The Windows registry is a large database of configuration settings for all software on the operating system, which can be edited using the registry editor tool that comes preinstalled with Windows. Therefore, users can customize Windows 11 in various ways using the Registry Editor. It’s not recommended to fiddle with the registry, but if you know what you’re doing, you can do some really interesting things.
- Open the Registry Editor using Windows 11’s search box
To launch the search tool, click the magnifying glass button on the Windows 11 taskbar.
Type “registry editor” in the search text box to find the application.
Then click the Registry Editor’s “Run as administrator” option in the search tool.
- Open the Registry Editor with Run
To quickly open the Run dialog, press the Win+R keys simultaneously.
Type regedit in the Run open text box and click the OK button, or press Enter.
You can also press Ctrl+Shift+Enter after entering the run command to open the Registry Editor and other applications with elevated privileges.
- Open Registry Editor from Control Panel
Press the Win+S keys at the same time.
Type “control panel” in the search box.
Click Control Panel to open it.
Select Category on the View by menu.
Click the System and Security category.
Then select the Windows Tools applet to open it.
Right-click Registry Editor in Windows Tools and select Run as administrator.
- Open Registry Editor from Task Manager
Press the Ctrl+Alt+Delete hotkey.
Select the Task Manager option.
Then in Task Manager click File > Run New Task.
Enter regedit in the Open box to create a new task.
Select the Create this task with system administrative privileges check box.
Click the OK button to start Registry Editor.
- Open Registry Editor using Windows Terminal
Press Win+X to bring up the Power User menu.
Select Windows Terminal (Admin) on this menu.
Click the drop-down arrow to the right of the Open New Tab button and select Windows PowerShell or Command Prompt.
Type regedit in Command Prompt or PowerShell and press Enter.
- Open the Registry Editor from the desktop context menu
You can add a Registry Editor shortcut to the desktop’s right-click context menu. When you do, you can open the Registry Editor by right-clicking on an empty spot on the desktop and selecting it in the context menu.
Open Registry Editor using any of the methods described above.
Navigate to Computer>HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT>Directory>Background>shell path in Registry Editor.
Right-click the shell key and select the new –key command.
Enter Registry Editor as the title for the new key.
Right-click on the Registry Editor item and select New > Key.
Name the new item command.
Select the new command item.
Double-click the command key (default) string on the right side of the Registry Editor.
Type “C:\Windows\regedit.exe” in the Value data box.
Click the OK button.
Right-click on the desktop and select Show more options, you can select a registry key on the classic context menu to open it if needed. If you want to delete the context menu shortcut, right-click the Registry Editor item and select Delete.
- Open the Registry Editor using the desktop shortcut
Right-click an empty area of the desktop and select the New > Shortcut option.
Type regedit in the displayed project location text box.
Click the Next button and enter Registry Editor in the Name box.
Select the Done button to add a desktop shortcut.
You can now double-click the Registry Editor desktop shortcut to open the application, or, right-click the shortcut and select Run as administrator.
After adding the Registry Editor icon to the desktop, you can turn that shortcut into a taskbar or start menu. Please right-click the Registry Editor icon and select Show more options, the classic context menu includes the Pin to Start and Pin to Taskbar options, select one of these options to add a Start Menu or Taskbar shortcut to the application.
- Use the hotkey to open the Registry Editor
Hotkeys are probably the most convenient shortcuts. If you set up a registry editor desktop shortcut, you can add a hotkey to it so that you can use the Ctrl+Alt key combination to open the registry editor.
First, add the Registry Editor shortcut to the desktop as described in the seventh method.
Right-click the Registry Editor desktop icon and select the Properties context menu option.
Left-click inside the shortcut key box to place the text cursor there.
Press the R key.
Select Apply and click OK to save the keyboard shortcut.
Now press Ctrl+Alt+R to bring up the Registry Editor. This hotkey will always work as long as you don’t delete the Registry Editor desktop shortcut assigned to it.