Browse Definitions :
Definition

registry key

In the Windows 98, CE, NT, and 2000 operating systems, a registry key is an organizational unit in the Windows registry, an internal database the computer uses to store configuration information. The registry in Windows stores data in binary format, keeping the configuration data for the machine and its users in separate files. This allows the system and its applications to load global and individual configurations upon startup and login. 

When an administrator runs the command regedit, pre-defined keys called root keys, high-level keys or HKEYS display in the left pane of the Registry Editor window. To a lay person, a registry key looks just like any other Windows folder. A pre-defined key and its nested subkeys are collectively called a hive.

An application must open a key before it can add data to the registry, so having pre-defined keys that are always open helps an application navigate the registry. Although pre-defined keys cannot be changed, subkeys can be modified or deleted as long as the user has permission to do so and the subkey is not located directly under a high-level key.

Before making any changes to registry keys, however, Microsoft strongly recommends the registry be backed up and that the end user only change values in the registry that they understand or have been told to change by a trusted advisor. Keys and subkeys are referred to with a syntax that's similar to Windows' path names, using backslashes to indicate levels in the hierarchy. Edits to the registry that cause syntax errors can make the computer inoperable.

This was last updated in September 2012

Continue Reading About registry key

Join the conversation

1 comment

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

Thanks, this really helped me :)
Cancel

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • compliance framework

    A compliance framework is a structured set of guidelines that details an organization's processes for maintaining accordance with...

  • regulatory compliance

    Regulatory compliance is an organization's adherence to laws, regulations, guidelines and specifications relevant to its business...

  • privacy compliance

    Privacy compliance is a company's accordance with established personal information protection guidelines, specifications or ...

SearchSecurity

SearchHealthIT

  • telemedicine (telehealth)

    Telemedicine is the remote delivery of healthcare services, such as health assessments or consultations, over the ...

  • Project Nightingale

    Project Nightingale is a controversial partnership between Google and Ascension, the second largest health system in the United ...

  • medical practice management (MPM) software

    Medical practice management (MPM) software is a collection of computerized services used by healthcare professionals and ...

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • disaster recovery (DR) test

    A disaster recovery test (DR test) is the examination of each step in a disaster recovery plan as outlined in an organization's ...

  • crisis management plan (CMP)

    A crisis management plan (CMP) is a document that outlines the processes an organization will use to respond to a critical ...

  • pandemic plan

    A pandemic plan is a documented strategy for business continuity in the event of a widespread outbreak of a dangerous infectious ...

SearchStorage

  • megabytes per second (MBps)

    Megabytes per second (MBps) is a unit of measurement for data transfer speed to and from a computer storage device.

  • zettabyte

    A zettabyte is a unit of measurement used by technology professionals and the general public to describe a computer or other ...

  • hybrid flash array

    A hybrid flash array is a solid-state storage system that contains a mix of flash memory drives and hard disk drives.

Close