Registry Backups (Sep 2019)

Technology Tips – Published September 2019 in the Guide and Digest

By Don Trauger – Kennett

Microsoft has decided, unwisely, to eliminate Automatic Registry backups. They said they did this to decrease the “disk footprint size of Windows.” What is troubling is that they did this unannounced in October of 2018. That decision has no merit as one backup, or restore point, is only about 2 Gb’s or less. Typical hard drives are 1000 GB’s, less your Windows operating system (about 15 GB’s), your programs and files. A total of 50 – 200 GB’s of used storage is typical on a well maintained computer. Based on 200 GB’s used, one automatic backup or restore point is only .25% of the available storage space.

Part of Windows, the Registry is the brain of your computer. It stores all the settings for files, programs and of course Windows. Another term that can be applied is that it is a database for everything going on in your computer. When things go wrong with your computer and a reboot doesn’t fix the problem, you may have to use a restore point to get it to function properly.

Here’s the procedure for working with the Registry. Type CO in the “Type here to search field” in the lower left corner of the Desktop screen. If you don’t see it, right click a blank area of the Taskbar (bottom of screen), move to Cortana and click “Show search box”. Then click “Control Panel” on the top left. At the upper right area of the window click the down arrow next to “View by:” and click “Large icons”. This will allow you to see all of the components of the Control Panel. Click “System” then click “System protection” at the upper left. When the window opens click the “Configure” button. At the top make sure the circle next to “Turn on system protection” is highlighted. Near the bottom of the window click and hold the mouse pointer on the slider and adjust it for about 10 GB’s plus or minus 20%. Click OK. Next click the “Create button”. You will now actually create a manual restore point. It’s safe and you will see why later in this article. Now give it a name, anything will do, and click the “Create” button. After the restore point has been created click Close. Next, in the main System Protection window click “system Restore” and click “Next”. You will now see your newly created restore point along with older ones. When you have to restore you computer you normally pick a restore point that was created earlier than when the problem occurred. Normally, having 2-3 restore points is sufficient. I recommend you create a manual restore point once a week or so since the automatic feature has been disabled by Microsoft. Click on “Show more restore points” to see all that have been saved. If you click a restore point it will also activate the “Scan for affected programs” This is information for you to consider if necessary. Click “Next” and follow the screen prompts to complete the restore.

Finally, for advanced users, you can modify the Registry to allow automatic updates to once again take place by completing the following procedure:


1. Load the Registry Editor by typing regedit.exe in the “Type here to search” field and press the Enter key.
2. Navigate to HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Configuration Manager
3. Right-click Configuration Manager and create a new Dword (32-bit) Value
4. Name the new value EnablePeriodicBackup
5. Double-click EnablePeriodicBackup and set the value to 1. Click OK then close the Registry Editor program.
6. Reboot your PC
After that, the backups will continue to happen automatically and they get saved to the Windows\System32\config\RegBack folder.

This topic will be discussed at our regularly scheduled PC Club meeting on September 17th
upstairs in the Community Center at 7 PM. Also, bring your questions about Windows 10 to get the answers you need.