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:

  1. Select the key (folder) where you are making changes in the registry from the left side.
  2. Select File > Export.
  3. 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).
  4. 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.

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