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How To Use RegEdit

Information on using the RegEdit tool.

RegEdit is built-in utility in Windows to allow you to view, edit, add, or remove registry keys. The Windows registry is a configuration file containing thousands of settings, configration info, and information your system uses everyday. Editing the info can sometimes be useful for fixing problems, removing outdated registry entries, and adjusting hidden system settings.

How to Use Regedit

Accessing RegEdit

To access MSConfig, type Windows+R (or go to Start > Run), type MSConfig, and hit Enter. The RegEdit program can also be found in the Windows folder on your hard drive.

Using RegEdit

Once open, you will see five parent folders containing different parts of your registry. You should see: HKEY_Classes_Root, HKEY_Current_User, HKEY_Local_Machine, HKEY_Users, and HKEY_Current _Config. Each of these folders contains a different set of configuration data. The data is organized into keys and values. Explore one of these folders. Inside you will find keys and sub-keys. Inside these keys are individual registry values. These values can hold strings, binary, dword, multistring, and expandable string data.

Editing a Registry Key or Value

If you want to edit a particular registry key, you must first find the key you want. If you know the path, use the folders to go to that registry key. If you don't know the exact location, you can also search the registry by typing Ctrl-F and entering a search term. Once you find the key you want to edit, open it up, find the value you want to edit, double-click the value, and make any changes to that want. Once you click "OK" the change will be saved.

Deleting a Registry Key or Value

Just as in editing a registry key, find what you want to delete. Select the key, subkey, or value by clicking on it and click Delete on your keyboard. Warning, once deleting you cannot restore the value, so you may want to make a backup of your registry first.

Backup Your Registry

You can also use RegEdit to backup your entire registry or an idividual part or key. Simply select the registry key you want to backup (if you want to backup everything, select "My Computer"). Once selected, click File > Export, and save the backup where you wish. To restore the backup, double-click the backup file and you will be asked if you wish to restore the values.