Typically, prefaced before anything which requires you to make a change to your Windows Registry, you see a warning which basically says “be careful because if you do something wrong you can mess up your system”. This is absolutely true.
Whenever you make a change to your registry, you should create a backup first. You can do a full registry backup by using System Restore, but in most cases a simple key backup is good enough. This is done easily inside of RegEdit:
- Select the key (folder) where you are making changes in the registry from the left side.
- Select File > Export.
- In the dialog, just enter a file name which is descriptive of the key you are exporting. You can also confirm the location is correct at the bottom of the dialog (Selected Branch).
- Confirm the REG file saved correctly.
That’s it. Now if you need to undo your change you can simply import the file you just created. This is a simple and effective way to help recover simple mistakes if you are dealing with the registry.
Of couse, this method is not 100% fool-proof. For example, if you modify a system value and reboot your system, this method may not be an ample recovery model. However, for minor system tweaks it should be sufficient.