What is the registry?

The registry is a database in Windows that contains important information about system hardware, installed programs and settings, and profiles of each of the user accounts on your computer. Windows continually refers to the information in the registry.

You should not need to make manual changes to the registry because programs and applications typically make all the necessary changes automatically. An incorrect change to your computer's registry could render your computer inoperable. However, if a corrupt file appears in the registry, you might be required to make changes.

We strongly recommend that you back up the registry before making any changes and that you only change values in the registry that you understand or have been instructed to change by a source you trust.