Copying Windows Live Writer accounts to another computer
I'm setting up a new laptop and needed to copy my Windows Live Writer accounts over. I've run through the Writer "add a blog" wizard so many times over the years and always wondered if there were a less tedious way to add all my blog settings at once. I first looked at an Import and Export Wizard for Windows Live Writer program, but it didn't seem to work. It turns out that it's pretty simple to do this manually using a registry file.
Export / Import the settings
First, export a registry file which contains your Live Writer accounts. You can do using regedit by navigating to "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows Live\Writer" and exporting the key, or you can do this from the command line, like this:
This will dump a registry file on your desktop. Copy this registry file over to the new computer and double-click on it to install it.
Your password is encrypted in the registry settings, so it won't copy over. That's a good thing - you wouldn't want someone to be able to steal your blog account passwords by snooping through your registry. This works pretty smoothly, though, because the first time you try to use the account on the new computer, it'll prompt you to re-enter the password, and you're all set.
Looking up your old passwords
If you've any of your LiveWriter account passwords, it turns out that you can easily retrieve them using a the LiveWriter API. Javier Lozano had written this up a few years ago, and a commenter had posted an update that works with the current version of the Live Writer API.
- I use Live Mesh to keep drafts and recent posts in sync across my work computer and laptop by syncing My Documents\My Weblog Posts. I'm sure this can be done using Dropbox (and that the Dropbox faithful will tell me about it in the comments).
- This blog is on weblogs.asp.net, which requires some trickery to get WLW configured. For my future reference, you can set it up as a Community Server blog, but the metablog endpoint is at http://weblogs.asp.net/metablog.ashx
- I don't bother with the style detection stuff anymore, but if you do be sure to delete the Temporary Post Used For Style Detection post if it doesn't get deleted.