When one computer works and the other doesn’t, it is vital for troubleshooting Windows problems to be able to compare differences between the Windows registry on one computer and another.
If you’re wanting to compare differences between two Windows registry settings, this tutorial will show you how. You can also use these steps to view before and after changes to the registry.
- Launch the Registry Editor (regedit).
- Right-click on Computer and select Export. This will export the entire set of registry keys. You can also just export a limited set of registry keys if you like such as HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE by exporting just that set instead. Give it a name like regexport.reg.
- Perform the same steps on the other computer or the same registry you would like to compare after changes have been made. Give the export file a name like regexport2.reg.
- Install TortoiseSVN on the computer where you will be comparing.
- Copy both registry files to the workstation where you’ll be comparing registries.
- Navigate to the folder where both .reg files are located. Hold the CTRL button and click once on each file to highlight them.
- Right-click one of the highlighted files then choose TortoiseSVN > Diff.
- TortoiseMerge will open a screen where you can now compare the changes made between both registry export files. Differences are highlighted in yellow. The Next difference and Previous difference buttons on the top bar are useful if you want to have a look at every change.
I hope this tutorial has helped you with comparing differences between two sets of Windows registry files and has you well on your way to solving whatever problem you are facing.