts that the wizard gives you, and you’re done.
There a manual way to back up a specific registry file, or even all of the registry settings at once. Find out how below
How to back up the entire registry into a reg file
The registry follows the same hierarchal folder system as the rest of your PC, it’s just displayed slightly differently. If you want to back up the entire registry then do the following
- Open up the registry by going to your search bar and typing “regedit” and then hitting Enter.
- You now have the registry open in front of you, and it should look something like the picture below.
Right click on “Computer” at the top, and click export.
Save this file somewhere easy to find. This will create a copy of all the settings in your registry, so if something goes wrong, you can double click this file to export these settings back into your live registry.
However, there will be some entries that the registry will not be able to alter because they will be the ones currently running your system. While this method of back-up is good to have in an emergency, the restore point is a much more comprehensive solution.
How to back up a portion of your registry
If you would like to make a back up of a specific part of your registry, then follow the steps below.
- Open up your registry by going to your search bar at the bottom left and entering “regedit”, then hit Enter.
- On the left of the screen, you will be presented with the root files for your registry.
- If you’re going to be working within “HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT” for example, then right click on that file and click “Export”.
- Save this file somewhere easy to access. If you make a mistake when editing anything within that file, you can just navigate to the Reg file you’ve just created, and double click it to restore the previous settings.