The Tweaking Experience - Before You Start "Tweaking" Your System


This step-by-step article describes how to back up, edit, and restore the registry in Windows XP. Microsoft recommends that before you edit the registry, you back up the registry and understand how to restore it if a problem occurs.

How to Back Up the Registry

Before you edit the registry, export the keys in the registry that you plan to edit, or back up the whole registry. If a problem occurs, you can then follow the steps how-to restore the registry to its previous state.

How to Export Registry Keys

  1. Click Start, and then click Run (see picture 1 and 2).

    Picture 1
    Picture 2


  2. In the Open box, type regedit, and then click OK (see picture 3).

    Picture 3


  3. Locate and then click the key that contains the value that you plan to edit.
  4. On the File menu, click Export (see picture 4).

    Picture 4


  5. In the Save in box, select a location in which to save the .reg file. In the File name box, type a file name, and then click Save (see picture 5).

    Picture 4

How to Restore the Registry

To restore registry keys that you exported, double-click the .reg file that you saved.


For additional information, click the article numbers below to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

314837 How to Manage Remote Access to the Registry
310595 Description of HKEY_CURRENT_USER Registry Subkeys
310593 Description of the RunOnceEx Registry Key
307545 How to Recover from a Corrupted Registry that Prevents Windows XP from Starting