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What is Registry Editor and How to Use on Windows

Computer users can make changes to things that other programs, you may have read the article to change something in the registry editor. This Change is known as a registry hack or registry tweak.

In this article, we will explain about registry editor. How to open it, and others.

What is Registry Editor?

Registry Editor (RegEdit) is the part of the windows system that acts as a central database in the Windows OS. Information of all software in windows (except Portable Software), you can edit for issues that happened on your computer.

Windows Registry windows
Windows Registry Editor


Warning: Editing the Registry editor can cause a Windows error when you make a wrong step. Previously, it is recommended to make a backup first to minimize the risk.

How to Open Registry Editor in Windows

The way is quite easy to open this feature, please follow the step :

  1. The first step, open the 'Start Menu'.
  2. Then find 'Registry Editor'.
  3. You can also use the Windows 'Run' method (Windows+R) then a pop-up will appear to find 'RegEdit'.
You can also create a shortcut for (Regedit.exe) and paste it in the start menu :
In directory files :
For versions below Windows 10 : 
"C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\SystemTools".

For Windows 10 : 
"C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Administrative Tools".

This method will make the System Registry appear in the Start Menu search too. And what the Windows Registry can do.

The Structure Of The Contents Of The Registry Editor

Registry Editor consists of two panels. The left panel shows the data structure (called a key). The right panel indicates the value which is the name/data pair stored in the key.

Registry structure is similar to directories in the files system, the registry can also be accessed using the same syntax as accessing the file directory using a backslash, the arrangement is like (<subtree><key><subkey...>). 

For example :

My computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows

This points to the subkey that has the name "Windows" contained in the Microsoft subkey. The key is the virtual display of data from several files that make up the registry database, you can see the database registry if you  open the key :

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHIN\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\hivelist

Note, some parts from the registry database are not shown in the Registry Editor. For example, you will not see SAM (Security Account Manager) in RegEdit.

Each of those keys and subkeys has an assignable value, there are several kinds of value. For example, String value, Numeric value, Binary value, Multi-string value, and others.

The Windows Registry has several sections, hierarchically organized with my computer (on windows 8 and new version) as the root directory :

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE (HKLM) is a storage area for the corresponding system configuration, consisting of hardware and software. All these sections apply to all users. HKEY_CURRENT_USER (HKCU) is a repository for user-owned configurations to store information regarding the configuration of user preferences (Dekstop configuration, color, and other configurations that each user can customize to it.
  • HKEY_USERS (HKU) is a storage area for the configuration of each registered user on the computer concerned, each of these sections is identified using the user's Security Identifier (SID) number when users use logon, the SID to be loaded into HKEY_CURRENT_USER.
  • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT is a storage area for link and embedding (OLE) configuration with an application that can handle it. For example, files .txt will be handled by text editor applications, such as notepad and others.
  • HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIG (HKCC) is a storage area for hardware configuration and operating system that be used, the information stored here is not permanent into the registry files, but will always be created during the boot process.
Note: HKEY on windows registry is an abbreviation "Handle to Key".

How to Create a New Key on Windows Registry

Press right on the mouse select Parent key (folder icon) - New - select Key.

You have to make the correct name on the key according to the instructions.

How to Create a New Value on Windows Registry

Not much different from creating a new key, to creating a new value you have to right-click on :
  • The key panel in the left, or
  • The empty area in the right panel.
  • Select New 
  • Choose the appropriate value (String Value, Binary Value, DWORD, or others).
  • and give name (Value name)
Double click on the value that has been created and fill in the required fields.

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