IT enthusiasts are constantly looking for ways to go under the hood of Windows, either for functional optimization or visual tweaks. The core of all changes is the Registry Editor.
Windows doesn’t stop you from messing with its internal system, but you need to do this at your own risk. A single error can make your PC unstable or even force you into a fresh install of Windows. Just make sure to read and follow every single step of the way when counting on tutorials to help with difficult tasks.
When it comes to registries, things get a little more complicated. In other words, most registries are in use while your computer is running, so restoring can’t be done for active ones. As a consequence, it’s best to create backups for individual chunks of registries you consider can get damaged through whatever change you want to make.
Backing up system registries
Step 1: Press Win+R to launch the Run utility.
Step 2: Write down regedit and press Enter to access the Registry Editor.
Step 3: Navigate to the location of the entry you want to save and select the containing folder from the left panel.
Step 4: Right-click the selected directory and choose to Export.
Step 5: Save the file under a name easy to recognize, keeping the file type REG.
Step 6 (restoring): Double-click the exported file so that registry keys are automatically added where they belong.
Note: This can be used as a method of keeping specific application and video game settings intact. However, you need to know exactly what registry affects changes you want to keep.
A few last words
Even though Windows lets you export the whole registry tree, it doesn’t mean you have to. Besides the fact that a large, useless file is generated, it can’t be restored by simply double-clicking it. If you plan on making some major changes, creating a System Restore Point is recommended, which also takes care of registries.