The Windows registry is a database of all configuration settings in Microsoft Windows 95, 98, Windows NT 4, Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 a domain name registry that maps all domain names and other resource records to IP addresses is the Internet Domain Name System (DNS).
The windows registry is a database which stores settings and options for the operating system, especially for Microsoft Windows 32-bit versions. It contains information and settings for all the hardware, software, users, and preferences of the PC. Whenever a user makes changes to “Control Panel” settings, or file associations, system policies, or installed software, the changes are reflected and stored in the registry.
On Windows 9x computers, an older installation can have a very large registry that slows down the computer’s startup and can make the computer unstable. This has led to frequent criticisms that the registry leads to instability. However, these problems do not usually occur on the Windows NT family of systems, including Windows XP.
The registry can be edited in Microsoft Windows by running regedit.exe in the Windows directory. WARNING: editing the registry can cause irreversible damage unless you are sure of what you are doing. Many optimization and “hacking” tools are available to modify this portion of the Windows operating system. It is preferable to use one of the (many) registry cleaners available.
Windows 3.11 Registration EditorA simple implementation of the current registry tool appeared in Windows 3.x, called the “Registration Info Editor” or “Registration Editor”. This was basically just a database of applications used to edit embedded OLE objects in documents.
Windows NT introduced permissions for Registry editing. Windows NT 4 incorporated both the Windows 9x REGEDIT.EXE program and NT’s REGEDT32.EXE program. REGEDIT.EXE had a left-side tree view that began at “My Computer” and listed all loaded hives. REGEDT32.EXE had a left-side tree view, but each hive had its own window, so the tree displayed only keys. REGEDIT.EXE represented the three components of a value (its name, type, and data) as separate columns of a table. REGEDT32.EXE represented them as a list of strings. REGEDIT.EXE was written for the Win32 API and supported right-clicking of entries in a tree view to adjust properties and other settings. REGEDT32.EXE was written for the NT 3.x API and required all actions to be performed from the top menu bar. Because REGEDIT.EXE was directly ported from Windows 95, it did not support permission editing (permissions do not exist on Windows 9x). Therefore, the only way to access the full functionality of an NT registry was with REGEDT32.EXE, which many considered to be inefficient and out-of-date. Windows XP was the first system to integrate these two programs into one, adopting the REGEDIT.EXE interface with the additional NT functionality.