How to enable registry editing if you receive the message ‘Registry editing has been disabled by your administrator’


When you attempt to open the registry you receive the message ‘Registry editing has been disabled by your administrator’

Registry Editor error

The chances are that this has been disabled via a group policy. To check whether this is the case the group policy editor needs to be opened.

Click on the ‘Start’ button and select ‘Run’. Type gpedit.msc and select ‘OK’

Run gpedit.msc

Under the Local Computer Policy select ‘User Configuration’, ‘Administrative Templates’ then ‘System’. Locate the ‘Prevent access to registry editing tools’ setting and check to see whether it is enabled

Group policy settings

If it is enabled, double click it and in the ‘Setting’ tab set it to ‘Not configured’ and click ‘Apply’ then ‘OK’

Prevent access setting

Close down the Group Policy console. If the key is set as a result of a network group policy then this will be applied each time the PC logs in to the network.

One way around this is to create a batch file that updates a registry key each time you log in. To do this we need to export the relevant registry key into a file that can be applied by a batch file. Unfortunately the key only exists in the registry if it is set to ‘Enable’ via the Group Policy.

Open regedit (Start>Run>regedit) and minimise it.

Go back into the Group Policy editor (Start>Run>gpedit.msc)

Under the Local Computer Policy select ‘User Configuration’, ‘Administrative Templates’ then ‘System’. Locate the ‘Prevent access to registry editing tools’ setting and change it to ‘Enabled’. Click ‘Apply’ and ‘OK’

Maximise the Registry Editor and locate the following key:

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System]

There should be a REG_DWORD value called DisableRegistryTools which should have a value of 2

DisableRegistryTools key

Double click the DisableRegistryTools DWORD value, change the Value Data to 0 and click ‘OK’

Edit DWWORD value

Export the key by right clicking on the Policies>System key and select ‘Export’

Export key

When prompted give the exported key a name ie) RegistryEnable and select a location to save it to and click ‘Save’

Export key location

Close the Registry Editor and Group Policy Editor

You could manually run the saved export key which would enable the registry each time it was run

Double click the registry key and select ‘OK’ when prompted

Add key

Click ‘OK’ when the key has been merged into the registry

Confirmation

To automate this process at startup simply create a batch file and add it to the

C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\Startup group

The batch file should contain the following line:

Regedit.exe /s (path of .reg file)

For example:

Regedit.exe /s C:\Temp\RegistryEnable.reg

Batch file

The /s switch supresses the user prompts and allows it to silently run

All users start up group

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