If you are going to make changes to the Registry, it’s highly recommended that you create a backup before you edit any values. This will help you in case something goes wrong to restore your Registry. The Windows Registry is a database that contains all of the configurations and settings used by Windows and its components, services and applications.

Backing up the Registry before making any changes is a smart step.

Windows won’t ask you to backup your Registry before making any changes, but you should always perform a backup before making any change.

Backup Your Windows Registry

Open the Registry Editor using the command REGEDIT in Run (shortcut: Windows+R).

Once the Registry Editor is open, select “Computer” for a full backup, you can also backup specific keys (the ones you are going to make the change to). During the process of restoring a full backup of the Registry Windows may tell you that he failed to recover all the keys and that’s fine. Because some running programs and processes are using some keys and the import tool can’t overwrite them.

From the menu on top go to “File” then choose “Export“.

The window Export Registry File will appear, make sure you have the selected branch listed at the bottom, or “All” in case of a full backup (Computer).

If you – for example – chosen to backup the key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Environment\, it will be shown in the Selected branch.

Choose a location where you want to save your .reg backup file and choose a proper name (e.g Registry Backup) for it.

Click “Save“, a full backup will take some time.

Don’t worry if the windows is “Not Responding“, this is due to the large data that is contained within the Registry, the size of my full backup was 528MB, so just wait and things will work as expected.

Once finished, a new .reg file will be created in the location you specified. You can later use this file to restore your Registry from “File” > “Import” in the Registry Editor top menu.

You are free to change your Registry since you have a backup you can restore to whenever you want.