Explain Windows Registry Hives: Windows Registry Tutorial

      Windows system registry is the database of all the settings, configurations and preference of all installed applications, user accounts, hardwares and overall settings in the operating system. Registry also contains the settings and preferences of each user account in the operating system. Whenever we make a change in the operating system like installation or uninstillation of softwares, modifying control pannel setings, system policies, user preferences, all the changes are also stored in the system registry.

      You can modify or edit registry by using any registry editor tools (eg: regedit). Go to "Run" and type "regedit" and you can get access to Windows Registry. You should have an administrator previleged user account to modify windows registry. And before modifying registry values and entries i strongly recommend to take a backup of current windows registry data.

Windows registry branches
The five main branches of windows registry are HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT, HKEY_CURRENT_USER, HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, HKEY_USERS, HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIG.

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT
Contains information about all the file extension association maping for supporting grag and drop feature. Also contains preferences about Programatic identifier,Class ID, Interface ID, Windows user interface, etc.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER
Contains the informations about user profile of current logged in user. Including Logon names, Start menu settings, personalised settings, desktop settings, etc.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
Contains the information about softwares and hardwares. Including Hardware profiles, hardware device drivers, system RAM, start-up parameters, etc.

HKEY_USERS
Includes the user specific data like preferences of each user in the system.

HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIG
Stores the current using hardware profiles in the system. 

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