REG_DWORD: These values use a 4 byte number as
data, and are shown in hexadecimal format with the decimal equivalent in
brackets next to that. Either format can be used to enter DWORD values. DWORD
entries are one of the two most commonly edited value types, and are normally
used for 'switch' values, meaning a value that is either off ('0') or on ('1').
When creating a new DWORD in REGEDIT, use 'DWORD value' with the 'new'
REG_SZ: Also known as a string value. These
represent data as a string of characters. This string can be a word, a number,
or the location of a file on your system's hard disk. The other most commonly
edited value type.
REG_EXPAND_SZ: A string value that acts as a
variable, where an application or input from a user can place a value.
REG_MULTI_SZ: A string value that contains
multiple values or lists.
REG_BINARY: Holds values as binary data. Generally
used for hardware information that is not intended to be accessed or changed by
The vast majority of registry
editing tasks involve creating or editing REG_DWORD and REG_SZ
Editing the registry with REGEDIT
Now we are going to perform a
simple registry edit which will place your Windows XP version number on the
desktop in order to demonstrate the procedures needed to change the registry.
First, Double-click on
HKEY_CURRENT_USER to expand this branch of the registry. Now Find the key
'Control Panel' and double click that. Finally, locate the subkey 'Desktop' and
click it. You will see a number of values in the right-hand pane. Scroll down
and highlight the 'PaintDesktopVersion' DWORD value. Double click the value to
bring up the editing box.
Ensure that 'decimal' is
selected as the base, and type 1 into the 'value data' box then click
Due to the nature of the
registry, any changes you make here do not have to be saved. Some changes apply
immediately; others are applied upon restarting the system. This also means that
there is no 'cancel' button for undoing accidental changes, so make sure you
keep careful note of the values you intend to edit.
If you do not wish to have
your version number displayed on the desktop, reset the PaintDesktopVersion
value to '0'. Otherwise, close REGEDIT. Once you restart the computer, the
version number will be displayed in the bottom right hand corner of the
Many of the registry edits out
there require the adding of new keys, subkeys and values. To do this within
REGEDIT, simply right click the location where you wish to add the key or value,
then select 'new' followed by the type of value or key name.