What Is Windows Registry?

This section provides a quick introduction on the Windows registry and related concepts like registry key, registry value name, type, and data.

What is the Windows Registry? According to the Microsoft dictionary, the Registry is a central hierarchical database used in Microsoft Windows systems to store information that is necessary to configure the system for one or more users, applications and hardware devices. The Registry contains information that Windows continually references during operation, such as profiles for each user, the applications installed on the computer and the types of documents that each can create, property sheet settings for folders and application icons, what hardware exists on the system, and the ports that are being used.

But here is my understanding: The Windows registry is a simple database used by Windows systems to store operating system information application program information. More precisely, The Windows registry contains:

Information in the Windows registry is organized in a tree structure using the following concepts:

For example, the Microsoft FreeCell game program uses the Windows registry to store multiple registry values. One of them is called "wins" and associated to a registry key called "FreeCell" under several parent registry keys:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER - 1st level key
   Software - 2nd level key
      Microsoft - 3rd level key
         Windows - 4th level key
            CurrentVersion - 5th level key
               Applets - 6th level key
                  FreeCell - 7th level key
                     wins - Value name
                     REG_BINARY - Value type
                     46 0b 00 00 - Value data

Table of Contents

 About This Book

 Introduction to Microsoft Windows

 Introduction to Windows Explorer

 Introduction to Internet Explorer

 "Paint" Program and Computer Graphics

 GIMP - GNU Image Manipulation Program

 JPEG Image File Format Quality and Size

 GIF Image File Format and Transparent Background

 "WinZip" - ZIP File Compression Tool

 "WinRAR" - RAR and ZIP File Compression Tool

 FTP Server, Client and Commands

 "FileZilla" - Free FTP Client and Server

 Web Server Log Files and Analysis Tool - "Analog"

 Spyware Adware Detection and Removal

 IE Addon Program Listing and Removal

 Vundo (VirtuMonde/VirtuMundo) - vtsts.dll Removal

 Trojan and Malware "Puper" Description and Removal

 VSToolbar (VSAdd-in.dll) - Description and Removal

 Spybot - Spyware Blocker, Detection and Removal

 Setting Up and Using Crossover Cable Network

 Home Network Gateway - DSL Modem/Wireless Router

 Windows Task Manager - The System Performance Tool

 "tasklist" Command Line Tool to List Process Information

 "msconfig" - System Configuration Tool

 Configuring and Managing System Services

Windows Registry Key and Value Management Tools

What Is Windows Registry?

 Registry Hives - HKCR, HKCU, HKLM, HKU, HKCC, and HKPD

 Registry Supporting Files - Registry Backups

 What Is the Registry Editor - "regedit.exe"

 "regedit.exe" - Finding Registry Keys for FreeCell

 "regedit.exe" - Viewing Registry Values

 "regedit.exe" - Changing Registry Values

 "regedit.exe" - Exporting Registry Keys

 "regedit.exe" - Importing Registry Keys

 Command Line Console Registry Tool - "reg.exe"

 "reg.exe" - Query Registry Keys and Values

 Startup Programs Removal for Better System Performance

 Winsock - Windows Sockets API

 Java on Windows

 Glossary of Terms

 Outdated Tutorials

 References

 PDF Printing Version