Microsoft PowerToys: Registry Preview tool is coming next
Microsoft plans to add a Registry Preview tool to its open source PowerToys collection. The intent to integrate the tool into PowerToys was revealed earlier this week on the project's GitHub repository.
PowerToys has grown to a large collection of tools for Windows devices. The latest release version supports 18 different tools, including this month's additions Paste unformatted text and Mouse Jump. Shaun described all the different PowerToys apps in December 2022. It is still a good overview, but the newer tools are not included in the overview.
Registry Preview is a helper tool for Windows administrators who import Registry files, files with the .reg extension, into the Registry.
Currently, administrators need to open the file in a plain text editor or other tool to preview it. Once done, they may double-click on the Registry file to import its data into the Windows Registry.
Previewing requires a bit of knowledge of how the Registry and .reg files work. The Registry Preview tool acts as an intermediary. Administrators may open Registry files using the tool to preview it. This new app offers several advantages over auditing or editing Registry files in text editors.
First and foremost, Registry Preview displays the content of the Registry file as well as the Registry keys and values that it contains. The overview that it provides is more accessible, especially for larger Registry files that contain dozens or hundreds of lines.
The new PowerToys application supports the editing of the Registry files from its interface. A click on "edit file" unlocks the option. Any changes made to the file are displayed as previews directly in the interface. It is a useful feature, as it acts as a safeguard to make sure that the syntax is correct and the changes would be added the Windows Registry correctly.
The Registry Preview tool supports a few additional options. It may write content directly to the Windows Registry or open the Registry Editor. Opening the Registry Editor may be useful to verify current settings, or create a backup of the Registry before importing any data into it. Changes may also be saved to Registry files.
Microsoft's new tool lacks options to create a backup automatically, or a System Restore point, which does include Registry data.
It is not clear yet when the new tool will be launched as a preview release, but it can't be long before that is happening. Work has been ongoing since February 2023.
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