What is Regedit?

Regedit, or regedit.exe is the file that runs the Registry Editor on computers that run the Microsoft Windows operating system. The Registry and Registry Editor have been around for quite awhile, and is available on all the different versions of Windows, including Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and Windwos 10.

The Windows Registry stores settings and values for the computer’s operating system, hardware, software and even the users on the computer. Basically, it is a giant database that your computer uses to access many settings for just about everything having to do with your computer. To edit the registry, you must open the regedit.exe app that is located in the Windows directory (usually C:\Windows).

What is Regedit

Using Regedit

Once you click on regedit the Registry Editor will open. As you can see in the image above, the registry is divided in a tree hierarchy. To browse the different branches of the tree simply click on the plus sign next to the icon to expand it and browse the various settings in the registry. You will notice once you click on something in the left hand side, the right side will display all the contents, or registry values, for each folder.

The values can be changed in regedit by double-clicking on the “Name” column to display the Edit String box. The value data is usually indicated by numbers that range from 0 to 3 depending on what the value is indicating. You can also add new entries to the registry by going to Edit and clicking on New.

Import and Export

You have the ability to import and export the entire registry or even individual registry entries. It’s a good idea to export the registry as a backup before making any changes. You can also import individual keys into the registry making it quick and easy to make changes to the registry by freeing you from having to search through the huge list of all the different settings.

Warning

While making changes to the Windows registry can repair many issues you may be having with your computer, it can also cause significant problems. When you modify or change entries it could cause software to stop functioning and require a reinstall or it could even prevent Windows itself from functioning anymore requiring you to complete reinstall the operating system. I would recommend making a backup of your registry before making any changes and be sure of what you are doing when you start making changes.

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