How To Backup Internet Explorer Settings with BackRex

The browser today means a lot more than it did ten years ago, heck it means a lot more than it did even two years ago.  In today’s world the browser represents not only a way to view the musings of the Internet, but it’s also the thin face to many server-based applications.  The browser is becoming more and more of a dependency every day.

I guess that’s why this little application called BackRex Internet Explorer Backup intrigued me so much.  Over the years I have been through many OS rebuilds and changes, each time having to make adjustments to my browser settings to get them just the way I like them.  That includes the manual backup and restore of cookies, favorites, connections settings, and add-ons.  BackRex’s Internet Explorer Backup simplifies that task by automating the process from start to finish.   Here’s a little walkthrough of it’s basic features.

Backing Up Your Settings

To start with, IE Backup is a very easy installation.  Simply download the installer from the BackRex site, and install using the default options.  At the end of the installation, “Run BackRex Internet Explorer Backup” will be checked.  Click Finish to launch the program.

You’ll be presented with a new wizard to help you complete your task.  This tool gives you the option to backup, restore, rollback, or create a scheduled backup for your Internet Explorer settings.  The first screen warns you to close any other programs.  I would strongly encourage you to heed that warning.

IE Backup Wizard

After clicking Next, you’ll be given the option to select your task.  We’ll look at each of them as we go along.  Start by selecting Backup and clicking Next.

IE Backup Wizard Task Selection

You might note that IE Backup numbers the steps as you walk through the process – this can be quite helpful.  In step 2, IE Backup will notify you of any software it has detected that should be closed before continuing.  I can’t stress enough – shut the programs down.  You’ll ensure a quality backup and no loss of data.

IE Backup Open Applications

Step 3 gives you the ability to change some of the options.  I chose the default folder to use, but you can set it to whatever works best for you.  I also checked the checkbox next to “Remember this backup folder”.  That way I don’t have to keep setting it each time I run the application.  You can also set a password here, I chose to leave it blank.  If security is important to you – password protect the backup.  It will help keep your personal information just a little bit more safe.

Click Next.  Step 4 is pretty basic.  It shows you what the application is going to backup for you.  It’s just a list though, so feel free to click Next to get the process moving.

IE Backup Settings

IE Backup List

Step 5 is where the magic happens.  This screen shows you each item that the application is backing up, allowing you to monitor the progress.  It will look something like this:

IE Backup In Progress

IE Backup In Progress 2

It’s that easy!  When this step is finished, you’ll be presented with the following summary window.

IE Backup Complete

Now all you have left to do is click Finish and enjoy your piece of mind.  I would suggest storing your backup, or a copy of it, on disk or offsite.  That will protect you in the event that you have a drive failure.

Scheduled Backup

Backing up your settings is a great idea, but it’s not a one time deal.  IE Backup from BackRex gives you the opportunity to schedule your backups at regular intervals, so that you can simply set it and forget it.  Be warned though, if you are running it on a system that is domain connected, you will be required to provide a domain username and password. If your security policies require you to change your password every xx days, I would encourage you to set yourself a reminder to complete the task manually.  Scheduling with an account that requires password changes may lock out your account when you change it, but fail to update the task.

Setting up the scheduled backup is just as easy as doing the backup itself.  A wizard walks you through the process and makes it very simple to complete.  Starting from the main IE Backup screen, simply select Scheduled Backup and click Next. Step 2 allows you to configure various settings such as storage location, compression, and password protection.  For this walkthrough, I used mainly the default settings.

It is important to note that the option to Close running applications automatically should be considered with care.  Enabling this setting allows IE Backup to close any open programs that it needs to, in order to ensure quality.  That could mean some time or data loss if you’re like me and leave multiple browser tabs and windows open for research purposes.

IE Backup Scheduled Backup


Step 3 is once again a nice listing of all the items that the application plans to backup for you.  Step 4, the final step, is where you set your schedule.

IE Backup Schedule Backup List

IE Backup Schedule

Pick something them makes sense to you.  In my case, I chose a daily backup because I am a habitual user who adds favorites and changes settings on a daily basis.  The average user might find weekly or monthly to be sufficient.


After clicking Next on the final step of the scheduled backup, you may be prompted for a user account and password like the one shown below.  You may want to refer to my warnings a few paragraphs up, in regards to using domain accounts.


Restore Settings from Backup

The restore process is just as easy as the backup process, in fact it might even be easier.  Starting from the same startup screen, select Restore and click Next.  Step 2 is where you provide the location of your previously saved backup to be recovered from.  The program then skips to Step 4 and provides the familiar listing of the items it plans to recover.  Clicking Next at this point will begin the recovery process.  That’s all there is to it.

I hope you find this tool as handy as I have!


Norm is a a Canadian IT professional with 12 years of experience under his belt as a Technology Architect, Microsoft Certified Application Developer and as an Analyst. He has written numerous articles for multiple technology blogs, in addition to his own blog

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