How to delete registry entries?
1. What is the Registry?
Windows Registry is a collection of records of all system settings, hardware settings and software settings. It is a part of Windows operating systems such as Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 9x, Windows CE, Windows NT, Windows 2000 and Windows Millennium.
The Registry is essential for Windows to function normally. Every change made to a machine reflects on the Registry, but every change made on the Registry influences computer’s work as well.
2. Why is it important to delete malicious registry entries?
Computer’s performance can be affected badly with a single deleted or modified registry entry. It is the reason why the most majority of malwares make some changes on the Windows Registry.
Malwares usually employ Registry to run malicious files every time a computer boots and to change homepage of web browsers. The Registry may also be used for other malicious purposes. You have to delete malicious registry entries or to restore the default ones; otherwise the malware won’t leave your computer. Even if you delete all the malicious files, the settings saved on the Registry may restore the malware or interrupt normal use of a PC.
Security tools usually take care of malicious registry entries. However, new computer parasites appear every day and there is no universal software that could detect and delete all the threats.
3. Things to consider BEFORE removing registry entries.
Every modification made on the Windows Registry influences how a computer functions; this is why the Registry should be handled with caution. Removing malicious registry entries and modifying values of regular entries is a risky and complicated task. Modifying the Registry should be avoided unless there is a serious reason.
If a wrong entry is removed or useful setting is changed, the computer might crash and the software installed on board might be corrupted. Set a System Restore point in advance of modifying the registry in order to avoid data loss. Use anti-spyware and anti-virus programs before changing Windows registry manually; this way saves your time and efforts.
4. How to delete registry entries?
a) Open Registry Editor.
Click the “Start” button and choose the “Run” option. Type “regedit” in the “Open” field and click the “OK” button.
b) Navigate to find the needed registry key and value.
Registry Editor is divided into two panels. The left panel is dedicated to navigation and the right one is for displaying values of selected keys.
c) Select the value to modify it.
Select the value you want to edit, click the right mouse button on it and choose the “Modify” option. You can also reach the “Modify” option by clicking “Edit” on the top menu. You can modify the value by double-clicking it.
Enter the new value
d) Find the value using the steps above and delete it.
Select the value you want to edit, click the right mouse button on it and choose the “Delete” option. Warning! Make sure you delete malicious entries!
e) You may need to add a new value or a new key to the Windows registry.
Click “Edit” option on the top menu, choose option “New” and then choose a type for your entry.
f) You may need to export certain key or value from the registry.
Choose an object, click the right mouse button on it and choose the “Export” option from the menu.
Type a name for the exported file and save the file as a *.reg file.
g) You can import missing or new values and keys.
Click on the “File” option on the top menu, choose the “Import” option and then select a file to import it to the Registry.