Visual BCD Editor: edit Windows boot manager items

Martin Brinkmann
Sep 23, 2012
Updated • Sep 23, 2012
Software, Windows, Windows software

Visual BCD Editor is a free program for Vista and newer versions of the Windows operating system that is enabling you to edit the boot menu of the system. The program displays a visual representation of the BcdStore containing the operating system's boot configuration data. It displays the structure in a tree-like view on the left sidebar, and the selected item in detail on the right pane.

Here you for instance see all boot loaders currently available with their specific data types allowing you to analyze, verify and edit all boot related parameters. This includes the system root directory and other parameters like the preferred localy or application path for the system loader.

visual bcd editor

More interesting than that may be options to backup and restore the boot storage. Especially the backup option may come in handy, for instance before you start to install a second or third operation system on the computer as it allows you to restore the previous setting if things do not turn out the way they are supposed to be.

To backup the boot information you simply click on store > backup store or press f4. You can then later import the store again by selecting store > import store or by pressing f3. This is also recommended before you make changes to individual boot parameters.

You can furthermore use the program to repair the BCD or boot records, which is an automated process, create missing Windows loaders in case boot loaders are missing from the boot menu, or add Linux/Mac, Windows NT or Vista/7 boot loaders to the list.The program offers capabilities to remove entries from the boot loader as well. This can be useful if you have reinstalled Windows and notice that the old operating system is still listed in the boot manager.

The latest version of Visual BCD Editor requires the Microsoft .Net Framework 2.0. It is fully compatible with all versions of Windows Vista and newer editions of the Windows operating system. You can alternatively check out Easy BCD, another popular boot editor for Vista and newer versions of Windows.


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  1. Yogesh Unavane said on November 25, 2012 at 7:29 am

    Easy BCD, I been using it from long time. Trusted-able.

  2. Richard Steven Hack said on September 24, 2012 at 4:07 am

    This kind of tool comes in handy (if you can get it installed on a bootable Windows CD that has .NET available) when Windows 7 hoses its boot database and the automatic repair craps out and doesn’t let you get near the command line. I’ve seen it happen.

    Why Microsoft set up the boot loader as a database, after the utter failure that has been the Registry for years, is beyond me.

    Thank heaven Linux still uses text files to control its boot loader.

  3. Sina said on September 23, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    I still prefer EasyBCD, more User-friendly.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on September 23, 2012 at 9:19 pm

      I agree with that, but it is always nice to have alternatives available.

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