Is it possible to move registry entries for software from one computer to another?

Anonymous March 22, 2014

Can you move registry software info from old computer to new one?

  1. Oron J
    March 22, 2014 at 9:32 am

    Yes you can do it, but whether it is practical or will even work is a different matter. You can move each registry branch (or single keys) by navigating to them in Regedit, choosing File=>Export and saving as a .reg file. You can then copy the file to the new machine and double-click on the file to incorporate it into the registry.

    However, before incorporating into the new machine. Things in the "Local Machine" branch (HKLM) will be fine, but anything saved in user profiles will need to have the account name changed. For example, if an entry reads:
    the "S-1-5-19" part will need to be changed to the name of the profile on the new machine (you can kind of get around it by using "current user" instead of specific profile names, but you'll still need to make changes.

    This will work for some software (although as you can see, it's fiddly), but it won't work for anything that is tied to a particular machine (e.g. copy-protected or "activated" software) and differences in the configurations of machines can also prevent things from working (for example, if the original machine has an Intel processor and the target machine uses AMD, any software that is optimised for specific processors will not work). In short, you can try, but you're not guaranteed success!

    • Vince
      March 22, 2014 at 2:27 pm

      Thanks for the quick response. It seems more daunting then my ability. Just copying to the new machine is no guarantee of it working. Thanks again

  2. Hovsep A
    March 22, 2014 at 9:09 am

    depends of the sofware, licensing, registration, how the registry key is can try to export the registry keys and import to another pc.

    there are some serial scanner software you can scan the pc to check the serial number, maybe it is better to add the serial manually.

    • Vince
      March 22, 2014 at 2:29 pm

      Thanks for the quick response.