How to Reset Windows XP Registry to Default

By Brendan O'Brien

Your Windows XP operating system computer is driven by the registry, which is a large set of files and folders full of complex settings. If you make an error in the registry or inadvertently delete a file, you can restore the registry's original default settings.

Step 1

Click the "Start" button in the lower-left corner of your desktop. Scroll up and click "Run."

Step 2

Type "%SystemRoot%\System32\Restore\Rstrui.exe" (without the quotes) in the field and press the "OK" button.

Step 3

Press the "Restore my computer to an earlier time" choice and then click the "Next" button.

Step 4

Select "System checkpoint" and then click "Guided Help (Registry Backup)." Click the "Next" button and then click the "OK" button if a confirmation window appears.

Step 5

Click the "Next" button and wait for the restoration to complete. The system will restart itself.

Click the "OK" button on the "System Restore" page.

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