What is Registry Editor and how to access the registry hives

What Is the Registry Editor? The Registry Editor is an advanced tool for viewing and modifying settings in the registry. These information contains information about how your computer runs etc. See the video below also for more information.

Windows stores its configuration information in a database called the registry and this is organised in a tree format. Although Registry Editor enables you to inspect and modify the registry, normally you do not need to do so, and making incorrect changes can break your system. An advanced user who is prepared to both edit and restore the registry can safely use Registry Editor for such tasks as eliminating duplicate entries or deleting entries for programs that have been uninstalled or deleted.

To launch the Registry Editor, type rub ib the Windows search button
– type in “regedit.exe”
– Click OK.

This will open up the registry hives as shown below

On the Registry Editor, you can perform the following tasks as listed below

- Find a string, value, or key
- Add a registry key to Favourites
- Add a key
- Add a value
- Change a value
- Delete a key or value
- Rename a key or value
- Copy a registry key name
- Restore the registry
- Export all or part of the registry to a text file
- Import some or all of the registry
- Export a registry key to a hive file
- Import a registry key from a hive file

Information stored in the Registry is divided into several predefined sections called “hives”. A registry hive is a top level registry key predefined by the Windows system to store registry keys for specific objectives. On my Windows 10 system, the Registry has 5 registry hives:
–  run “regedit.exe” on a Windows 10 via the run or search window
and click on enter

Below is the output of the registry hives.

  • HKCR: Abbreviated from the registry key name HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT. HKCR stores information about registered applications, such as Associations from File Extensions and OLE Object Class IDs tying them to the applications used to handle these items.
  • HKCU: Abbreviated from the registry key name HKEY_CURRENT_USER. HKCU stores settings that are specific to the currently logged-in user. The HKCU key is a link to the subkey of HKEY_USERS that corresponds to the user; the same information is reflected in both locations.
  • HKLM: Abbreviated from the registry key name HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE. HKLM stores settings that are general to all users on the computer. On my XP system, HKLM contains five subkeys, HARDWARE, SAM, SECURITY, SOFTWARE and SYSTEM.
  • HKU: Abbreviated from the registry key name HKEY_USERS. HKU contains subkeys corresponding to the HKEY_CURRENT_USER keys for each user registered on the machine.
  • HKCC: Abbreviated from the registry key name HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIG. HKCC contains information gathered at runtime; information stored in this key is not permanently stored on the hard disk, but rather regenerated at boot time.
This can also be accessed via the Windows Admin Center

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