How to view Registry files without importing in Windows 10

by Ivan Jenic
Ivan Jenic
Ivan Jenic
Troubleshooting Expert
Passionate about all elements related to Windows and combined with his innate curiosity, Ivan has delved deep into understanding this operating system, with a specialization in drivers and... read more
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Using Registry files and the Registry editor is not a piece of cake for everyone. Seeing complicated Registry paths, and changing values of the files might seem confusing for an average user. But those who know what they’re doing feel pretty comfortable in this environment.

To access Registry files, you need to open the Registry Editor, and go through various paths. This can be a time consuming task, especially if you have many entries to click on. But, if you already have a Registry file saved on your computer, accessing it is quite easier.

So, in this article, we’re going to show you how to access Registry files in Windows 10, and how to export them directly from the Registry editor.

How to read Registry files without importing in Windows 10

If you’ve just downloaded some registry tweak, or have a backup of your registry, you can access it from the location you’ve saved it at. However, you can’t just open the Registry file in order to see details about it. If you do that, the file is going to be added to your Registry automatically, and you’ll have to use the Registry editor to check it.

Since this is not a goal, we’ll have to find another way of seeing details about Registry files in Windows. To put it as simple as possible, we’ll say that Registry files are just text files with different file extension. So obviously, if you want to see what a Registry file contains, you just need to open it with any text editor, and that’s the whole philosophy.

If you’re not sure how to do that, just follow these instructions:

  1. Right-click the Registry file you want to access
  2. Choose Open with… from the context menu
  3. If you’re doing this for the first time, a text editor won’t show up as one of the first options, so just click on More apps
  4. Now, find Notepad, and check it. Make sure not to check ‘Always use this app to open .reg files’, because it will change the default app for opening Registry files for good.registry file windows 10
  5. Click OK

There you go, after doing this, your Registry file will appear in Notepad, and you’ll be able to see what it contains, and edit it.

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registry file windows 10 2

We also have to warn you to be very careful when doing this, because executing the Registry file will automatically add it to Registry. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you can mess up your system.

How to save Registry files in Windows 10

Now that we know how to access Registry files in Windows 10, let’s see how can we save them to our computer directly from the Registry Editor. If you save a Registry file, you’ll have its path at your fingertips, because you can always access it using the method from above.

Here’s exactly what you need to do to save Registry files in Windows 10:

  1. Go to Search, type regedit, and open Registry Editor
  2. Navigate through the Registry Editor, to the path you want to save
  3. When your reach your ‘destination’, just click on File > Exportregistry file windows 10 3
  4. Choose the location where you want to save your Registry file, and name itregistry file windows 10 4

There you go, your Registry file is now saved, and you can easily access, transfer it to another computer, and more.

As we mentioned above, this is a great method for keeping Registry paths. Starting from the third major update for Windows 10 (scheduled for April 2017), you’ll be able to use the search bar in the Registry Editor, for easier access to Registry paths. All you need to do is to check the path from the registry file, copy it into the Registry Editor’s search bar, and you’ll be automatically brought to it. We certainly think this is easier than going through each Registry file individually.

That should be all for our article about accessing Registry files in Windows 10. If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions, feel free to let us know in the comments below.