The Windows Registry Editor is an extremely powerful tool for power users and allows them to make a multitude of modifications and implement new features on their PCs. However, it can become a huge liability in the hands of a novice, as any wrong step can mess up your Windows installation. So, to help you prevent your friends or colleagues from messing up your computer, here’s how you can disable and re-enable Registry Editor on your Windows 10 computer.

Disable Windows Registry Access on Your Computer (June 2021)

Here we are going to show you 3 ways to disable access to the registry on your Windows 10 computer. We will use the local group policy editor (gpedit) and the registry editor (regedit) itself to disable the registry Windows on your device. We’ll also show you how to re-enable access to the Windows Registry Editor when you finally get your PC back. Note that the methods below apply to Windows 10, Windows 8, and Windows 7.

Disable Registry Editor in Windows 10 using Group Policy

To note: Group Policy Editor is not officially available in Windows 10 Home. However, you can still enable Group Policy Editor on Windows 10 Home by following our detailed guide linked here.

1. First, open the Local Group Policy Editor. To do this, use the Windows keyboard shortcut Win + R simultaneously to open the Run dialog box. You can also search for ” Course in the Windows search bar. Now type ” gpedit.msc in the Run window and press Enter or Okay to open the Group Policy Editor.

2. In the Group Policy Editor window, navigate to the following path using the left sidebar: User Configuration > Administrative Templates > System. In the right pane, double-click the entry that says ” Prevent access to registry editing tools“.

3. In the next window, select ” Enabled » and press Apply or Okay. Finally, restart your PC for the changes to take effect.

4. Now when you try to access registry editor (regedit) on your Windows 10 PC, you get an error message as shown below.

Enabling this option on an account will apply the changes to all users on that computer, including administrator accounts. Note that you must be logged in from an administrator account in the first place to be able to use the trick above. Once you disable the Registry Editor, no one using This PC can access the feature. However, you can easily undo the changes by following the steps below.

Disable Access Using Windows Registry

To note: Tweaking the Registry Editor is fraught with pitfalls. It is advisable to activate and create a system restore point before making any changes.

1. First, open Windows Registry Editor. To do this, search for “regedit” in the Windows search bar and click on the first result.

2. In the Registry Editor window, use the left sidebar to navigate to the following key: HKEY_CURRENT_USERSOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionPolicies. Now right click on “ Strategies » and select New -> Key from the menu. Name the new key ” System” (without quotes) and press Enter.

3. Next, select the newly created System folder (click on it) if it is not already selected. In the right pane, right click on the empty space and choose New -> DWORD Value (32 bit). Name the new key ” Disable registry tools” (without quotes) and press Enter.

4. Now double click on the new DWORD and change its hexadecimal value from 0 to 1 or 2 (check below to see the meaning of the values). Click on ” Okay to save the changes and restart your PC for these changes to take effect.

Here are the DisableRegistryTools values:

0 – Registry editor enabled1 – Registry Editor only works in “silent mode” using the /s switch in the command prompt2 – Registry Editor disabled, cannot be started normally or silently

Note that this policy is limited to the current user account only. You will need to repeat the process for each user on a PC if you want to enforce the policy for all users. As well, do not use the value “2” if you do not have access to the Group Policy Editor. Re-enabling the feature, in this case, will involve a degree of complexity, as you will now see.

Re-enable Registry Editor on Windows 10

  • Method 1: Using Group Policy

To re-enable the Windows registry using the following method, you must log in from an administrator account.

Open the Group Policy Editor and navigate to User Configuration > Administrative Templates > System as described earlier. Now double click on “ Prevent access to registry editing tools in the right pane and choose ” Not configured“. Then click OK or Apply to save changes.

That’s it. You can now access Registry Editor again on your Windows 10 computer.

  • Using the Command Prompt

Once you have disabled the Registry Editor, you can also re-enable it using the Windows Command Prompt. Here’s how:

1. Open Notepad and copy and paste the following code: Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
“DisableRegistryTools”=dword:00000000. Now save it as a registry (.reg) file by pressing “ File -> Save As” optional. You can name the file whatever you want, but for the purposes of this demo, I’m naming it ” EnableRegEdit.reg“.

2. Now open the command prompt in administrator mode. To do this, search for “command prompt” in the Windows search bar and click on the “ Execute as administrator“.

3. Next, run the following command: cd C:Users[username]Desktop to navigate to the Reg file path. Remember to use the actual location of your file. If it’s on your desktop, the location of the file will probably be the same as mine, but remember to use your own username in the command.

4. Next, copy + paste the following command to enable registry and press Enter: regedit.exe /s EnableRegEdit.reg

That’s it! Your DisableRegistryTools DWORD value will now change from 1 to 0, and you should regain access to the Registry Editor.

Easily Disable Registry Editor on Your Windows 10 PC

Now that you know how to enable or disable Registry Editor access on your Windows 10 PC, you can do it while handing your system over to someone without having to worry about them messing it up. However, the Windows Registry is a powerful tool, so remember to be careful whenever you do anything with it. In the meantime, if you are planning to lend your PC to someone, you should also learn how to password protect files and folders on Windows 10. So go ahead, follow our tutorials to improve your privacy and keep your system safe while by sharing your computer with others.