Guide to Backup Registry in Windows 11/10 and Restore Later Point in Time

Modifying the Registry in Windows 10 is never a good idea because the database contains low-level settings required for the system and specific programs to function properly, and even the tiniest error can prevent the device from booting. You can still recover Windows 10 using a secret Registry backup if you recently changed system settings or installed a defective update that caused the computer to stop working. There is one exception, however: because the operating system no longer creates these backups automatically, you must manually re-enable it before using it.

In this post, you’ll learn how to manually restore the previous version of the Registry on Windows 11 from an automated backup. Remember that if you don’t do it right, altering system files can cause more problems with your installation. It’s assumed that you know what you’re doing and that you’ve already made a complete backup of your computer. At your own risk, try these actions.

Backup Registry in Windows 11/10

It’s a good idea to build a System Restore Point before you start. Before making any big modifications to your operating system, you should do this as a normal procedure.

Regedit or the Registry Editor in Windows can be used to save or backup your Registry. To open the Registry Editor, type ‘regedit’ into the Run box and press Enter.

Open Regedit, pick Computer and right-click on it to back up the whole Registry. Select Export now. Give the file a name and save it in the desired location. The backup of the entire registry will be stored as a .reg file.

To back up a section of the Registry, go to the Registry key or Hive you want to back up. To save a copy, go to File and Export. You can save or Backup your Registry as a reg or binary or text or Win9x/NT4 format. Select your Export range and Save as type and click on Save to save the backup.

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Take the backup of the Registry from Registry Editor GUI tool

Most of the registry is backed up when you create a system restore point. There are some exceptions and they can be found at HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\ControlSet001\Control\BackupRestore\KeysNotToRestore

BackupRestore settings in the Registry

Automatic Windows Registry backups

Every time a system restore point is generated – whether automatically or manually by you – the Windows operating system stores the registry.

This is useful since the OS needs the old registry backup in order to produce a properly restored machine when you restore your computer to a previous point. It’s not enough to just restore the files; it’s just as critical if not more so, to restore the backed-up registry. That is when and why Windows automatically saves the Registry.

Your system files, programs, and registry settings will be affected by a System Restore. It can also make changes to your Windows computer’s scripts, batch files, and other executable files. As a result, all changes made to these files will be undone. System Restore will not affect your Documents folder or personal files such as images, emails, or other documents, but it may cause files on your desktop to disappear. Before doing a System Restore, you may want to relocate your personal documents from your desktop to a safe location.

 

Restore Registry manually on Windows 10/11

To restore the Registry on Windows 10/11 manually, use these steps:

1. Start PC with Advanced Startup Options. To get access to Advanced Startup Options, keep the shift key pressed and then restart the computer. The screen should turn Blue and give you a set of options of which Advanced Startup Options should be one.

2. Click on Troubleshoot.

Advanced Startup Options in Windows 11

Click on Advanced options.

Troubleshoot window in Advanced Startup Options

 

Click on Command Prompt.

Command Prompt in Advanced Startup Options

5. When you start the device in Command Prompt, it will go to X:\Windows\ System32. As a result, you must now navigate to the drive letter where Windows is installed. Although the operating system is installed on the C: disc, the drive letter may change when you boot your machine into recovery mode. In most cases, though, the drive letter is C:. As a result, perform the following command and press Enter to enter the right drive where Windows is installed.

C:
Launch cmd on Advanced Startup Options

6. You now need to check if you are in the correct directory by checking the contents of the directory. Type the ‘dir’ command to confirm you are in the correct drive to restore the Registry and press Enter.

dir

7. If you see the Windows folder, you’re on the right drive letter. If not, go back to step 5 and attempt a different drive letter.

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8. Togo into the System32 folder, type the following command and press Enter.

cd C:\windows\system32

Replace C with the relevant drive letter for your circumstance in the command.

Navigate to System32 folder

9. To create a folder for temporary backup files on the config folder, which also happens to keep a copy of the Registry, type the following command

and press Enter.

mkdir configBak

To create a temporary backup of the files in the config folder, type the following command and press Enter

copy config configBak
Take the Registry Backup

To travel into the RegBack, which stores a backup of the Registry, use the following command and hit Enter. Please remember, this only works until Windows 10 version 1803. If you are running a Windows older than that, you must create the backups manually or use a restore point.

cd config\RegBack

Restore Registry manually on Windows 10/11

To restore the Registry on Windows 10/11 manually, use these steps:

1. Start PC with Advanced Startup Options. To get access to Advanced Startup Options, keep the shift key pressed and then restart the computer. The screen should turn Blue and give you a set of options of which Advanced Startup Options should be one.

2. Click on Troubleshoot.

Advanced Startup Options in Windows 11

 

To confirm the contents of the RegBack folder, type the following command and click Enter.

dir

The file sizes (SYSTEM, SOFTWARE, SAM, SECURITY, DEFAULT) should be comparable to those shown in the screenshot after running the dir command. If any of the files have a value of O kB, do not proceed because you will be unable to fix your Windows 10 installation and your device may cease booting.

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To copy the files from the RegBack folder to the config folder, restore the Windows 10 Registry, and confirm, type the following command and click Enter and the Y key on each question.

copy * . .\*

14. Type ‘Exit’ to close the prompt.

The computer will reboot after you finish the procedures, and Windows 10 or 11 should start up normally. These steps should also work on older generation Windows operating systems after Windows 7.

Login screen of Windows upon reboot

As we conclude this comprehensive guide on the Windows Registry, it’s crucial to remember the power and potential risks involved in modifying it. While it can be a gateway to advanced customization and problem-solving, mishandling the Registry  can lead to significant system issues. This post has walked you through the necessary steps for backing up and restoring the Registry in Windows 10 and 11, emphasizing the importance of cautious and informed action. Always ensure you have a complete system backup before proceeding with any changes. With this knowledge, you can confidently navigate the Registry, using it to your advantage while safeguarding your system’s integrity. Whether you’re an IT professional or a curious enthusiast, understanding the Registry is a valuable skill in your tech toolkit.

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