How To Use Regedit To Read, Create, Change Windows Registry Keys And Data? – POFTUT

How To Use Regedit To Read, Create, Change Windows Registry Keys And Data?

Windows registry is special database used to store a lot of information about system, user, network and other components. Registry requires privileged access in order to read, write, change and delete keys and their related values. In this tutorial we will look operations like read, write, change and delete on the registry.

Open Regedit

Regedit is a GUI tool used to list, write, change, delete, import and export registry keys in Windows operating systems. Regedit can be opened different ways but most popular and easy ways is providing regedit command into windows run like below.

Open Regedit

Open Regedit

As previous stated operations on registry needs Administrator privileges following User Account Control prompt will appear to gain these privileges. We will simply click Yes

Registry Editor

We will get Registry Editor like below. Registry Editor left sidebar is used to navigate in registry tree and right area is used to list currently selected keys, values and sub keys.

Registry Editor

Registry Editor

We can see that following root or main keys are listed.

  • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT key contains file name extensions associations and COM class registration information
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER key contains preferences of the current user such as variables, printers, network connections etc
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE key contains configurations about all users inWindows.
  • HKEY_USERS key contains all user-specific data required by operations system and applications.
  • HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIG key does not contain any information itself but acts as a pointer about the hardware information.

List Existing Key

As a GUI based editor we can navigate from left side bar to the key we want to list. Another ways to list a key is searching it in registry database. We can open search form by simply using CTRL+F shortcut or using Edit -> Find from menu bar like below.

List Existing Key

List Existing Key

Now we will get a Find Form like below. We will input the search term. There is 3 structures we can specifically look we can disable some of them.

  • Keys will search in keys
  • Values will search in values
  • Data will search in data
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We can also set Match whole string only to match whole word not a part of word.

Find Existing Key

Find Existing Key

Keep in mind that the search operation will be done currently selected key and its subs keys recursively. For example in the following screenshot the HKEY_CURRENT_USER key and sub keys will be searched. By selecting Computer we can search in all keys and sub keys

Find Existing Key

Find Existing Key

Add New Key

We can add new key just clicking the keys we want to add as child.

Add New Key

Add New Key

Add New Data

We can add new data similar to key but we need to select one of the datatypes like below.

Add New Data

Add New Data

Following data types are provided

  • String Value is generally used to store text or character data like user name, variable name etc.
  • Binary Value is used to store binary and boolean data
  • DWORD Value is used to store 8 bit or 1-byte data
  • QDWORD Valueis used to store 16 bit or 2-byte data
  • Multi-String Value is used to store multiple string values
  • Expendable String Value

Remove Registry Key

Registry key can be removed with right click  on the key we want to remove.

Remove Registry Key

Remove Registry Key

Remove Registry Data

Removing data is similar to the removing key. We will just right click to the key we want to delete where this will open a menu and then left click to the Delete from the menu like below.

Remove Registry Data

Remove Registry Data

Modify Registry Data

We can modify registry data like below. We will just right click to the key we want to delete where this will open a menu and then left click to the Modify from the menu like below.

Modify Registry Data

Modify Registry Data

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