Tutorial Windows: Quickly Find and Jump to Windows Registry Keys
Everything running or installed on your computer leaves some traces or makes some changes so it can properly function. All of them are stored and handled by Registry Keys.
By default, Windows puts a simple, built-in tool at your disposal with which to view and manage every single registry item, even the ones your operating system relies on. It’s not really a good idea to change them if you have no idea what you’re doing, because you can end up with programs no longer working, or even damaging the OS.
We managed to find a few helpful applications you can use to quickly identify registries of specific programs, and jump to them either to get rid or modify them.
Find keys with the built-in Registry Editor
Step 1: Press Win + R to launch Run, type in regedit, and press Enter.
Step 2: Under the Edit menu, select Find, or simply press Ctrl + F.
Note: If you happen to know the Handle to Registry Key (HKEY), you can right-click and initiate a search there, to narrow down results. Only one item is revealed at a time, but you can press F3 to jump to the next item.
Additional Info: You can copy the whole registry address by right clicking an item in the left pane, and choosing to Copy Key Name. The address is copied to the clipboard.
Quick scan with third-party programs
Step 1: Download, and run RegScanner.
Step 2: Write down a String of interest, preferably the name of the program.
Note: The search process can be fine-tuned to look only for Values, Data, Keys, limit the number of loaded items, display the ones modified in a specific interval, and more filters.
Step 3: Press Scan and wait for the list to fill. You can press Stop in case the one of interest appears.
Step 4: Right-click a key and press Open in RegEdit to have Windows Registry Editor brought up to that specific address.
The complete management and cleanup application
Step 1: Download, install, and run Reg Organizer.
Step 2: In the left pane, there a section For Advanced Users. Click it and select Registry Editor.
Step 3: Write down the item of interest in the text field on the upper toolbar, and press Start Search.
Step 4: Wait for results to show up in the bottom section, or press Stop when it shows up.
Step 5: Double-click it to navigate to that location. It can freely be edited here, just like in the Windows Registry Editor.
Note: There are some features For All Users in the left pane. Amongst others, you can use tools to Clean or Optimize registries to remove leftovers and improve performance.
On an ending note
It’s recommended not to mess with registries, or at least do so in a safe environment. Above all, make sure to create either a system restore point or backup of registries, just in case something unexpected occurs.