What is the Windows registry?

Updated 11/16/2019 from

Le to register or Register Windows is a database that contains information, settings, options, and other values ​​for software and hardware installed on all versions of Microsoft Windows operating systems. When a program is installed, a new subkey is created in the registry. This subkey contains settings specific to this program, e.g. B. Location, version and main executable.

When Windows was first released (e.g. Windows 3.11) it relied heavily on .ini files to store configurations and settings for Windows and Windows programs. Although .ini files are still sometimes used, most Windows programs rely on tweaks made to the Windows registry after installation.

Information about the registry editor

The Windows registry editor (see below) can be used to view and edit the Windows registry. In Windows 3.x it was called Registry Editor Registry Info Editor or registry editor. Registry Editor allows you to view all the keys and values ​​in the registry and change any Windows, program, or driver values ​​that you think necessary.

Microsoft Windows registry editor

Registry root key (hive name)

When the Windows registry editor is first opened, it displays the root keys, which contain all registry values. Below is a brief description of the most common root keys and the values ​​they contain.

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root key description
HKCR (HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT) Describes file type, file extension, and OLE information.
HKCU (HKEY_CURRENT_USER) Contains the user currently logged on to Windows and their settings.
HKLM (HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE) Contains computer-specific information about installed hardware, software settings, and other information. This information is used for all users who log on to this computer. This key and its subkeys are one of the most frequently accessed and modified areas of the registry by users.
HKU (HKEY_USERS) Contains information about all users who log on to the computer, including general and user-specific information.
HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIG (HKCC) Details of the current configuration of the hardware connected to the computer.
HKDD (HKEY_DYN_DATA) The key is used only on Windows 95, 98 and NT and contains dynamic state information and “plug and play” information. Information can change as devices are added to or removed from the computer. Information about each device includes the corresponding hardware key and the current status of the device, including problems.

Windows registry values

Below are the various values ​​you will encounter in the Windows registry and a brief description of the types of data each value can contain.

Should I use the terms “register” or “register” in my writings?

According to the Microsoft Style Manual, “registry” must be all lowercase unless it is part of a named system component (e.g. “registry editor”) or when it is the first word of a sentence.

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