The Windows Registry Manager, much like many other tools that ship natively with the Windows operating system, is limited in many ways.
While it is okay-ish for editing or creating keys or values in the Registry, this too is not optimized, something that could easily be improved with little resources.
One of the biggest missing features is that there is no option to jump to a key directly. If you read about a new tweak on the Internet or in one of the remaining computer paper mags, you either need to use the tree structure to navigate to that key manually, or try your luck using the search.
Registrar Registry Manager is a free and pro program that improves the native program tenfold.
After you have installed and started it up for the first time, you will notice that you can paste any key right into the address bar to jump straight to it.
That alone saves a lot of time but there is more.
The program displays two windows by default. The main Registrar Registry Manager window that features an address bar as well, and links to various tools that the program makes available, and the actual browser, called Registry and Tool Window.
You can close the browser at any time without problem, but when you close the main window, all child windows will be closed as well.
Another feature that you may notice right away is that descriptions are available for select keys. While that is not the case for all, far from it, it is helpful as it provides you with information that you would otherwise have to research.
Keys can be edited with a double-click like in the native Registry Editor. The interface that is displayed is slightly different however as it displays all base values at the same time. The key name is displayed in the window, as are options to edit or add category and description information. Last but not least, you can launch a calculator from here and import or export Registry values.
The main editor window is tab-driven, which means that you can open multiple Registry locations at once without having to use multiple editor windows for that.
The search interface too has been improved a lot. As far as searches go, all operations of the default Registry Editor are supported. In addition to that, you can run regular expression or binary data searches, and use additional filters such as limiting the size of data in bytes or filtering by value type.
All results are displayed at once in the interface, another improvement over Registry Editor's one at a time approach.
You will notice that improvements have also been made to other key areas. Bookmarks can be edited now in an editor window so that you know on first glance to which Registry key they lead to.
In comparison, the Windows Registry Editor lists the favorite but does not reveal where it links to until you click on it.
Registrar Registry Monitor ships with several additional tools that users may find useful.
It features a monitor for instance that you can use to monitor read, write, failed or successful operations of select processes running on the system in real-time.
There is also advanced compare which you can use to compare keys of different machines that you have access to.
Other features include a Registry defragmentation tool to compress the Registry file, access to a history to manage previous changes, or CLSID and file reference tools that you can launch from its interface. Plus, the program ships with its own command line version that you can use as well.
Difference to Pro
The free version of Registrar Registry Manager has several limitations:
Check out the chart here for a full list.
Registrar Registry Manager Home is a free replacement for Windows' default editor. It adds a truckload of features that come in useful, and while it is limited when compared to the pro version, most of the features exclusive to the professional version are not really needed in home environments.
If you want to improve your Registry editing and make it more comfortable, this is the program to do so.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.