On Windows 10, it is never a good idea to modify the Registry because the database contains low-level settings necessary for the system and certain apps to operate correctly, and the slightest mistake can prevent the device from booting again.
If you recently made system setting changes or installed a buggy update that caused the computer to stop working, you can still recover Windows 10 using the secret Registry backup.
However, there is one caveat, since the operating system no longer creates these backups automatically, you have to re-enable it manually before you can use it.
In this guide, you will learn the steps to restore the previous version of the Registry manually from its automated backup on Windows 10.
Restore Registry manually on Windows 10
To restore the Registry on Windows 10 manually, use these steps:
Start PC with Advanced startup options.
Click on Troubleshoot.
Click on Advanced options.
Click on Command Prompt.
When the device starts with Command Prompt, it will 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 the
C:\drive, 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:
Type the following command to verify you are in the correct drive to restore the Registry and press Enter:
If you see the Windows folder, you are in the correct drive letter. If not, return to step No. 5 and try another letter.
Type the following command to enter into the System32 folder and press Enter:
Change D in the command with the correct drive letter for your scenario.
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:
Type the following command to create a temporary backup of the files in the config folder, and press Enter:
copy config configBak
Type the following command to move inside the RegBack, which contains a backup of the Registry, and press Enter:
Type the following command to verify the content of the RegBack folder and press Enter:
dirWarning: After running the
dircommand, the files’ size (SYSTEM, SOFTWARE, SAM, SECURITY, DEFAULT) should be similar to those 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.
Type the following command to copy the files from the RegBack folder to the config folder restore the Windows 10 Registry and press Enter and the Y key on every question to confirm:
copy * ..\*
Click the Close (X) button from the top-right.
Once you complete the steps, the computer will reboot, and Windows 10 should start correctly.
We are focusing this guide on Windows 10, but the concept also should work on Windows 8.1 and Windows 7.