I exported a binary registry from my computer (IE setting). I need to re-import this into another computer (both Windows 7). When I try to import the registry file (same one that I exported), I get an error. After some general research, it seems I need to import binary data a special way, but I can't seem to make it work. This is the registry key:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\User Preferences]

How can I re-import this on to a new computer?

  • 1
    What was the error??? – Rhys Gibson Apr 28 '11 at 21:47
  • When I double-click the .reg file I exported from regedit, I get this error: "Cannot import file.reg. not all data was successfully written to the registry. Some keys are open by the system or other processes". I'm logged on as a local admin, and even tried safe mode. – Jeff Apr 29 '11 at 12:35

The usual warnings about screwing with the registry apply...

Basically, Windows locks certain registry keys and values to prevent end users changing them (even administrators) - much like system files and folders.

You need to specifically take ownership and/or grant your user rights to the key/value you want to change via regedit.

  1. Open regedit, navigate to the key, right click on it and select Permissions and then Advanced
  2. In “Advanced Security Settings” dialog box, go to the Owner tab. If your user, or a group you're in isn't the owner, select the user/group you need from the "Change owner to:" section
  3. Check the checkbox for "Replace owner on subcontainers and objects" option, and click OK.
  4. Back in the Permissions dialog box change the settings for your user/group so that you have Full Control

This should now allow you to re-import the registry file.


I was getting the same error as listed above in Windows 7. I was able to log in as the local admin and import without issue.

  • This should be a comment as it does not answer the question. – Peachy Oct 12 '12 at 9:57

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.