How to Fix Reg­istry Edi­tor Can­not Import File Error in Win­dows 10

File Error Registry is a critical database that stores information about the apps, services, and hardware used to run Windows. Power users often edit it to change OS or apps settings to make Windows function a certain way that isn’t possible otherwise. Well, even you can perform registry hacks on Windows 10 to customize how it works. But what if the registry editor cannot import a registry file on your Windows PC? That error can be puzzling.

Win­dows 10

The thing that is supposed to help us solve an error itself needs troubleshooting. Ironic. Well, I hope you’re ready with your sleeves rolled up because these solutions warrant your focus. Here are all possible solutions to solve when your registry editor cannot import a file and throws an error.


We recommend you learn how to backup, restore, and edit registry files before moving ahead. It will help you troubleshoot errors in the future too, and tweak settings to get the most out of Windows OS. Note that these files are critical for the functioning of not just third-party and system apps, but the Windows operating system itself. Failure to take proper backups can result in a lot of trouble. You may have to reinstall the entire OS, and you don’t want that. Also, take a backup of your data in the cloud or on an external hard drive. And always use Safe Mode for such tasks.


Don’t download and import registry files from unknown or unsafe sources. That means stay away from shareware sites, torrents, and new or unknown sites. We are talking about system-level changes, and you certainly should not take it lightly. Also, make sure that the file is in the correct format and ends in .reg extension. Select the file, right-click on it, and choose Properties from the contextual menu to confirm its extension.

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Are you viewing the ‘The specified file is not a registry script’ error while importing a registry file? Open the .reg file in Notepad or your favorite text editor and check whether the first line in the file is blank.


If you are using an office computer, you need to ask the IT administrator or your superior for granting admin rights to your user account. Only then can you edit or make changes in the registry editor that also involves importing registry files.


Where does your computer save the registry files? That is an important question. Because importing registry files requires admin rights and access, the file should be saved in a drive where the user account has full access. Signing in with an admin user account on Windows is enough for a personal computer. You may need to contact the admin in case of an office/enterprise computer.


Standard user accounts don’t have the permission to edit registry entries. Only Admin accounts have those privileges. To grant permission, launch the Registry Editor and drill down to the folder structure where you were trying to import the registry file.

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Open Registry Editor again and click on Permissions under Edit. You can choose a folder or sub-folder, right-click, and select Permissions option there too. The difference is that the changes will be applied to that folder and everything in it only. Otherwise, you are making changes to the parent folder from top to bottom. The rest of the steps remain the same.


I hope you were able to import that registry file after trying one of the solutions mentioned above. The registry editor is a complex tool and you mustn’t experiment or mess around with it — unless you know what you’re doing. Well, we still recommend you to take all the necessary precautions. I know I keep repeating that but still can’t stress this enough. Also, I urge you to use Safe Mode when making such changes.