Instant Registry Fixes is your complete resource for Windows related tips, tools, tweaks, and general computer error help. With so many Windows errors and problems stemming from the Windows registry we’ve focused much of our site on registry solutions. We also have a wide variety of helpful resources for problems such as uninstall issues, spyware, viruses, malware, and hard disk errors, as well as tips to make your computer faster, and ways to fix a slow PC. We know you’ll find our informative articles useful, even if it’s only to fix a rare DLL error or figure out an annoying printer error message.
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What is the Windows registry?
The Windows registry is a centrally located database in which Windows stores all information related to user profiles, applications and software programs configured or installed on the system.
The Windows registry was first introduced with the Microsoft Windows operating system. It replaced the text-based.ini and .DOS configuration files such as config.sys and autoexec.bat that were used in Windows 3.1 and earlier.
The structure of the Windows registry database is hierarchal, and it is commonly referred to as the registry hive. The registry hive primarily comprises five root keys- HKEY_CURRENT_USER, HKEY_USERS, HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT, and HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIG. Each of these root keys branches into several subkeys and sub-subkeys. Each key is assigned zero or more values depending on the configuration required.
For an introduction to the Windows Registry and how it relates to causing computer errors we recommend reading "What Causes A Registry Error".
For additional registry related information and resources check out "5 Resources for the Windows Registry".
Did you know over time the Windows Registry only grows larger by collecting corrupt and obsolete information on your PC causing slowdowns, errors, and other problems? Read "Registry Bloat And How To Fix It"
And don’t forget, hand editing the Windows registry can cause serious damage if you make a mistake. Read "How To Backup The Windows Vista Registry" and always backup your registry before making any edits.