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Registry Editor – Regedit in Windows (Quick Definition)

What is Registry Editor?

Windows Registry Editor is a program that gives you the option to view and modify the information in your Windows Registry. Windows Registry is a database of information for hardware and software installed on your Windows operating system. The Registry Editor for Windows 3.x version is known as the Registration Editor. In the Windows versions after 3.x it was named Registry Editor.  

What are Registry Root Keys?

root keys

There are five Registry Root Keys displayed in the present day Registry Editor. You can find their brief description below.

  • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT key describes the file extension, file type and Object Linking and Embedding information.
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER key contains the settings and other information about the user who is currently using Windows.
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE key contains information which specifies the hardware installed and software settings for the computer system. This information is constant for all users as its computer specific information.
  • HKEY_USERS key contains generic as well as user-specific information about all the user accounts that exist on your computer.  
  • HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIG key contains the complete information regarding the current configuration of the attached hardware on your computer.

What are Windows Registry Values?

The information in the Registry Editor is displayed in the form of Registry Values. A brief description of these values is given below.

  • Closed key is like a folder of Windows Explorer as it contains registry sub-keys which are described below.
  • Open key is when you expand a closed key to view its information. This key looks like an open folder in Windows Explorer.
  • String value is the most common sub-key in Window Registry. This key defines a string value in a single line.
  • String array is any string value that is displayed in multiple lines.
  • Expanded string value consists of a string with system or environmental variables which you need to expand.
  • Binary value defines the attributes in binary format, which is ‘on’ or ‘off’ in number form it displays 0 or 1.
  • DWORD value is similar to the binary value key with only difference that it can define values in 32bit hex or 32bit decimal formats.
  • QWORD value is similar to DWORD but stores information as 64bit hex or 64bit decimal value.

How to Open Registry Editor?

To open the Windows Registry Editor, follow the steps given below.

1. Click ‘Start’ button and search ‘Registry’ in search bar. In the results, right click ‘Registry Editor’ and select ‘Run as administrator’.


Now you know what a Windows Registry Editor is, how to open it and what its key components contain. Use this information to improve the efficiency of your Windows operating system.

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