Enabling or Disabling the Registry Editor on Windows 11

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The article guides on enabling or disabling the Registry Editor on Windows 11. The Registry Editor helps perform tasks like fixing errors and enhancing Windows performance. System administrators can control its access. This can be done through the Local Group Policy Editor, Windows Registry Editor or Windows PowerShell. Changes get applied after a system restart.

This article explains how to enable or disable the Windows Registry Editor (regedit.exe) in Windows 11.

The Windows registry is a database that stores all of Windows’s settings in a hierarchical structure, including most applications installed on your system.

One can perform many tasks in the Windows Registry using the Registry Editor, including fixing errors, tweaking features, and enhancing Windows performance.

The registry editor (regedit.exe) is pretty essential to system administrators. Howerver, not all users should have access to it. If you don’t want users using the Registry Editor app in Windows, you can turn it off.

Once disabled, users will get a message that the system administrator has disabled the Registry Editor app.

Disable or Enable the Windows Registry Editor

As mentioned above, the system administrator can turn on or off the Windows Registry Editor app for specific or all users on Windows.

Here’s how to do that.

First, open the Local Group Policy Editor.

Then expand the following folders User Configuration > Administrative Templates > System.

User Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> System

Next, click on the System folder on the left panel, and double-click the setting on the right called “Prevent access to registry editing tools” to open.

Enable or disable the windows registry background
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When the setting window opens, select one of the options:

  • Not Configured – Same as Disabled. Users can access the Registry Editor (regedit.exe).
  • Enabled – Users cannot access the Registry Editor (regedit.exe).
  • Disabled – Users can access the Registry Editor (regedit.exe)
Enable or disable the windows registry background
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Save your settings and restart your computer for the changes to apply.

Turn on or off Registry Editor via Windows Registry Editor

Yet another way to turn on or off the Registry Editor in Windows is to use the Windows Registry Editor.

If you can’t open the Local Group Policy Editor, use the Windows Registry editor instead.

Open the Windows Registry, and navigate to the two folder keys below. The USER key will disable or enable the Registry Editor for standard users. Use the MACHINE key to disable or enable all users.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System

If you don’t see the System folder key, right-click on the Policies key, then create the subkey (System) folders.

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Right-click the System folder key’s right pane and select New -> DWORD (32-bit) Value. Type a new key named DisableRegistryTools.

Double-click the new key item name (DisableRegistryTools) and make sure the Base option is Decimal, and then update the Value data:

  • To disable the Registry Editor, type 2.
  • To enable the Registry Editor, delete the name DisableRegistryTools created above.
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Save your changes and restart your computer.

Using Windows PowerShell to disable or enable the Registry Editor

Yet, users can use Windows PowerShell to disable or enable the Registry Editor. Below is how to do that.

First, open Windows PowerShell app as administrator.

Then run the command below to disable or enable the Registry Editor.

Enable the Registry Editor.

PowerShell Remove-ItemProperty -Path HKCU:\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System -Name DisableRegistryTools -Force

PowerShell Remove-ItemProperty -Path HKLM:\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System -Name DisableRegistryTools -Force​

Disable the Registry Editor.

PowerShell Set-ItemProperty -Path HKCU:\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System -Name DisableRegistryTools -Value 2 -Force

PowerShell Set-ItemProperty -Path HKLM:\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System -Name DisableRegistryTools -Value 2 -Force

That should do it!

Conclusion:

This post showed you how to enable or disable the Registry Editor on Windows 11. If you find any errors above or have something to add, please use the comments form below.

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