Best Free Registry Editor

 
Introduction

The registry is an important part of every computer, but as you use your PC, the registry gradually becomes messier and bigger. Thus, it gets harder and harder to find things in the registry.

The registry must be treated with a lot of care, as the slightest mistake by the registry editor or even you can ruin your PC. Therefore, before you download anything please read this article.

Remember IF YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU'RE DOING THEN DON'T EVEN TRY TO EDIT YOUR REGISTRY as you could render your PC useless.

If you know a better free registry editor, please leave a comment below.

 
In a Hurry?

Go to details...  Go straight to the Quick Selection Guide

 
Discussion

RegEditWindows provides its own RegEdit that you can access from going to your Start Menu and typing regedit (or for Windows XP go to start menu press R then type regedit). This is the most simple registry editor but who says complex is good?

Obviously RegEdit is missing a few features, like a simple search feature, a description, etc. However, for a tiny .exe that is built into every Windows install then it is easily good enough for the average user.

 

Registrar Registry ManagerThe first third party product I checked out was Registrar Registry Manager - Lite Edition, the free version of Resplendence Registry Manager. To start with, it works reliably - a must have feature for any registry editor. The user interface is simple, the functionality is excellent, and it has a really fast search.

Finding the Lite version on the Resplendence site is tricky. Go to the download page and locate the heading "Registry Tools". On the right-hand side in faint gray letters there is a link called "Download Free Lite Version". You can also get it from various download sites, including MajorGeeks or Softpedia.

 

RegAlyzerThe next product is RegAlyzer which is a tool to browse and change the registry. It is made by Safer-Networking who are known for their high-standard products. This is a very simple, easy to use program. It doesn't have as much features as Registrar, but its small size may make up for that.

I did however, have a problem a couple of times; the picture on the right shows me deleting a key, once I clicked yes nothing actually happened. I presume it was a bug as it was the only time that this has happened. Also, it did seem on the whole pretty slow compared to similar programs.

 
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Quick Selection Guide

RegEdit
4.5
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Totally reliable, simple, easy to use, fast
Not many features
Windows

Already built into Windows. Access from Start Menu and type regedit.

Registrar Registry Manager - Lite Edition
4
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Reliable, simple user interface and excellent functionality.
Some features are available only to the commercial Pro version.
http://www.resplendence.com/
7.52
4.64 MB
32 bit but 64 bit compatible
Feature limited freeware
Windows 7/Vista/XP/2008/2003/2000
RegAlyzer
2.5
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Simple, Small
Slow, Buggy, Search doesnt function correctly.
1.6.2.16
1.7 MB
Windows

View changelog here

 
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Tags

free registry editor, Best registry editor, registry editor

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Comments

by imanerd11 on 1. August 2012 - 18:51  (97044)

What about Registry Commander by Aezay?

It works very well and it's free.

by MidnightCowboy on 2. August 2012 - 2:52  (97078)

This vendor has a borderline WOT rating and so will not be featured here at this time.

by Steve Sybesma (not verified) on 16. April 2012 - 1:43  (92147)

Hello Joab,

I have to take exception with your choice of RegmagiK. Granted, I would put it above Microsoft's REGEDIT, but easily below Registrar Registry Manager - Lite Edition, which you mentioned (as a negative) has less features than the pro version.

That is really not saying much, given that the free version of Registrar has many times the features of the free version of RegmagiK. To me, it's number one by a couple miles and I cannot understand why you didn't see it that way, unless you put the most weight on simplicity as the main criteria, which the free RegmagiK has.

The features on the outdated free RegmagiK are so sparse in fact, that in one case a feature you mentioned in the free version is not available on the free version...that is "RegmagiK will automatically try to take ownership of a key and retry delete operation."

I ran into an invalid Flash-related CLSID while doing the search. The search found three CLSIDs total, two of which were easily removed, but the Flash-related one would not until I went into MICROSOFT's Regedit and had to change the permissions. That window you spoke of popping up to offer changing permissions never did come up and that was after I tried a few times, restarted the program and tried again. Just ain't there.

Please reconsider and give Registrar the top spot. It definitely has a lot more value just as a free version. RegmagiK's outdated free version cannot hold a candle to it and I'm frankly afraid of trying their pay version because there is no complete listing of features to compare between the current pay version and the old free version. Even the pay version doesn't seem to have much more than the Registrar free version, maybe less in some cases.

Thanks,

Steve

by hangdawg on 27. November 2011 - 16:49  (83998)

RegmagiK Registry Editor isn't freeware its shareware 31 day trial

http://download.cnet.com/RegmagiK-Registry-Editor/3000-2094_4-10342957.html

by Jojo Yee on 28. November 2011 - 1:57  (84024)

Thanks for your feedback Hangdawg. RegmagiK has a last freeware version which is still available for download from a third party site. Now updated in our product database.

by sulasno on 31. August 2011 - 4:13  (78707)

I downloaded an application but I forgot the name; run the application and it will open to the registry key using the contents of the clipboard; anyone ?

by Joab on 10. September 2011 - 21:57  (79389)

Hello, both RegAlyzer and RegmagiK have that feature, even Registrar might.
I really don't know what you mean. Sorry I couldn't help.
Thanks,

by KF (not verified) on 5. June 2011 - 13:45  (73277)

Thanks for the review of RegistrarLite, definitely going to check it out.

Another good registry editor I've used is RegMagiK. You can find the last freeware version here.

http://www.321download.com/LastFreeware/page3.html#RegmagiK

Still works in Vista/Win7. Always found it easier to navigate and quickly access various registry locations. As with many of these types of programs, if you have UAC active you will need to launch as administrator to edit non user registry items.

-K

by Joab on 10. September 2011 - 21:59  (79390)

Hello, I had previously heard of RegmagiK but may not have thought to try it if it wasn't for the post. Thanks for telling me about it.
Also thanks for telling me about the UAC problem, I had mine off so had no idea, but I will include that in the article.
Thanks

by TerryD (not verified) on 21. March 2011 - 2:25  (68228)

No one has answered the question of whether there are tools that can deal with regitry files that are on an offline hard drive and are not the active registry.
If I could simply read the old registry and create a export of it, then I could import that to the new active hard drive.

Any ideas out there for this situation?

by Clearline (not verified) on 29. April 2012 - 9:37  (92750)

It is simple to load other registry hives, with the commands of "load Hive" or similar, which will ask you where the file is and then load it, into your current reg with a unique Hivename. From there you can just export it.

These hive can also be directly edited, but changes won't be reflected till you unload the hive.

You can also edit the exported reg file, then import it, which will then modify the oaded hive.

Finally, the most effecient way is to use Reg.exe (windows\system32), and load hive directly, which can be done from a cmd line.

by MidnightCowboy on 21. March 2011 - 7:24  (68241)

This is a comments section. Please request assistance with specific queries by posting them here in our forum.

http://www.techsupportalert.com/freeware-forum/general-computer-support/

by choy (not verified) on 27. October 2010 - 4:58  (60253)

the best!!!!

by RoninV on 27. August 2010 - 12:49  (56812)

I've used a combination of RegSeeker, Regalyzer, and RegScanner, for my Registry needs because these apps are portable. With RegEditX going commercial in October 2010, I don't see the need to pay for an app when there are some pretty good 'free' ones out there. I may even look at RRM again, since it too has a portable version.

by UMAR (not verified) on 21. July 2010 - 7:54  (54618)

very useful site

by cookieki on 3. July 2010 - 6:56  (53677)

Registrar Registry Manager Lite can't open reg file.(only professional version can)
Anyone know reg file editable freeware? I can't find..

by Joab on 10. September 2011 - 22:04  (79391)

I think Registrar is the only one that can't. all the other 3 reviewed can
(I don't hold Registrar in the same light as my predecessor - I actually think they were there to advertise it)

by Anonymous on 29. January 2010 - 15:19  (42348)

Do any of these programs mentioned above work on an externally connected hard drive (eg. remote access to a non-active registry)?

by Jaikrishna on 25. December 2009 - 11:53  (39437)

Is there any freeware that tracks changes to the registry as I edit it.
(Only changes that I make)

Thanks in advance

by Mattie (not verified) on 25. August 2010 - 18:42  (56710)

Google "Install Watch Pro 2.5" or "Total Uninstall 2.35" (last free version of Total Uninstall). Both of these will monitor changes to the registry and/or file system but Total Uninstall will also let you "uninstall" (delete) all changes.

by Anupam on 25. December 2009 - 18:11  (39462)

Try RegMon from Microsoft. Its not available on the Microsoft site anymore... because its been replaced by Process Monitor. However, you may find RegMon on SoftPedia or other download sites.

by Jaikrishna on 27. December 2009 - 6:57  (39574)

RegMon(or ProcMon) traces all changes.
I want to trace only the changes that I make using the software.

It is already available in tuneup utilites(paid software)

by Anupam on 27. December 2009 - 8:20  (39580)

I am not aware of other programs besides RegMon. Someone else might suggest something.

by Jaikrishna on 27. December 2009 - 12:44  (39593)

I want this type of program to make sure that I have not made any weird changes to registry.

RegFromApp by Nirsoft ( http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/reg_file_from_application.html ) is able to monitor the registry changes made by a single particular application. But, it cannot be used as a registry editor.

I am running it with /RunProcess "C:\WINDOWS\regedit.exe" switch so that it automatically starts regedit and tracks the changes made by it.

But, it would be better if a single application could do both these tasks.

by Anonymous on 27. February 2010 - 4:10  (44602)

THANKS! So many times I've had to do this the hard way with regmon (MS/Systernals)

by enx (not verified) on 2. October 2011 - 10:37  (80734)

regshoot capture changes best way i have seen till now.
you can take snapshots of your registry.
http://sourceforge.net/projects/regshot/files/regshot/

thanks for the test!

by Anonymous on 16. September 2009 - 14:03  (32746)

I just use Windows Regedit, but instead of using the slow Regedit search function, I use Nirsoft Regscanner available at http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/regscanner.html

Nirsoft Regscanner finds all registry keys with a given text string pretty as quickly as any of the fast 3rd party registry editors, but it is only a 50k download, or 70k if you need the 64 bit version. It also gives the option of exporting one or all of the registry keys found, as well as opening any of them directly in Regedit.

by Clearline (not verified) on 29. April 2012 - 9:54  (92754)

RegScanner (as most NisSoft Products) is an excellent program for fast searching and then exporting the 'selected' results. You can also sort the columns to help find the similar item you are looking for.

I always export in v4, to avoid the extra hx,'00,'hx placed in each non-string entry, which not only reduces the export size, but makes searching the data entries easer.
On that note, Regscanner exports v4, with-out the the truncated lines i.e.
hex=hx,hx, \
hx,hx,
the above truncation of lines by regedit makes it impossible to search for a hex line, with any accuracy.

PS: If any one know how they do that, (no truncated lines) I really need to know it.

by okwhen on 14. July 2009 - 11:23  (25080)

I use the free version of Aezay Registry commander ver 1.04 and think it is a better product. This opinion applies to the trial version. After reading, the warranty that accompanies Resplendence software “We don't promise” I quit the install and deleted the product. The method chosen by Resplendence forces product beta testing of their software and is quite troubling in my opinion. Only by submitting a bug report would you receive help that is if the fix is in a maintenance release. If a major release fixes your problem, you must repurchase the product. Finally, and I quote “We don't promise that the Program will be free of bugs or program errors.”

I simply ask what am I paying for if this is what is stated from the beginning. No promises, forced beta testing, and certainly no dedication or commitment in their products.

by Anonymous on 4. August 2009 - 13:54  (26252)

Hi

Whilst I would not confident to review this product, having not used it enough, I'm surprised you had without even installing it!

Name me a product that does promise & guarantees to be free of bugs or program errors.

I don't believe this is a trial version. If you read the agreement it say "a trial version" not "this trial version"

Many programs ask you to submit bug reports, even Microsoft.

I don't understand why you mention paying for it. This is a free version from a site which collects together the best free software!

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