We noticed back in October 2018 that Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system was not creating Registry backups anymore.
The scheduled task to create the backups was still running and the run result indicated that the operation completed successfully, but Registry backups were not created anymore.
Previous versions of Windows 10 created these backups and placed them in the C:\Windows\System32\config\RegBack folder. The backups could be used to restore the Windows Registry to an earlier state.
Microsoft published a new support page recently that brings light into the darkness. The company notes that the change is by-design and thus not a bug. The change was implemented in Windows 10 version 1803 and all newer versions of Windows 10 are affected by it.
Microsoft made the change to reduce the size of Windows on the system.
Starting in Windows 10, version 1803, Windows no longer automatically backs up the system registry to the RegBack folder. If you browse to to the \Windows\System32\config\RegBack folder in Windows Explorer, you will still see each registry hive, but each file is 0kb in size.
This change is by design, and is intended to help reduce the overall disk footprint size of Windows. To recover a system with a corrupt registry hive, Microsoft recommends that you use a system restore point.
The Registry backup option has been disabled but not removed according to Microsoft. Administrators who would like to restore the functionality may do so by changing the value of a Registry key:
- Open the Start menu, type regedit.exe, and select the Registry Editor entry from the list of results.
- Navigate to the following key: HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Configuration Manager\
- Right-click on Configuration Manager and select New > Dword (32-bit) Value.
- Name it EnablePeriodicBackup.
- Double-click on it after creation and set its value to 1.
- Restart the PC.
Windows 10 will backup the Registry again from that point on.
Windows backs up the registry to the RegBack folder when the computer restarts, and creates a RegIdleBackup task to manage subsequent backups.
We have created two Registry files to enable and disable automatic Registry backups on Windows 10. You can download them with a click on the following link: Windows 10 Automatic Registry Backup Script