What is a system registry and how do I use it?



Safety 101: General information


What is a system registry and how do I use it?

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2013 Nov 12 ID: 1327

What is a System registry?

System registry is a database which Windows OS’s use to store information about the computer configuration.

Information Unlike previous Windows OS’s the registry size is not restricted in Windows XP and Windows Vista.


The registry keeps the data to which a Windows OS refers when operating:

  • users’ profiles; 
  • information about the installed programs and types of documents created by each program; 
  • properties of folders and program icons; 
  • configuration of drivers installed in the OS; 
  • info about the used ports.

The registry has a hierarchical tree structure which consists of sections, subsections (the left part of the registry editor window) and the keys (this is what we see on the right, when we highlight a registry section or subsection).


How to use the System registry?

Warning Be careful when editing the system registry. One incorrect change may result in the OS malfunctioning! Strictly follow the recommendations of Kaspersky Lab’s experts when editing/changing the system registry!

When editing/changing the system registry, follow the recommendations below: 

  • Before adding changes to the registry, always backup the section or subsection you are going to edit 
  • Do not substitute the Windows XP registry by the registry of a different version of a Windows or Windows NT OS
  • never leave the registry editor window open without supervision

In some cases to disinfect an infected computer and\or to resolve the consequences of the computer infection the system registry of Windows OS installed should be changed/ edited.

In order to open the system registry, do the following: 

  • go to Start 
  • click Run 
  • in the Open field enter REGEDIT 
  • click the OK button

Once you have followed the recommendations of the Kaspersky Lab’s experts described in the Virus Encyclopedia, close the dialog window of the system registry and restart the computer in order to apply the changes.

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