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This is a database used by Microsoft Windows to store configuration information about the software installed on a computer. This information includes things like the desktop background, program settings, and file extension associations.

The Windows registry consists of the following six parts:

    HKEY_User - contains the user information for each user of the system.
    HKEY_Current_User - has all the preferences for the current user.
    HKEY_Current_Configuration - stores settings for the display and printers.
    HKEY_Classes_Root - includes file associations and OLE information.
    HKEY_Local_Machine - has the settings for the hardware, operating system, and installed applications.
    HKEY_Dyn_Data - includes performance data.

When you install a program, it will usually write some data to the computer's registry. If you want to manually edit the registry for some reason, you can use the "regedit.exe" program, which comes with the Windows operating system. However, you should not edit the registry if you don't know what you're doing because it could disable your computer.

Published: 2003

Definition from the PC Glossary