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How To Backup and Restore Registry in Windows 11 [Complete]

It appears that you are about to configure built-in system files and customize your Windows Settings manually. So, you want to learn how to backup and restore the registry in Windows in case of any accidental misconfiguration occurrence.

how to backup registry in windows

The Windows Registry is a hierarchical database that holds low-level settings for the Microsoft Windows operating system as well as apps that utilize it. The registry configures the settings used by the kernel, device drivers, services, the Security Accounts Manager, and user interfaces.

By the end of this article, you’ll be able to backup Windows Registry along with all its components including Values, Keys, Strings, and binary data.

Let’s breakdown what we’re going to cover in this article:

Backup Registry with Registry Editor

Step #1: Search for ‘Regedit’ or ‘Registry Editor’ in Start Menu and open it.

registry editor icon in windows 11
Registry Editor Icon

Step #2: Click on the ‘File’ option from the top menu and select the ‘Export’ option.

click the file button from the top menu and select the export option
‘Export’ option

Step #3: Name the file, set the export range option to ‘All’ if you want to backup the complete registry or choose the select branch option and enter the branch path from the registry, and select the desired location where you want to save the backup file.

enter the file name and path to save the registry backup file
File Name and Path

Step #4: Choose the File Type/Extension. You can save files in Registry in the following file types (extension):

  • Registration Files (*.reg)
  • Registration Hive Files (*.*)
  • Text Files (.txt)
  • Win9x/NT4 Registration Files (*.reg)

It’s recommended to store the registry backup in the registration files (.reg) format if you wish to restore the registry in the future.

select the file format in which you want to backup registry
File Format

Step #5: Press the ‘Save’ button to backup the registry in the selected location.

press the save to to backup registry in windows
‘Save’ button

Restore Registry from Backup using Registry Editor

Step #1: Search for ‘Regedit’ or ‘Registry Editor’ in Start Menu and press the Enter Key.

registry editor icon in windows 11
Registry Editor Icon

Step #2: Click on the ‘File’ option from the top menu and select the ‘Import’ option.

click the file button on the top bar and select the import option
‘Import’ option

Step #3: Locate the backed-up file in registration file (.reg) format and press the open button.

navigate to backed up registry file and press the open button
Open the Backed-up File

Step #4: The Registry editor will start importing and all the registry keys, sub-keys, strings, and values will be restored in the previous working state.

importing the registry backup
Importing the Registry Backup

Step #5: Restart your computer to make changes change effect and start using the restored registry.

restart device to make changes take effect in windows
Restart the Device

Note: If some of your registry files are used by other applications, or if you have not granted the administrator privileges to the registry editor, then you’ll see an error stating the following message:

“Cannot import C:\Users\Username\File-Path\Registry-Backup-Name.reg: Not all data was successfully written to the registry. Some keys are open by the system or other processes, or you have insufficient privileges to perform this operation.”

In this scenario, make sure you’ve launched the registry editor as an administrator (with Administrator Privileges) and closed all running applications before trying again. Then, restart your device and give it another attempt.

import error in registry
Import Error in Registry

Note: You can back up the Windows Registry by Performing a System Restore on your computer but it’ll remove some of the recently installed files, programs, registry, and drivers.

Backup Registry with System Restore

Step #1: Search for ‘Create a restore point’ in Start Menu and open the app.

'create a restore point' icon in windows
‘Create a restore point’ Icon

Step #2: Make sure that device protection is turned on and then click the ‘Create’ option to create a system restore point.

click the create option to create restore point in windows
Click the ‘Create’ button

Step #3: Name the System restore point.

add the name for system restore point
Allot any Name to the restore point

Step #4: Wait until the restore point is created on your computer.

creating restore point in windows
Creating Restore Point

Restore Registry from backup using System Restore

Step #1: Search for ‘Create a restore point’ in Start Menu and open the app.

'create a restore point' icon in windows
‘Create a restore point’ Icon

Step #2: Select the ‘System Restore’ option in the system protection tab.

click the system restore button
‘System Restore’ button

Step #3: Click the ‘Next’ button.

click the next button
‘Next’ button

Step #4: Select the previously created system restore point and click the ‘Next’ button.

select the previous system restore point and press the next button
Select ‘Restore Point’

Step #5: Click the ‘Finish’ button to start restoring the system along with the registry to its previous working state.

press the finish button to confirm the system restoration to the previous point
‘Finish’ button

Overall we’ve collectively covered 2 methods to backup and restore the registry in Windows 11. You are free to utilize whatever method that you are most comfortable with.

While the backup will restore any previously deleted settings and keys, it will not affect any additional settings or keys you may have added after the backup was created.

All the keys and values will be backed up unless you export a key with a DWORD value and then add a String value later. If you do this, then the backup will restore the original DWORD value but not the String value. If you ever want to remove the String value as well, simply right-click it and choose Delete.

Where is the Windows registry backup located?

The Registry backup copy is stored in the following location on the computer: C:\Windows\System32\config\RegBack

Can Windows Restore fix the Registry Errors?

Yes, the system restore in Windows can fix registry issues, but you must make sure that the last system restore on your device was working well and didn’t cause the same registry problems as the ones you’re experiencing now.

How to check if Windows has automatically backed up registry?

Go to the Windows Run and type the file location: C:\Windows\System32\config\RegBack. If you find the registry files in this directory, it signifies that your computer has automatically backed up the Windows registry. You can check the date and time of automatic backup by right-clicking the registry file and viewing its properties.

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