Q: How to backup and restore the Windows 10 registry?
"Hey, I want to backup and restore the registry. I am a Windows 10 user. Is there any simple way to do it? Also, can I accomplish this task if I don't have a restore point?"
All of us know that we should first back up the registry whenever we make any significant changes to the computer. However, a lot of normal computer users don't understand the meaning of the registry. Even more, they don't know the methods to back it up.
Well, the Windows registry is nothing but a database containing the overall information on the software, hardware, and also the users installed on that particular computer. At first, you may think that it is a single entity, but in reality, it contains a lot of different files. So, the combination of all these different files is known as the registry hive.
Now that you understand the meaning of the Windows registry, let's check out the best methods to backup and restore it.
Well, Windows 10/8/7 contains a scheduled task in which the system automatically creates a regular backup of the Windows registry whenever the system goes idle. Besides, you can also perform it manually. But, before you go ahead and make modifications in the Windows registry, it is necessary that you back up the database in advance. Sometimes things may go wrong while editing the registry. In such situations, a backup can help you restore it once again.
In Windows, you have the option of Registry Editor or Regedit. It allows you to save or back up the registry. Below is the process to use the registry editor.
Step 1: Press "Windows + R" keys on your keyboard to open the run box. Now, type "regedit" in it and hit the enter button. It will open the registry editor.
Step 2: Now, right-click Computer and choose "Export" if you want to back up the whole database of your Windows 10 registry. After that, give a name to the file and select a location to save it. This file contains a complete backup. It will be in .reg format.
Step 3: Sometimes you may want to back up some portion of the registry instead of a complete backup. For that, go to the registry key and click File. Lastly, click Export. You have multiple format options to save the backup file.
So, select the "Save as" option to choose the file format and press the "Save" button.
It is the most technical and difficult way to back up your registry. In this method, you will use the "Console Recovery Tool" to perform the task.
You should use this method only if you want to automate the backup process with the help of programming scripts.
Step 1: Open the "Run" option and type "cmd.exe" to open the command prompt.
Step 2: Type the command. It should look like the one given below.
REG EXPORT (key to export) (location to save it)
Let's assume that you want to export the key "HKey_User1\Software." Also, you want to save it to the location "C:\Windows\Downloads." Then, the command should be:
REG EXPORT HKEY_User1\Software C:\Windows\Downloads
In this way, you will find the backup file in the selected location.
There are a lot of different methods to restore the registry. So, we will only check out the common and simple methods in this section.
It should be the last option on this list. If other solutions fail and can't resolve your registry issues, then you may choose to reinstall your Windows from scratch. It will help reset your registry to original factory settings.
Users can reset their Windows 10 computers without touching any file. In this method, the system files are refreshed completely. Follow the below methods to reset your PC.
Step 1: In Settings, select the "Update and Security" option.
Step 2: Here you need to press the "Get Started" button. You can find it under the "Reset This PC" segment. Lastly, click on the "Keep My Files" option.
Step 3: Now, click the "Next" button two times. Press the "Finish" option lastly.
Here is how you can use the DISM command to restore the registry.
Step 1: Open the Run box and type cmd.exe.
Step 2: Type the command DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth and run it.
Step 3: The scanning process will finish after some time.
It is the simplest method in this list. You need to boot Windows in a Safe Mode. For that, press the F8 button at the time of starting your computer. After you boot your system in Safe Mode, you can move to the steps given below.
Step 1: Open the "Run" window and type "regedit" and hit enter.
Step 2: Here, you need to locate the file option and select the "Import" option.
Step 3: You will get the browse option in the dialogue box. So, go to the location of the backup file and select it by clicking "Open." Or else, you can also right-click on the file and choose the "Merge" option.
Sometimes, the Windows system fails to boot into Safe Mode. Therefore, you need to use the command prompt to restore the registry manually.
To use the command prompt method, you will need either an ISO image or an original Windows OS disk.
Step 1: First, you need to press the F8 button at the time your Windows starts. After that, select the "Repair My Computer" option. You can also use a flash drive or CD to boot your Windows.
Step 2: Here, you need to go to the "System Recovery" and choose the command prompt.
Step 3: Let's assume that the location of the Windows directory is in the C drive. So, we will use the following commands.
Step 4: Now, you need to change the existing registry settings with the help of the following commands.
Once this process completes, you can restart the computer.
You can use this method if the registry is corrupted.
Step 1: Open the "Run" window and type cmd.exe.
Step 2: The command window will open. Here, you need to type "sfc /scannow" command and hit the "Enter" button.
Step 3: The scanning will complete after some time. You can reboot the system if required.
Most Window versions, especially new ones, come with a feature of an automatic repair. This feature repairs corrupt and invalid keys. To use the automatic repair option, follow the below steps.
Step 1: In Settings, there will be an "Update & Security" section.
Step 2: Choose the "Restart Now" option in the "Advanced Startup" panel. It will reboot the computer.
Step 3: Now, select the "Troubleshoot" option which you can locate under the "Choose an option" screen.
Step 4: At this point, you need to choose the "Automatic Repair" option. You can find it under the "Advanced Options" screen.
Step 5: You will be prompted to select an account and log in.
Step 6: After logging in, it will start the automatic repair.
In this method, you use the Windows system restore points to restore the registry. The system creates the restore points automatically if the System Restore is enabled on your computer. However, you can also follow the below steps to manually create restore points.
Step 1: Open the search box and type "restore" to get the System Restore window.
Step 2: The result will include several options. You need to choose "System Restore."
Step 3: Remember, Windows automatically selects the newer restore points. You can also select them manually.
Step 4: A system restore doesn't affect personal files. Still, you need to click on the "Scan for affected programs" option. It will tell you which programs and drivers might get affected after the restoration process.
Step 5: Lastly, click the "Next" and "Finish" buttons subsequently. The restore process will start and may take some time to complete.
Many users don't have restore points. If you are one of them, then you can use AOMEI Backupper, which is the best restore software out there. This software helps you create a backup for your Windows computer. So, you can use system image backup to restore.
Use the below steps to create a backup and restore it with the help of AOMEI Backupper.
Step 1: Install the Software
First of all, you need to download and install AOMEI Backupper on your computer.
Step 2: Select System Backup
Open the software after installing it and select the "System Backup" option.
Step 3: Save the Image
Here you need to choose a destination to save the image. The best thing about this software is that you can save the image to any device. Just make sure it is detectable by Windows. So, you can use external storage such as USB drive or hard drive, or cloud storage such as OneDrive or Dropbox.
Step 4: Initiate the Backup Process
Now, you need to click on the "Start Backup" option to start the process.
Step 5: Initiate the Restore Process
After you create the backup image, it's time to start the restore process. For that, click on the "Restore" option and then "Select Task."
Step 6: Selecting a Backup Image
Here you will choose the "select a backup image" option. Also, choose the "way to restore image" option. Finally, click on the "Start Restore" option to initiate the process.
So, in this post, we used different methods to backup and restore the Windows registry. Many users prefer to do a system restore from command prompt. However, you should also look around for different methods. The best method among all these options would be to use system restore points.
You can also use AOMEI Backupper to perform this task. It is the best, leading software that allows you to create a backup image and restore it. This software is filled with a lot of useful features. It sounds like a practical solution for those who don't have a restore point.