Open Windows 7 Registry without Elevation

There may be a need or want to edit your registry profile for tweaking your user profile account or simply repairing your user profile registry.

When editing your User Profile registry (HKCU) as a Standard User, elevating the registry is not required because you have write and read privileges for your registry database. If you elevate the registry then you are not editing your registry profile but the Administrator’s registry profile and the machine’s registry database (HKLM).

In this blog post I will show you how to launch the Windows 7 Registry Database using the Registry Editor.

CAUTION

Modifying the Window 7 Registry may result in an unbootable computer or a malfunctioning application due to an incorrect modification.

Open Windows 7 Registry without Elevation – Start Menu

  1. Click Start Orb.
  2. Type:

    regedit

  3. Click regedit to launch the your User Profile registry for Windows 7.

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Edited: May 16, 2012

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Opening the Registry Editor without Elevated Privileges

When editing the Windows Vista Registry in the HKCU (HKEY_CURRENT_USER) hives there will be no elevation required because this part of the registry affects only your user account in Windows Vista. If you need to open the Windows Vista Registry with Elevated Privileges then read "Opening the Registry Editor with Elevated Privileges".

Here are the instructions that I use to edit the Windows Vista registry for the current user.

WARNING

Editing the Windows Vista registry can cause serious issues such as system instability when editing/deleting the wrong entries. Please use the Registry Editor with extreme caution.

CAUTION

Before making any changes to the Windows Vista Registry, please backup your Windows Vista Registry by creating a System Restore point using the direction from "Create a System Restore Point".

Opening the Registry without Elevation

NOTE

To enlarge the images, simply click on the images you would like to view. With Internet Explorer 7, you can right-click on the image to select Open in New Tab.

  1. Click on the Start Orb (commonly known as the Start button).
  2. Type regedit,exe in the Start Search field on the Start Menu. Refer to Step 1 on the Image below.
  3. The Programs in the Start Menu in the left pane will populate. "regedit.exe" should appear.
  4. Click on regedit.exe to launch the Windows Vista Registry Editor. Refer to Step 2 on the Image below.
     

  5. The Registry Editor window will open. Refer to Image below.
     

NOTE

To enlarge the images, simply click on the images you would like to view. With Internet Explorer 7, you can right-click on the image to select Open in New Tab.

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Edited: May 3, 2012

Opening the Registry Editor with Elevated Privileges

You may need to open an Elevated Registry in Windows Vista to edit registry entries that are located in the system entries such as HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE or HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT. You do not need to open an elevated registry to edit your user registry (HKEY_CURRENT_USER). If you do edit the HKEY_CURRENT_USER when you are working with an elevated registry then you are not editing your user’s registry. You are actually editing the account that lets you have elevated privileges. Here are the instructions that I use to open the Windows Vista Registry with Elevated Privileges.

WARNING

Editing the Windows Vista registry can cause serious issues such as system instability when editing/deleting the wrong entries. Please use the Registry Editor with extreme caution.

CAUTION

Before making any changes to the Windows Vista Registry, please backup your Windows Vista Registry by creating a System Restore point using the direction from "Create a System Restore Point".

Opening an Elevated Registry

NOTE

To enlarge the images, simply click on the images you would like to view. With Internet Explorer 7, you can right-click on the image to select Open in New Tab.

  1. Click on the Start Orb (commonly known as the Start button).
  2. Type regedit in the Start Search field on the Start Menu. Refer to Step 1 on the Image below.
  3. The Programs in the Start Menu in the left pane will populate. "regedit.exe" should appear. Right-click on regedit.exe to access the context menu. Refer to Step 2 on the Image below.
  4. Select Run as administrator in the Context menu for "regedit.exe". Refer to Step 3 on the Image below.
     

  5. A UAC Prompt should appear to allow access to the elevated Registry Editor. Click on Continue to allow the Elevated Registry Editor to open. Refer to the Image below.
     

  6. The Registry Editor window will open with elevated privileges. Refer to Image below.
     

NOTE

To enlarge the images, simply click on the images you would like to view. With Internet Explorer 7, you can right-click on the image to select Open in New Tab.

Related Articles

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Edited: May 3, 2012

Using ERUNT to back up the Windows XP Registry

ERUNT is a great utility to backup and restore the Windows XP Registry. I would highly suggest to anyone to back up the Windows Registry before making manual changes to the Windows XP Registry. In some cases, changing the wrong registry entry may cause your computer havoc or possibly cause the computer to start Windows XP.

Download and install ERUNT

Creating a Backup Copy of the Windows XP Registry

  1. Start ERUNT using your Start Menu. You should see an ERUNTwindow like the image below.

  2. Grab a piece of paper and write down the backup location. In this example, the backup location is c:\windows\erdnt3-01-2007. Click OK to continue with the registry backup. Refer to Image below.

  3. If the folder does not exist then let ERUNT create the folder for you by clicking Yes. Refer to Image below.

  4. You should see a window like the image below when ERUNT is backing up the Windows Registry.

  5. ERUNT has completed the Windows XP Registry backup. Click OK to exit ERUNT.  Refer to Image below.
     

Restoring the Windows XP Registry When ERUNT Was Used to Backup the Windows XP Registry

If you ever need to restore the Windows XP Registry then please follow the steps below.

  1. This is where we will need the location of the ERUNT backup. From the example above, the location is c:\windows\erdnt3-01-2007. Use Windows Explorer to navigate to:

    c:\windows\erdnt3-01-2007

  2. Double-click ERDNT.EXE located in the c:\windows\erdnt3-01-2007 folder to start the restore process. Click OKto restore the Windows XP Registry. Refer to Image below.

     

  3. When ERUNT has finished restoring the Windows XP Registry from your backup then ERUNT will ask you to reboot/restart your computer. Make sure you restart your computer at this time. When the computer has restarted then your Windows XP Registry Restore has completed.

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Edited: May 2, 2012