How you can Restore Automatic Registry Backups in Windows 10 Version 1903

A silent change that Microsoft implemented in Windows 10 version 1803, or Windows 10 April 2018 Update, made many think that Windows 10 version 1809, also known as the Windows 10 October 2018 Update, included another bug.

And given how buggy the October update actually at the time of its launch, it’s pretty easy to understand the reasons believed it was yet another issue in the OS.

Microsoft disabled the automatic Registry backups in Windows 10 version 1803 for any reason that does seem sensible now once the software giant talks about it. The organization says it wanted to lessen the amount of storage Windows utilizes on the drive, which means this feature was removed in the operating-system.

The registry backups were performed with automatic task within the Task Scheduler. But starting with Windows 10 version 1803, regardless of the actual task still being listed in the job Schedule, no backup is performed, using the typical files in which the information was stored now display 0 kb in size.

Microsoft explains the modification (which applies to all SKUs of Windows 10 version 1803, 1809, and 1903, including Education and Enterprise):

“Starting in Windows 10, version 1803, Windows no more automatically supports the system registry to the RegBack folder. If you browse towards the \Windows\System32\config\RegBack folder in Windows Explorer, you will still see each registry hive, but each file is 0kb in dimensions.

This change is by design, and is meant to reduce the general disk footprint size Windows. To recuperate a system with a corrupt registry hive, Microsoft recommends that you employ a method restore point.”

While Microsoft recommends users to stick using the system restore point feature, they are able to actually restore the legacy behavior and rely on the scheduled task to produce a backup from the Windows registry.

Since the task has already been there, what needs to be done to enable it’s re-enabling a registry entry within the Registry. To do this, first launch the Registry Editor by typing regedit.exe in the Start menu. Browse to the following location in the Registry Editor:

HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Configuration Manager\

Look for a registry entry that is called:

EnablePeriodicBackup

If it doesn’t exist already, you have to create it manually. Right-click within the right pane > New > DWORD (32-bit) Value and use the aforementioned name. Double-click EnablePeriodicBackup and input value 1.

A reboot of the system is necessary to permit the task to operate.

“Windows backs up the registry to the RegBack folder when the computer restarts, and creates a RegIdleBackup task to manage subsequent backups. Windows stores the task information in the Scheduled Task Library, within the Microsoft\Windows\Registry folder,” Microsoft explains.

The steps here work on all the aforementioned Windows 10 SKUs on version 1803, 1809, and 1903. The folder where registry backups are stored is the following:

C:\Windows\System32\config\RegBack

If you wish to use restore points to create backups of your drives and of the Windows Registry, you need to enable protection per each drive. To get this done:

Start menu > System Protection > Select drive > Configure > Turn on system protection

You can then create a restore point in the same screen.

The same tutorial should work in future Windows 10 releases too, as the aforementioned behavior ought to be requested the following updates too – albeit sooner or later Microsoft could take away the scheduled task too. I tested this tutorial in Windows 10 20H1 preview builds (the update rolling in the spring of 2020) and everything appears to become working correctly.