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Frequently Asked Questions


There is a lot to know about Windows Registries, but beyond learning how to use the registry repair software or registry cleaner you purchase, all you really need to know about Windows registries is contained in the answers to these 5 frequently asked questions (FAQs):

The 5 Most Frequently Asked Questions About Windows Registries

  1. What is the Windows Registry?
  2. How is my Windows Registry Structured?
  3. How can I edit my Windows Registry?
  4. How can I clean out old data from my Windows Registry?
  5. How can I save registry settings as a text file to share with other people or modify local registry settings?

 
1. What is the Windows Registry?
  The Windows Registry is a database (or “code repository”) where all the configurations and settings are stored for your system’s software, hardware, software, users, and user preferences . Anytime a change is made to a user’s Control Panel settings, installed software, system policies, or file associations, the Windows Registry reflects those changes.

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2. How is my Windows Registry Structured?
  The Windows Registry is built upon a hierarchal structure like a Tree. Each of the tree’s main branches is a Hive where Keys and Values are logically organized. Keys and values are referenced separately from one another. Each key can have one or more sub keys. Each value is one of three types: Binary, String, a DWORD, depending on the context. All of this is geared to make it easiest for Windows to find the entry directly related to a particular application it needs to use or function it needs to perform.

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3. How can I edit my Windows Registry?
  Microsoft Windows includes a program called the Registry Editor, stored as the executable file: REGEDIT.EXE. Registry Editor allows you to search, view, and edit all the data in your registry. The easiest way to access Registry Editor is to go to the Start Menu and click Run. Then when the Open box appears, type “regedit” into it and, provided you do indeed have it installed on your computer, it will open.

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4. How can I clean out old data from my Windows Registry?
  It is possible to go through your Windows registry and delete any unwanted entries manually, but this is dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. It’s easy to make mistakes that could lead to serious system problems. Fortunately, you can find innumerable registry cleaners and registry repair software (two names for the same type of application) that can help you more easily and effectively clean and maintain your registry without creating unintended and undesirable consequences.

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5. How can I save registry settings as a text file to share with other people or modify local registry settings?
  Using Registry Editor, you can import and export your registry settings into a text file with the extension .REG that you can then easily save or share with others and use to modify your local registry settings. If you export any Key to a file and open it up in Notepad, you’ll be able to see the exact layout of these files. You can then edit this file by making changes to it in Notepad (or comparable text reader) and then import it back to the system registry. Important note: Before changing any part of your Windows Registry in any way, it is always advisable to back up your entire registry first, so that if you accidentally make a mistake, you can easily remedy it by restoring the backed up version of your Windows Registry.

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