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How To Backup the Registry in Windows Vista

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Registry Editor in Windows Vista

Registry Editor in Windows Vista

Planning a big edit to the Windows Registry in Vista? Backing up the individual registry keys you're planning on making changes to could quickly become frustrating.

A better solution is to export the whole of the Windows Vista Registry, providing you with a way to undo any change you might purposely, or accidentally, make in the registry.

Follow these easy steps to back up the entire Windows Vista Registry:

Note: The steps below require working with the Windows Registry in Windows Vista. Making changes other than the ones described below could cause serious problems.

Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Backing up the Windows Vista Registry usually takes less than 10 minutes

Here's How:

  1. Execute regedit to start Registry Editor.

    See How To Open Registry Editor if you're not sure how to do that.

  2. Scroll all the way to the top on the left-hand side of Registry Editor, above all the registry hives, until you reach Computer.

  3. Click once on Computer.

  4. Choose File and then choose Export... from the Registry Editor menu.

  5. In the Export Registry File window you see next, choose a location on your computer to save the file to.

    Note: I recommend choosing your desktop or some other location you can easily find in the future if you need to restore this backup.

  6. Find the File name: field and type a name for the registry backup file.

    Note: Try to name this something that makes sense, especially if you have other registry backups stored in the same place. A good name might be Vista Registry Backup, along with the current date.

  7. Click Save.

    A file with the REG file extension will be created at the location and with the name you chose. For example, Vista Registry Backup July.reg if that's what you decided on.

  8. You can now make whatever changes to the Vista registry you want, knowing that you have a complete backup of the entire registry.

  9. Hopefully your registry changes are successful, but if not, you can always restore the entire Windows Vista registry using the registry backup you just created.

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