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This article explains how to use the Windows Registry. The Registry is the
central storehouse for all settings for the Windows operating systems. This
includes hardware configuration, file associations, and control panel
settings. Many other programs will also store settings in the registry.

Accessing the Registry

To examine and modify the registry, use the regedit.exe program that is located
in the operating system directory.

To open regedit.exe, follow this procedure:

1. Open the Start Menu.

2. Choose "Run".

3. Enter "regedit" and press Enter.


The registry is made up of "Keys". Each key is like the branch of a tree. Each
key has one parent key, and zero or more child keys. Each key can contain zero
or more "Values", each of which contains a single piece of data.

To make navigating the registry a bit easier, you can think of the registry's
construction like your hard drives.

Hard drive <-> Registry

Folders <-> Keys

Files <-> Values

The registry contains 6 main keys:

• HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT ---- Contains information on file types,
including which programs are used to open a particular file type.

• HKEY_CURRENT_USER ---- Contains user-specific settings that are
built from information in the HKEY_USERS key during the logon

• HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE ---- Contains computer specific information
including installed hardware and software. This is the one users tend to
spend the most time in.

• HKEY_USERS ---- Contains information (generic and user- specific)
about all the users who log on to the computer. The generic settings are
available to all users who log on to the computer. The information is made
up of default settings for programs, desktop configurations,and so on.
This key contains subkeys for each user that logs on to thecomputer.

• HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIG ---- Contains information about the
computer's hardware configuration .

• HKEY_DYN_DATA ---- Contains real-time performance statistics on the
computer's hardware.

exe".DAT and USER. you may be able to repair the registry or restore it to the same version you were using when you last successfully started your computer. you should also backup the User. enter"ntbackup. SYSTEM. 2003. the registry is stored in two files. When you reinstall your system. which you must reinstall separately Backing-Up the Registry On Windows NT. If you do damage your system. and ME. such as Service Pack upgrades. Otherwise. and Vista the operating system does not allow the user to directlymanipulate the registry files. SYSTEM. To launch this utility. you must reinstall Windows. typically "c:\windows".Warning: Incorrectly editing the registry may severely damage your system.dat files located in: C:\Windows\Profiles\<username> . At the very least. 98.DAT. USER. you must use the Microsoft Backup Utility. On Windows 95.DAT contains all user-specific information. 2000.DAT contains all hardware and computer specific information. you may lose any changes that have been made. open the Start Menu. These files are located in the operating system directory. choose "Run". However. and press the Enter key. you should back up any valued data on the computer before making changes to the registry. To perform a backup. XP. if you are using "User Profiles".

then choose"Restart in MS-DOS Mode".where <username> is the name of each user. open the Start Menu.dat d:\backup Please note that these examples assume that the operating system directory is "c:\windows"and the destination of the files is "d:\backup". since the registry files could be in use. Creating The Registry Backup To backup the registry.dat d:\backup xcopy /h c:\windows\profiles\<username>\user. To enter DOS.dat d:\backup xcopy /h user. .and Windows will have to be rebooted anyway. this example would change to: xcopy /h c:\windows\system. This is best done from DOS. choose "Shut Down". if "User Profiles" are enabled. Restoring A Registry Backup Simply reverse the above process. enter the following commands at the DOS prompt: c: cd \windows xcopy /h system.dat d:\backup Alternatively.

The .da0 user.dat c:\windows xcopy /h d:\backup\user. The following DOS commands would restore this backup: c: cd \windows xcopy /h system. this example would change to: xcopy /h d:\backup\system. you can try using the backup created by Windows.d: cd \backup xcopy /h system. if "User Profiles" are enabled.dat xcopy /h user. When you don't have a good backup.dat c:\windows xcopy /h user.dat c:\windows\profiles\<username> Windows also makes its own backup of the registry each time it boots up.dat c:\windows Alternatively.da0 system. The backup files are located in the operating system directory.dat .da0.dat extension is changed to .

double click on its name. In this example. go ahead and change the MenuShowDelay value from 100 to 0. To edit a registry value. If not. all menus should pop up noticeably faster. . we have navigated to the registry value that controls the delay before a menu pops up. If you are following this example. To edit a value. first navigate the tree until the value is displayed. Editing the Registry Modifying the registry can potentially make Windows unbootable. Be careful! Always make a backup of the registry before making changes. like most changes made in the registry. you will need to reboot. Usually. you will know where you are going. After rebooting. use the Find tool (described above). After making this change.

value. Values. type the string. Data. On the Edit menu. To find a string. In Find what. Theregistry key is added to the Favorites list. or key you want to find. You can then return tothis list by simply selecting it from the Favorites menu. accept the default registry key name or type a new one. 2. click Find. To add a registry key to Favorites Open Registry Editor. click Add to Favorites. and Match whole string only check boxes tomatch the type of search you want. On the Favorites menu. Select the registry key you want to add to Favorites. and then click Find Next. or key Open Registry Editor. Exploring all the Functions of Regedit Lets start with the basics 1. value. Selectthe Keys. In the Add to Favorites dialog box. .

. 5. Type a name for the new value. To add a key Open Registry Editor. Binary Value. point to New. 4. In Value data. Onthe Edit menu. type the new data for the value. and then click OK. On the Edit menu. In the registry tree (on the left). DWORD Value. orExpandable String Value. point to New. and then click Key. On the Edit menu. and then press ENTER.3. Multi-String Value. click Modify. To add a value Open Registry Editor. click the registry key under which you would like to add a new key. Click the key or entry where you want to add the new value. To change a value Open Registry Editor. and then click the type of value you wantto add: String Value. Type a name for the new key. then press ENTER. Select the entry you want to change.

7. On the Edit menu.6. In the registry tree (on the left). To copy a registry key name Open Registry Editor. and then press ENTER. Click the key or entry you want to delete. click Rename. Type the new name. click Copy Key Name. Paste the name of the registry key into another program or document. Click the key or entry you want to rename. click Delete. click a registry key. On the Edit menu. To delete a key or value Open Registry Editor. . To rename a key or value Open Registry Editor. 8. On the Edit menu.

. Speedup your startup buttons Speedup your startup buttons The earlier posts were to educate about registry editor…. Now that we are ready to start playing with windows registry…. click Restart. In the list. and then press ENTER. and then click OK. Now its time we start having some fun!!! OK …..Here I go……. and then press ENTER. (If you areusing the Help and Support Center. click Print above the topic area. NUM LOCK must be off before the arrow keys on the numeric keypad will function. press F8. and then click Print to print these instructions. and then click Shut Down. How to make your start buttons work faster? .9. Click Start. To restore the registry Open Registry Editor. Use the arrow keys to highlight an operating system. Use the arrow keys to highlight Last Known Good Configuration.)They will not be available after you shut down your computer in step 2. When you see the message Please select the operating system to start. ClickOptions.

Once you have changed the value from 400 to ok close registry editor and restart you computer. Recycle bin removal trick How to remove recycle bin from the desktop • Go to run and type regedit and click ok. Now click on HKEY_CURRENT_USER 5. Then click ok. You will reach registry editor 4.. 1. Double click on it and change 400 to 0. • Now navigate the following entries in the registry HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ SOFTWARE\ . In the list there is a file called MenuShowDelay. 3. • You have reached registry editor.. Then go to CONTROL PANEL in the list 6. Then just click once on DESKTOP (which leads to a long list of files) 7. Now run you mouse over the start buttons to see how fast your start buttons work…. 8. Go to run and write regedit 2.

Microsoft\ Windows\ CurrentVersion\ Explorer\ Desktop\ NameSpace\ {645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E} • Now Delete this key. To get back the recycle bin on the desktop • Navigate back through those registry entries HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ SOFTWARE\ Microsoft\ Windows\ CurrentVersion\ Explorer\ Desktop\ NameSpace\ ..e {645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E} • Now close registry editor and restart you computer. i. Surprise Surprise you don’t have a recycle bin on your desktop any more….

Speedup Boot sequence trick Speedup boot up sequence by defragmenting all key boot files Go to run and type regedit and click ok. You have reached registry editor. • Again restart your computer to find your recycle bin back. Now navigate the following entries in the registry HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ SOFTWARE\ Microsoft\ Dfrg\ . • Now right click on NameSpace to create a new key. • Rename the key to {645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E} • Now set the default value to Recycle Bin.

You have reached registry editor..BootoptimizeFunction In the right hand panel look for enable . Right click on it and set it to Y for enable This will speed up boot time…. Now here is a registry tip to automatically shut the non responding annoying applications instantly Go to run and type regedit and click ok. Now navigate the following entries in the registry HKEY_CURRENT_USER\ CONTROLPANEL\ . Safe n quick shutdown trick When ever you shutdown your computer it takes a lot of time in closing all the running applications and worse if they stop responding then you have to click either end task or wait for windows to shut it down.

You have reached registry editor.its default value is 0 For Reverting the process is also simple just set it back to 0.DESKTOP\ Now look at the right side window for AutoEndTasks. Now navigate the following entries in the registry HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/ SOFTWARE/ . Assign its value to be 1 . In order to remove them Go to run and type regedit and click ok. Add n remove programs listing correction If you have removed an installed program and its files by deleting the files it may still show up in the add and remove programs list in the control panel.

• You have reached registry editor.Microsoft/ Windows/ Currentversion/ Uninstall Delete any programs from the list Changing registered owners name trick Changing the Registered Owner and Organization • Go to run and type regedit and click ok. • Restart the system for changes to take place. • Now navigate the following entries in the registry HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE / SOFTWARE / Microsoft / Windows / CurrentVersion • Modify the data for the 'Registered Owner' key or for 'Registered Organization. .

Then in the name box. If you want ALL desktop icons to be visible (Recycle Bin. substitute that name for windows). Click NEXT. you will need to place shortcuts to these other icons onyour desktop. Close the Explorer window. . Here's how: 1) Right click on your TASKBAR and choose PROPERTIES. Place a shortcut to your desktop atop your START Menu. type c:\windows\desktop (If your Windows directory has another name. VOILA! Your desktop folder icon should be visible. 6. 7. My Computer etc. 5. Now. name your shortcut Desktop. 8. then click ok in TASKBAR PROPERTIES. 4. open START on your taskbar. 3) In the right panel. 2) Select the START MENU PROGRAMS tab. In the command line for your shortcut. not all ACCESS YOUR DESKTOP ICONS FROM YOUR TASKBAR: Do you ever want to access your desktop. you will see any shortcuts you have already placed atop your START menu. then the ADVANCED button.).Note: This trick works on certain Operating systems. Success! You will now be able to view and access your desktop shortcut icons (notnon-shortcut icons). Click the FINISH button. Right click here in the white space here and choose NEW. under the PROGRAMS folder. Click it to open your desktop folder. orshortcut icons on your desktop when your screen is cluttered with windows whichyou don't want to minimize? A simple solution. then SHORTCUT.

doc for Microsoft Word). 2) Choose TEXT document (assuming it is listed there. and the extension for the kind of document you wish to open (e. If not: 1) In MY COMPUTER. you can access it at any time from any program by pressing andholding control. options. select view. the typing. wewill! But the easiest way to add any new document to your desktop. and associated with Notepad or the equivalent). selecting RENAME. . 3) Retype the name by clicking inside the name box and typing OR by right clicking the icon.g. choose any kind of document included in your NEW menu. . whether or not it is listed in your NEW menu is to simply: 1) Right click on your desktop and choose NEW. Otherwise. NOTE: The above tip assumes that you have associated this document with a particular program on your computer. so that it is not always on top of other windows. then pressing escape (the ESC key at top left of your keyboard). then the FILE TYPES tab.Hint: If you normally hide your taskbar. You may then quickly choose your desktop folder and access desktop icons as well as any other programs accessible via your taskbar and programsmenu. we can teach you how to edit your Windows registry in order to add any new document to your desktop - and in a future tip. Type in a document name. OPEN ANY NEW DOCUMENT FROM YOUR DESKTOP: Yes.

2) Choose NEW TYPE. Click ok or close until you've exited all your open screens.) Have you created drive icons for your hard drives and floppy drives on your desktop. in the primary directory for the program) of the software which will open this particular file type. Programs. 2) Choose the View. OPEN EXPLORER RATHER THAN MY COMPUTER TO VIEW FILES: (This is a great tip!! One of the most usefulcustomizations. Select it. Options menu. pdf). If so. 3) Select the File Types tab. .g. When you type in the extension on a file you create from the desktop and then double click on the icon. 7) Using the BROWSE button. from the Explorer icon on your desktop). Explorer..exe. or if you have created it. type a name for the kind of document or file you are associating (e. 6) Type OPEN (in capitals). choose NEW. To change the default view to Explorer: 1) Open Explorer (from Start. Windows will open its program.g. Adobe Acrobat file) 4) In the ASSOCIATED EXTENSION field. 3) In the DESCRIPTION box.. 9) Now your document type is associated. type the extension of the kind of file inquestion (e. browse to find the executable program (usually ending with . rather than in My Computer. 5) Below the ACTIONS field. you may wish that they opened in the two-paned Explorer view.

Under registered file types.4). Clean out the prefetch folder: Windows XP uses a system called 'prefetch' to organize and preload some of the data necessary for commonly used applications and files. 5) From the list of actions.PF files that are older than a week or two. Name the shortcut and give it an appropriate icon from the '%SystemRoot%\system32\SHELL32.' Once you have done this. right clicking one of them and selecting 'rename. When prompted for the location of the shortcut.dll' location. the prefetch folder may become quite overloaded with older references to software and files that may no longer be in use. follow these directions: Right click on an empty area of your desktop. To do this: Navigate to 'c:\windows\prefetch' and delete all . Rename multiple files simultaneously: In windows XP explorer. select explore. . enter SHUTDOWN -s -t 01 to shutdown the system or SHUTDOWN -r -t 01 to restart the system. A folder called prefetch is used to store the information that the operating system needs to carry out the operation. double click on FOLDER. all the files will share the same name with a number in brackets differentiating them. you can rename multiple files at the same time simply by highlighting all the files you wish to change. then select 'new' and 'shortcut' to open the new shortcut wizard. 6) Click on the SET DEFAULT button at bottom right! Now when you double click on a folder or open a drive icon shortcut Explorer will open instead of My Computer. After several months of use. Create a link to shutdown your PC: To create a useful link desktop link to shutdownor restart your PC. It's a good idea to manually empty the older files out of the prefetch folder every few months or so.

you can increase its performance when multitasking. Priority is how the operating system determines how to share the processor time among applications. Right click the program and select 'go to process. . but some of the applications you use require more horsepower than others to work effectively (for example using Adobe Photoshopalong with Word or other less demanding programs). the more CPU time the program will steal from other applications when you are multitasking.Set priority for individual programs: If you regularly multi-task while you are working at your computer. you may want to consider setting a custom priority for the high-demand applications.' Now right click on the highlighted process and choose 'set priority. To do this: Load the program you wish to change the priority for and press CTRL+ALT+DEL to bring up the Task Manager. Select the applications tab and highlight your program. so by setting your high demand application higher. Most applications default to the 'normal' priority.' The higher you set the priority above normal.