How to use Registry Editor

Sure, everyone knows about Registry Editor—but it’s still hidden, with Microsoft not even providing a Start menu shortcut to it. To launch it, you must type “regedit” into the Start menu search or Run dialog box.
Many tweaks that you can make using the Local Group Policy Editor have equivalent tweaks that can be made in Registry Editor if you don’t have a Professional or Enterprise edition of Windows. For example, users with the Home edition of Windows can’t prevent specific users from shutting down Windows using group policy—but they can with a few Registry tweaks. In addition, there are all kinds of Registry tweaks that have no equivalent in group policy at all—like customizing the manufacturer support information on your PC.
Fair warning, though: Registry Editor is a complex and powerful tool. It’s easy to damage your installation of Windows, or even render Windows inoperable if you’re not careful. If you’ve never worked with the Registry before, consider reading about how to use the Registry Editor before you get started. And definitely back up the Registry (and your computer!) before making changes. And stick to well-documented Registry tweaks from a source you trust.


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