How to Open the Windows Registry Editor

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Opening the Windows registry editor means clicking on "Run" in Windows' start menu and typing in "regedit." Run the registry editor as an administrator with help from a software developer in this free video on Windows registry editors.

Part of the Video Series: Computer Training
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Video Transcript

Hi my name is Dave Andrews. Today I'm going to show you how to open the Windows registry editor. Let's go to our computer and what I'm going to do is I'm going to click on the Start button at the very bottom of the screen. Now right above the Start button on Windows Vista, you'll see a little search box that you can type into. On Windows XP, you'll click on the run icon inside of your Start menu. Now what I'm going to type in the search box is regedit, R E G E D I T. After it finds that, I'm going to right click on it and I'm going to say run as administrator. Now you have to be an administrator to continue so it asks you, says it actually needs your permission, just click continue. Now this is the Windows registry editor. Now what this will allow you to do is basically look through all of the system settings that Windows uses in the background for software, any hardware settings that you've actually stored on your computer that's stored in the Windows registry. Now if I go to local machine and software, this is a list of most all the software that's installed on this computer, all the ones that use the registry and then it allows me to look at the settings they have set and to modify them. Just click on one here and to change this settings, you're just going to right click on it and click on modify. Now I need to mention to you that it's very important that you have researched what you're going to do in the Windows registry editor before you make any changes because if you change a program settings outside of being within that program, it can really do some damage to your computer, the programs will lose their correct settings and they'll start crashing, things like that. So when you make changes, it's a good idea before you do so to right click on what you're going to change and click on export. That allows you to create a reg file backup and I'm going to remember I'm saving it in my documents, so I'm just going to call it backup. Now after I make my change, if something goes wrong, I'll just go back to that backup file that I created and under documents and here it is, double click on it and it'll put the registry just back like it was before I made any changes. Just know what you're doing and be very careful of this program. My name is Dave Andrews and I've just showed you how to open the Windows registry editor.

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