If you are both an IE user and a fan of using custom search providers in your search box, you might be interested to know how you can back up that list and/or restore it on another computer. Yes, this article is boring, but we’re trying to cover everything here!

Since I’m primarily a Firefox user you’ll see that I don’t have many items in my search list, but you might have a lot more than I do.

Manual Registry Backup Method

If you are comfortable using the registry, you can just open up regedit.exe through the start menu search box and then navigate down to the following key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\SearchScopes

Right-click on the SearchScopes key and choose to Export. Give the file a name and save it somewhere useful. To restore this list on another computer you should only have to double-click it.

Command Line Method

You can use the reg.exe method on the command line to backup this key. You can either paste this command into a command prompt or save it into a batch file.

reg export “HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\SearchScopes” searchbackup.reg

And thus ends the mystery of backing up search providers.

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Lowell is the founder and CEO of How-To Geek. He’s been running the show since creating the site back in 2006. Over the last decade, Lowell has personally written more than 1000 articles which have been viewed by over 250 million people. Prior to starting How-To Geek, Lowell spent 15 years working in IT doing consulting, cybersecurity, database management, and programming work.
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