How to Perform Windows Registry Search

By Sidharth | How-to

Microsoft’s flagship operating system, the Windows series is quite a capable platform with a large number of options and high user-friendliness not found in any other system – which is why it is so widespread in both fame and sales.

However, this operating system also has quite a few options for the geeky ones among its users – particularly the power users who find that twiddling with the Windows Registry has its share of great perks as well as high risks – careless editing and rearranging may cause irreversible damage. It is as good an ancient Knights quest as any because of its grand, intricate design and secrets that each and every key hold (!).

The Windows Registry was first introduced with the 3.1 version of Windows mostly to clean up a lot of INI file messes that were created by its functioning per program – each program created its own INI that was hard to follow. The Registry registered each INI file for its database and hence cleared up a lot of clutter that accumulated in the daily functioning of the OS. Gradually, the Registry became a sizeable database that was used to link programs’ functioning directly, including hash-keys, runtime information, currently-running information as well as kernel information that is essential for the general maintenance of the computer and also gave quite a few privileges to the power-user that can be performed on Windows with ease.


The Registry editor (that can be called by going to Start -> Run –> Regedit) is a very powerful software with an easy to use User Interface – click on a key-folder and all of its keys are shown to the right. The editing can also be done in a fast and easy manner – proof that simplicity alone is enough to make a great software interface.

The searching command can be accessed from Edit –> Find. Once you click on it a pop-out window appears which asks for a search string as well as the parameters to which the search string belongs. Searching takes a while, especially on larger machines loaded with a good deal of programs, but the search stops as soon as it encounters one key with the matching parameters. If there are several like that, you might need to select Find Next from the Edit menu. The shortcut keys are similar to those used in other Windows programs – Ctrl+F calls the Find function and F3 performs the role of Find Next quickly and easily.

About the Author

Hi, I am Sidharth. Full-time blogger. Editor of Blogote. And a self-proclaimed geek!

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(1) comment

Rahul September 5, 2009

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