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

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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 side bar 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

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.

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

We can also set Match whole string only to match whole word not a part of word.

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

Add New Key

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

Add New Data

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

Following data types are provided

  • String Value
  • Binary Value
  • DWORD Value
  • QDWORD Value
  • Multi-String Value
  • Expendable String Value

Remove Registry Key

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

Remove Registry Data

Removing data is similar to the removing key.

Modify Registry Data

We can modify registry data like below.

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