How To Add, Remove, Delete, Import, Export, Manage Registry Keys From Command Line In Windows? – POFTUT

How To Add, Remove, Delete, Import, Export, Manage Registry Keys From Command Line In Windows?

Registry is a database used by Windows operating systems to store information about applications, users, operating system, network etc. Registry is a single file located at C:\Windows\System32\Config . There are following files those holds registry values

  • HKEY_USERS is hold in \winnt\profiles\username
  • HKEY_USERS.DEFAULT is hold in \system32\config\default


Help information about reg command can be printed like below. We will use /? option.

$ reg /?

Registry Keys and Values

Registry values are hold in hierarchical manner like a tree. Registry keys hold the name and value hold real value. For example following path specifies  current users Explorer version.


As we can see the path starts with HKEY_CURRENT and resume according to hierarchy.

Sub Keys

Subkeys a registery keys too which used to inform that a keys child key is subkey and this sub key can hold subkeys in recursive manner too.

Query Value In The Registry

Registry values can be queried to get their values and sub keys.  We will use query sub-command to query registry key named Explorer.

reg query HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer
Query Value In The Registry
Query Value In The Registry

In this example there is one key and value pairs those listen in the first lines of the output. Below lines shows subkeys of queried registry key.

Add Key To Registry

We can add news keys to the registry. We will use /ADD option with related new key path and name in a single path. In this example we will add new key named Test to the given path. In order to modify registry we need Administrator privileges.

reg ADD HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Test
Add Key To Registry
Add Key To Registry

Add Key Value To Registry

Another example to add key to registry is providing values too. Registry values generally have 4 different types like below;

  • REG_BINARY used to hold binary values
  • REG_SZ used to hold string and character values
  • REG_DWORD used to hold 32 bit numbers
  • REG_MULTI_SZ used to hold multi line string
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We will add string type value into key named MyName with data ismail .

$ reg add  HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\MyName /v Data /t REG_SZ /d ismail
Add Key Value To Registry
Add Key Value To Registry

Delete Value In The Registry

Deleting key and values from registry easir than adding them. In order to delete a key and its data if data exist can be done /DELETE subcommand.

$ reg delete  HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\MyName
Delete Value In The Registry
Delete Value In The Registry

Deleting key from registry is a critical operation. So we should be careful while dealing registry key. During the deletion operation a confirmation required to answered yes.

Export From Registry

Registry keys can be exported with their values and subkeys. We will use EXPORT command for  this operation. We need to specify the key tree to export and the file where the export output will be saved.

In this example we will export HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft into file named Microsoft.reg

$ reg export  HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft Microsoft.reg

Import Into Registry

Saved registry keys and values can be imported similar to export operation. We will just provide the saved registry. This will automatically imported to the relevant tree hierarchy.

$ reg import Microsoft.reg

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