The tweaker's guide to the Windows Registry

Want to hack Windows? Better get familiar with the Registry first. Here's what you need to know.

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When you create a new key, it will be added as New Key #1, which will be highlighted with your cursor next to it, as you can see below. (If for some reason New Key #1 isn't highlighted, right-click it and choose Rename, and you'll be able to rename it.)

Adding a new key step 2
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Replacing a new key's default name. (Click for larger view.)

Replace the highlighted text with the name of the key you want to create, in this instance, Command Prompt.

Adding a new key step 3
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The new key, Command Prompt. (Click for larger view.)

Once you've created the new key, you can add values to it as you can any other key. Create new values in a similar way to the way in which you create new keys. Navigate to the key for which you want to create a new value, choose Edit --> New and then choose the type of value you want to create, such as String Value.

The new value will appear as New Value #1 in the right-hand pane, and there will be no value yet associated with it. Rename your new value, then edit it as outlined earlier in this article.

Deleting keys and values

Deleting a key or value is even easier: Select it and press the Delete key.

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Time to get tweaking

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Now that you know how to work with the Registry, it's time to put your knowledge to use. To get started, check out The ultimate tweaker's guide to Windows.

For more Registry tweaks, see the following articles:

Preston Gralla is a Computerworld contributing editor and the author of Windows Vista in a Nutshell, from O'Reilly Media.

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