Backup and Restore

How to safely backup and restore the Registry on Windows 10

When you need to modify the Registry, make sure to backup the database to restore your Windows 10 PC to a working condition if something goes wrong.

Backup Registry using System Restore on Windows 10

Modifying the Registry can cause a lot of issues and may even prevent Windows 10 from booting up. Even if you know your way around the Registry a backup can help you to restore the original settings in case something goes wrong.

The Registry has been part of Windows for a long time, and it’s a hierarchical database that stores low-level settings of the operating system, and for those applications designed to use the Registry.

Usually, it’s not recommended to modify this database, but the time may come when you’ll have to add or edit certain keys to fix something or tweak the operating system. When this day comes having a backup of the Registry can help you restore your computer to a working condition.

There are a number of ways in which you can create a backup of the Windows Registry, but the quickest and easiest way is by using the System Restore.

System Restore is a tool built in Windows 10 (and in older versions) to let you revert the state of your device to a previous point in time when everything worked correctly. When you create a restore point, the tool will make a backup of system files, installed application, system settings, and more importantly a backup of the Registry. Then you can use the same tool to restore your device to a working condition.

In this guide, you’ll learn the steps to create a backup of the Registry on Windows 10 using System Restore, and the steps to restore the Registry even when you can’t boot your computer.

How to backup the Registry using System Restore

  1. Open Start.

  2. Do a search for Create a restore point, and click the result.

  3. Under “Protection Settings”, protection may be turned Off, if so click the Configure button.

    System Restore point settings
    System Restore point settings
  4. Select the Turn on system protection option.

    Turn on system protection
    Turn on system protection
  5. Click Apply.

  6. Click OK.

  7. Click the Create button.

  8. Enter a name to create a restore point. You can name it anything you want, but make it descriptive. For example, “Before changing taskbar settings”.

  9. Click Create.

    Create System Restore point
    Create System Restore point
  10. Click Close.

  11. Click OK to close the System Properties and complete the task.

Once you have completed the steps, you can modify the Registry any way you like knowing that you can always go back to the previous settings.

How to restore the Registry from backup

Using System Restore there are at least three ways to restore the Registry. If you still have access to your computer desktop, you can restore the database to its previous state using the System Restore this way. In case something went wrong, you can use the recovery tool in Safe mode, or through the Advanced Startup settings when Windows 10 won’t boot.

You can follow this guide to get the instructions to boot in Safe Mode, then you can continue with steps below.

If you can’t boot your computer, then use this guide to access the Advanced startup options on Windows 10. While in the Advanced startup options, click System Restore, and then continue with the steps below on step 4.

  1. Open Start.

  2. Do a search for Create a restore point, and click the result.

  3. Click the System Restore button.

    System Restore
    System Restore
  4. Click Next.

    Restore System Files and Settings wizard
    Restore System Files and Settings wizard
  5. Select the restore point you want to use to go back in time.

    Select available restore points
    Select available restore points
  6. Click Next.

  7. Click Finish to begin the recovery process and to complete the task.

    Confirm System Restore process
    Confirm System Restore process

You’ll also need to restart your computer to complete the process.

Using restore point won’t affect any of your documents, but it will restore a previous version of the Registry; system settings and system files, and applications you may have installed since the last backup will be removed.

It’s important to note that this guide will also work on Windows 8.1 and Windows 7.