Backup and Restore Internet Explorer’s Trusted Sites List

By Lowell Heddings on November 23rd, 2008

If you’ve used a computer on a corporate network you’ve likely had to add a website to your trusted sites list because it just wouldn’t work otherwise. After a while, you end up with a mess of sites in your Trusted sites list… so how do you transfer those to a new computer without retyping them?

Like most everything else in Windows, there’s a quick way you can do so in the registry by backing up a single key, which we’ll cover for you today.

What Are We Backing Up Again?

For those of you that don’t know what we’re talking about, if you go to the Security tab under Internet Options, you’ll see a Trusted sites icon in the list.

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Selecting that icon and then the Sites button will bring up a dialog which will allow you to add or remove sites from the zone.

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For the purposes of this example, I used a clean computer that only had howtogeek.com added to the list, which would be silly to backup via the registry… this should really be used for machines with a long list.

Backing Up Via Regedit

Open up regedit.exe through the start menu search or run box and navigate down to the following key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\ZoneMap\Domains

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Right-click on the Domains key and choose Export, and then give the file a useful name. You can then transfer it over to any other computer you’d like.

Importing the Backup

This is as simple as double-clicking on the file on any machine that you want to restore that list on. Remember that it will potentially wipe out entries currently on that machine you are restoring over and replace them with the backup copy.

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As you can see, I was able to take the backup file from my Vista machine and restore it onto my XP machine:

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This is probably most useful for somebody in IT… easy way to add all the corporate web apps just once to the trusted sites list.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 11/23/08
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