Intro To The Windows Registry

A lot of tips tell you how to make changes to the Windows registry. However, before you dive into making such changes, it might be helpful if you become familiar with the layout of the registry. This way you are somewhat knowledgeable about to expect.

When you first open the registry, you will see five main sections. These are referred to as keys or hives. Under each of these sections, you will find a structure similar to something you would find in Windows Explorer. The nested structure contains many settings referred to as values.

The five keys you will see when you first open the Windows registry are described below:

  • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT: Contains information about file types.

  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER: Contains data about the user who is currently logged on to Windows.
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE: Contains information about hardware and software installed on the computer.
  • HKEY_USERS: Contains information about all users who have accounts on the computer.
  • HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIG: Contains information about the session currently running. This key gets its information from the other keys.

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