Registry Fix

How to restore Registry from its secret backup on Windows 10

Windows 10 secretly makes a backup of the Registry in a RegBack folder, and you can use it to manually restore your computer to a working condition – Here's how.

Config folder showing RegBack folder with the Registry backup files in Windows 10

On Windows 10, it’s never a good idea to edit the Registry, because the database contains low-level settings necessary for the operating system and certain apps to work correctly.

However, sometimes, you may need to modify the Registry to change specific system settings, and if you forget to create a backup, or during an installation of faulty update the Registry gets corrupted, you can still recover Windows 10 using the secret Registry backup.

You probably didn’t know, but Windows 10 keeps a backup of a working Registry for recovery purposes, which you can use to manually restore your computer to a working condition when you don’t have a backup.

In this guide, you’ll learn the steps to restore the previous version of the Registry manually from its automated backup on Windows 10.

Important: Windows 10 no longer creates automatic backups of the Registry hives to reduce the system footprint. If you want this functionality backup, you must re-enable it manually using these steps. Also, remember that modifying system files can further damage the installation if it’s not done correctly. It’s assumed that you know what you’re doing and that you have previously created a full backup of your computer. Use these steps at your own risk.

Restore Registry manually on Windows 10

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

  1. Start computer with the Advanced startup options.

  2. Click on Troubleshoot.

  3. Click on Advanced options.

  4. Click on Command Prompt.

  5. When your device starts in Command Prompt, it’ll start on X:\Windows\System32. Now you need to move to the drive letter where Windows is installed. While the operating system is installed on C:\, when you boot your computer on recovery mode, this drive letter could change to something else. However, in most cases the drive letter is D:\. Type the following command to enter into the correct drive where Windows 10 is installed and press Enter:

    d:\
  6. Type the following command to verify you’re in the correct drive and press Enter:

    dir
    Command Prompt in Advanced startup
    Command Prompt in Advanced startup

    If you see the Windows folder, then you’re in the correct drive letter, if not, go back to step No. 5 and try another letter.

  7. Type the following command to enter into the System32 folder and press Enter:

    cd d:\windows\system32

    Change D in the command with the correct drive letter for your scenario.

    Windows 10 Config folder
    Windows 10 Config folder
  8. Type the following command to create a folder to temporary backup of files on the config folder, which also happens to store a copy of the Registry, and press Enter:

    mkdir configBak
  9. Type the following command to create a temporary backup of the files in the config folder, and press Enter:

    copy config configBak

    Making a backup copy of the Registry on Windows 10
    Making a backup copy of the Registry on Windows 10
  10. Type the following command to move inside the RegBack, which contains a backup of the Registry, and press Enter:

    cd config\RegBack
  11. Type the following command to verify the content of the RegBack folder and press Enter:

    dir
    RegBack folder content
    RegBack folder content
    Warning: After running the dir command, the size of the files (SYSTEM, SOFTWARE, SAM, SECURITY, DEFAULT) should be similar to the ones you see in the screenshot. If any of the files shows 0, do NOT continue as you won’t be able to repair your Windows 10 installation and your device may stop booting.
  12. Type the following command to copy the files from the RegBack folder to the config folder and press Enter and Y on every question to confirm:

    copy * ..\*

    Restoring Registry from its backup
    Restoring Registry from its backup on Windows 10
  13. Click the Close (X) button from the top-right.

Once you complete the steps, your computer will reboot, and Windows 10 should be able to start correctly.

We’re focusing this guide on Windows 10, but the concept also should work on Windows 8.1 and Windows 7.