Last week, a new open source registry editor was released that puts Windows Regedit software to shame by supporting a number of advanced features, making registry editing easier than ever.
The Windows Registry is a centralized, hierarchical database used by the operating system to store system settings, hardware settings, and user preferences.
If you are a Windows administrator or power user, chances are you made registry changes at some point by using Windows’ built-in registry editor (regedit.exe) to correct an error or modify a setting.
However, Microsoft has not made many changes to Registry Editor over the years to modernize the application, and it is missing many useful functions that people may want.
Enter Registry Explorer
Last weekend, Windows Internals expert Pavel Yosifovich released a program called Registry Explorer that aims to modernize the registry editor with a host of new features.
Registry Explorer was released as an open source project on GitHub. Still, for those who don’t want to compile the program, Yosifovich has also released a precompiled beta version that can be downloaded and run immediately.
After running Registry Explorer, you will be greeted with a view of all registry hives, which users can expand to see their subkeys and values just like the standard Windows Registry editor.
However, where the program shines is a built-in dark mode, the ability to copy and paste keys and values in different locations, a button to undo changes, and an advanced search function.
Registry Explorer’s search function is much more advanced than regedit’s, allowing you to search and display all search results in a single dialog box, as shown below. You can then view the search results and double-click an entry to open that registry key or value automatically.
Making an incorrect change to the Registry could cause Windows to malfunction, the Registry Explorer starts in a ‘Read-only mode’ which prevents you from making changes until the mode is disabled.
Here is a complete list of Registry Explorer functions:
- Show actual record (not just standard)
- Sort list view by any column
- Key icons for hives, inaccessible keys and links
- Key details: time of last write and number of keys / values
- Displays the expanded MUI and REG_EXPAND_SZ values
- Full search (Find all / Ctrl + Shift + F)
- Improved hex editor for binary values
- Undo redo
- Copy / paste keys / values
Even better, if you find that you really like Registry Explorer, you can set it to automatically replace the Windows Registry editor and be the default file handler for the .reg file.
If you find yourself constantly editing the Windows Registry, looking for values, or exporting your settings to .reg files, I suggest you give Registry Explorer a try, as you will probably find many of the functions very useful.
To try Registry Explorer, you can visit the project GitHub page.