October 25, 2009

How to edit Windows Registry?

Because of the registry’s size, looking for a particular key, value, or data item can be daunting . In Registry Editor, the Find command (on the Edit menu; also available by pressing Ctrl+F) works in the forward direction only and does not wrap around when it gets to the end of the registry . If you’re not sure where the item you need is located, select the highest level in the left pane before issuing the command . If you have an approximate idea where the item you want is located, you can save time by starting at a node closer to (but still above) the target .

After you have located an item of interest, you can put it on the Favorites list to simplify a return visit . Open the Favorites menu, click Add To Favorites, and supply a friendly name (or accept the default) . If you’re about to close Registry Editor and know you’ll be returning to the same key the next time you open the editor, you can skip the Favorites step, because Registry Editor always remembers your last position and returns to that position in the next session .

Registry Editor includes a number of time-saving keyboard shortcuts for navigating the registry . To move to the next subkey that starts with a particular letter, simply type that letter when the focus is in the left pane; in the right pane, use the same trick to jump to the next value that begins with that letter . To open a key (revealing its subkeys), press Right Arrow . To move up one level in the subkey hierarchy, press Left Arrow; a second press collapses the subkeys of the current key . To move to the top of the hierarchy, press Home. To quickly move between the left and right panes, use the Tab key . In the right pane, F2 to rename a value, and press Enter to open that value and edit its data . Once you the hang of using these keyboard shortcuts, you’ll find it’s usually easier to zip through the subkey hierarchy with a combination of arrow keys and letter keys than it is to open outline controls with the mouse .

Adding or Deleting Values

To add a value, select the parent key; open the Edit menu, and point to New . On the submenu that appears, click the type of value you want to add . A value of the type you select appears in the right pane with a generic name . Type over the generic name, press Enter twice, enter your data, and press Enter once more . To delete a value, select it and press Delete .

Changing Data

You can change the data associated with a value by selecting a value in the right pane and pressing Enter or by double-clicking the value . Registry Editor pops up an edit window appropriate for the value’s data type .

Adding or Deleting Keys

To add a key, select the new key’s parent in the left pane, open the Edit menu, point to New, and click Key . The new key arrives as a generically named outline entry, exactly the way a new folder does in Windows Explorer . Type a new name . To delete a key, select it and then press Delete .

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