Exporting and importing Windows 7 Registry

It is vital to backup the system configuration of your Windows 7 computer before performing any configuration changes that might break your system. The configuration is stored centrally in a hierarchical database called the registry. You can use the Registry Editor to perform a backup or restore of the registry file.

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The registry backup is done using the export function within the Registry editor. Export the registry file as follows:

  1. Open the Registry editor by typing regedit in the Search text box from the Start menu
  2. On the file menu, click Export
  3. In the File Name, enter a name for the backup registry file and destination location, choose a non-system volume or removable media if available
  4. In Save as type, select the file type Registration files (*.reg)
  5. In Export Range, check the option All to save the entire registry
  6.  Click Save

Importing the registry file:

  1. Open Registry Editor by typing regedit in the Search text box from the Start menu
  2. On the File menu, click Import
  3. Find the file you want to import, click the file to select it, and then click Open
  4. It is recommended to close all applications and windows before starting the restore operation as it may fail to restore registry parts belonging to the running applications

Warning: If in Windows Explorer, you incidentally double-click a file with the .reg extension and accept the prompt message you will be performing a restore operation where the restored file which may be an old backup configuration will become the current configuration of your system and hence, any modifications after the backup will be lost!