Backing Up the Windows Registry


We're no great Windows geeks, but we do know how to back up the Windows registry. If you ever intend on playing around in the Windows registry, you may want to first consider backing it up or suffer the consequences. While our articles that involve the registry provide methods to back up certain parts of the Windows registry, this article tells you how to backup the whole thing.

What's the Windows Registry?

Let's keep it simple. You know you have to check in at the airport to get a seat on the plane, right? Well, the applications you install, must check in with Windows. You also get assigned a seat, perhaps by the window, or maybe in first class. The Registry stores many application settings, too.

From your computer’s desktop, click on the Start button, then click on Run.

In the dialog that appears, type "regedit" (without the quotes) and hit Enter.

With the Registry Editor open, click the File menu, then Export.

The Export Registry File dialog appears. Give your registry backup a name that you will recognize, be sure to save it in a place where you can easily find it again AND be sure that the “All” radio button is selected in the Export Range portion of the dialog.

Your mouse arrow icon will be an hourglass while the registry backs up; the arrow will be showing when the registry back up is complete.

It may take a few seconds for the export to complete, so be patient. Now, go to the directory where you saved your registry backup, which will also have the registry Icon.

Congratulations! You have successfully backed up your registry!