Regedit Disabled by Administrator

Windows XP Registry Editor (regedit.exe) can be restricted by enforcing a policy on machines or users. These policies are typically applied at businesses to control access to programs and system properties. For Home users, the Registry Editor can be disabled as well by these policies but usually Malware is the culprit in disabling the Registry Editor instead of the Administrator. If you are a home user and see the picture below when trying to open/launch Windows XP Registry Editor then there is a good chance you are infected with malware.


Ensure your computer is malware free before applying the following solutions.

Here is the solution for the Registry Editor policy restriction problem. Administrative privileges is required to perform the following set of solutions.


Before making any changes to the Windows XP Registry, please backup your Windows XP Registry using the direction from "Using ERUNT to back up the Windows XP Registry".

Manual Steps Using Group Policy Editor


The Group Policy Editor is only available for Windows XP Professional Edition.

  1. Click Start and then Run.
  2. Type gpedit.msc in the Run dialog box.
  3. Press ENTER on your keyboard.
  4. In the Group Policy Editor navigate to:

    User Configuration > Administrative Templates > System

  5. Double-click Prevent access to registry editing tools.
  6. Select Not Configured.


If the Registry Editor is disabled per User basis then the above method will not work, you will need to use the Manual Steps Using REG DELETE.

Manual Steps Using REG DELETE

  1. Open a Command Window.
  2. Type

    REG DELETE HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System /v DisableRegistryTools

  3. Press ENTER on your keyboard.
  4. Type

    REG DELETE HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System /v DisableRegistryTools

  5. Press ENTER on your keyboard.
  6. Type EXIT and press ENTER on your keyboard.


You may need to log off then log on to your user account or restart your computer for the changes to take affect.

Automated Fix Using an Registration File

  1. Download regedit.dsbld.reg to a folder on your hard drive.
  2. Right-click regedit.dsbld.reg to select Merge.
  3. Now the registration entries are added for you.


The regedit.dsbld.reg file is from my web server (  You also can view the contents of the regedit.dsbld.reg file by right-clicking the file and selecting Edit. You may need to log off then log on to your user account or restart your computer for the changes to take affect.

Platforms Tested

  • Microsoft Windows XP Edition

Version 1.4
Edited: May 2, 2012


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