Tech Tips / Windows NT / Registry

Apply changes to the registry with a click

Occasionally, you may hear about registry tweaks that you'd like to tryout on your system, but you hate to go rooting through your registry for fear of damaging something. Your reluctance is well founded. However, you can reduce the chance of making errors by creating a .reg file to import registry changes with a click of the mouse. Doing so provides an opportunity to double-check your changes before they're applied, and it helps reduce the likelihood that you'll accidentally make unintended registry changes when navigating to the key you wish to change.

Follow these steps:

  1. To create the .reg file, open a command prompt and note the path of the prompt. (It may be C:\ or any other directory.)
  2. When you're in the path in which you want to create the .reg file, type the command Notepad myfilename.reg.
  3. Add to the document the line REGEDIT4 followed by a blank line.
  4. Copy and paste the registry key (the line in brackets) and the registry values (the lines with "=" in them) to Notepad.
  5. Save changes and exit Notepad.

To use the .reg file, double-click it, and the changes will be applied to the registry.

(Remember, however, that any registry editing is potentially risky, so always have a verified backup before you begin.)

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