How to compare registries and find out what has changed

When you are making some changes to your system settings, wouldn’t it be great to see what is actually changing in the registry? This would be really helpful when the changes you have made doesn’t work as expected and you want to reverse the changes but can’t without actually editing the registry.

Here is how you can track what exactly gets changed in the registry.

  1. Start Regedit
  2. Select the top level (Computer).
  3. On the menu select File>Export and save the file to any location. However, I would recommend saving the file to root of any drive (C, D etc). You can name the file ‘before’.
  4. Make any change to your system.
  5. Go back to Regedit and press F5 to refresh it.
  6. Repeat step 3 and export the registry once again and save it in the same directory as before. This time name the file as ‘after’.
  7. Open up a DOS window (Command prompt)
  8. Go to the drive/directory where you saved the two exported file.
  9. Enter the command fc before.reg after.reg > diff.txt.
  10. The output file (diff.txt) will contain the changes made to the registry.

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