How To Restore Your Windows XP Registry

Need to Restore Your Windows XP Registry?

Before learning how to restore your Windows registry, you must know the reasons that may force you to restore the registry. Some of the common reasons are given below.

  • Repair registry damage due to a recent program install/uninstall.
  • Fix corrupt registry entries due to system or software crash.
  • Remove malicious registry entries added by malware.
  • Undo changes done during manual registry edit.
  • Restore registry after a failed registry scan and repair process.

How to Restore Your Windows XP Registry

The method you choose to restore your registry primarily depends on the way you backup your registry. So let’s have a look at some of the methods that enable you to make registry backups on your XP system and how you can restore the registry from these backups.

Registry Editor

You can make full or selective backups of your registry using the Registry Editor. You need to perform the following steps to back up the registry:

  1. Open the Start menu, select Run, type Regedit, and then select the OK button.
  2. In the Registry Editor window, select File and then select Export.
  3. Type the name of the backup file in the File name box.
  4. In the Export range section, select All to back up the entire registry and to backup a selected portion choose the Selected branch option and then type the branch you want to backup in the text box.
  5. Select the Save to save the backup as a .reg file in the specified location.

To restore the registry from this backup, navigate to the .reg file you need to restore and double-click on it. Then select Yes to confirm your decision. Although this method is useful, it does have a drawback. It does not revert the changes you would have done after the backup. It only adds or changes the entries that are backed up in the .reg file.

Registry Utility

Third-party registry maintenance utilities provide you with an easy method to perform registry restore. Most of the registry maintenance utilities make automatic registry backups before they start any registry repair task, such as scanning and removing errors and unwanted information from the registry.

Usually registry utilities include a button on their interface that enables you to backup the entire registry to an external file. And,to restore the registry, you need only to click the restore button, browse to the backed up file and then restore the registry.

Some advanced registry cleaners enable you to perform selective backups. Using this option you can back up only a small portion of the registry. And when you restore, you just revert the changes done to this portion and all other settings in the registry remain as is.

One of the main advantages of using registry utilities is that they are user-friendly and you do not need a lot of expertise to use them.

System Restore

System Restore is a Windows XP feature that makes regular snapshots of your registry, operating system files, and configuration settings. If your system crashes, you can restore the system to the last known working condition by selecting the snapshot taken at that time. System Restore is enabled by default on your Windows XP system if more than 200 MB of space is available to it to save snapshots. The utility takes snapshot of your system on a daily basis, especially before you make major system configuration changes or install\uninstall a large application.

To use System Restore, perform the following steps:

  1. Open the Start menu, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, point to System Tools, and select System Restore.
  2. On the Select a Restore Point page, select the Restore my computer to an earlier time option, and click Next.
  3. Select the date to which you want to restore your system, and select the Next button.
  4. On the Confirm Restore Point Selection page, verify your selection and then select the Next button to start the restoration process.

Now, your system will revert your registry, operating system files, and system configuration to the time when the snapshot you chose to restore was taken.