This guide shows you how to backup and restore the registry for the following Windows versions: Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 and 10

If you’re looking to fix a corrupt registry, go to the Fix registry guide.

Backup and restore the registry in Windows XP

To backup the registry on a Windows XP computer, follow these steps:

  1. Click Start
  2. Click Run
  3. Type regedit in the search box and click OK to open the Registry Editor
  4. On the left pane, click Computer to select it
  5. From File, in the menu, click Export
  6. In the Export Registry File window, type a filename for this backup
  7. Then choose All under the Export range section and select a location on your system where you want to save the backup registry file, then click Save.

    Add a meaningful name for the backup file to distinguish different backup files, if you have multiples ones.

    You can save the file to Desktop.

The registry backup files are saved with this extension: .reg

To restore the registry in Windows XP, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Registry Editor: type regedit at Run and click OK
  2. Go to the File menu and click Import
  3. At the Import Registry File window, browse to locate the backup file (on the Desktop, if you saved it there)
  4. Select the file and click Open
  5. Once the import process is complete, restart your computer and log in back on your Windows XP computer
Windows XP regedit screen

Windows XP regedit screen

Backup and restore the registry in Windows Vista

To backup the Registry in Windows Vista, follow these steps:

  1. Click Start
  2. Type regedit in the search box
  3. Click the regedit item from the search results list
  4. Click Continue, if you’re prompted by the UAC (User Account Control) warning message
  5. Select Computer from the left side. Make sure it’s selected.
  6. Go to File and then click Export
  7. At the Export Registry File, type a filename for the backup file and then choose All under the Export range section
  8. Select a location where you want to save the backup file
  9. Click Save

Backup files of the Registry are saved with this extension: .reg

To restore a previously created .reg file on a Windows Vista, follow these instructions:

  1. Open the Registry Editor: type regedit at the search box and click on the regedit item when it appears in the search results list
  2. At File, click Import
  3. At the Import Registry File screen, browse and select the backup .reg file that needs to be restored
  4. Click Open
  5. When the process is complete, restart your Windows Vista system
Windows Vista regedit screen

Windows Vista regedit screen

Backup and restore the registry in Windows 7

To backup the Registry on a Windows 7 system, follow these steps:

  1. Click Start
  2. Type regedit in the search box
  3. Click the regedit item appearing in the list
  4. Click Continue, if you’re prompted by User Account Control
  5. Select Computer from the left side. Make sure it’s selected.
  6. Go to File and then Export
  7. At the Export Registry File, type a name for the backup file
  8. Choose All under the Export range section
  9. Select a location where you want to save the backup file
  10. Click Save

The backup files are saved with this extension: .reg

=To restore a previously created backup file of the Registry in Windows 7, follow these instructions:

  1. Open the Registry Editor: type regedit at the search box and click on the regedit item when it appears in the search results list
  2. At File, click Import
  3. At the Import Registry File screen, browse and select the backup .reg file to be restored from your Desktop or from where you saved it
  4. Click Open
  5. Once completed, restart the computer to login back on your Windows 7 computer
Windows 7 regedit screen

Windows 7 regedit screen

Backup and restore the registry in Windows 8 or 8.1

To create a backup of the current Registry in a Windows 8 or 8.1 system, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Search or press the Windows and C key to open the Charm Bar
  2. Type regedit in the search box
  3. Click regedit from the search results list
  4. Click Yes, if you’re prompted by User Account Control
  5. Select Computer from the left side. Make sure it’s selected before you proceed to the next step.
  6. Go to File and then click on Export
  7. At the Export Registry File, type a name for the backup file
  8. Choose All under the Export range section
  9. Select a location where you want to save the backup file
  10. Click Save

Note: Any backup files of the Registry are saved with this extension: .reg

To restore the registry using a previously created .reg file on a Windows 8 or 8.10 system, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Registry Editor: type regedit at the search box and click on the regedit item when it appears in the search results list.To open the Search Bar, press the Windows and C keys.
  2. At File, click the Import option
  3. At the Import Registry File screen, browse and select the backup file you want to restore
  4. Click Open
  5. Once the process is complete, restart your computer and log back in on your Windows 8/8.1 computer
Windows 8 regedit screen

Windows 8 regedit screen

Backup and restore the registry in Windows 10

To create a backup of the current Registry in a Windows 10 system, follow these steps:

  1. Type regedit in the search box
  2. Click regedit from the search results list
  3. Click Yes, if you’re prompted by User Account Control
  4. Select Computer from the left side. Make sure it’s selected before you proceed to the next step.
  5. Go to File and then click on Export
  6. At the Export Registry File, type a name for the backup file
  7. Choose All under the Export range section
  8. Select a location where you want to save the backup file
  9. Click Save

Note: Any backup files of the Registry are saved with this extension: .reg

To restore the registry using a previously created .reg file on a Windows 8 or 8.10 system, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Registry Editor: type regedit at the search box and click on the regedit item when it appears in the search results list.
  2. At File, click the Import option
  3. At the Import Registry File screen, browse and select the backup file you want to restore
  4. Click Open
  5. Once the process is complete, restart your computer and log back in on your Windows 10 computer
Windows 10 regedit screen

Windows 10 regedit screen

More Information

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Applicable Systems

This Windows-related knowledgebase article applies to the following operating systems:

  • Windows XP (all editions)
  • Windows Vista (all editions)
  • Windows 7 (all editions)
  • Windows 8 (all editions)
  • Windows 8.1 (all editions)
  • Windows 10 (all editions)

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