What is the Registry?
The Windows registry is a central hierarchical collection of software, hardware and user settings that are present in your machine. It is used in Microsoft Windows 9x, Windows CE, Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows Millennium, Windows XP and Windows Vista. Although the Registry is common to several Windows operating systems, there are some differences among them. The registry plays a very important role in your computer's operating system, for example, by allowing Windows to start and ensuring the stability of the entire system.
When the user makes any modifications to Control Panel settings, file associations, system policies and installed software, all these changes are reflected and stocked up in the registry. The Registry replaces most of the text-based .ini files used in Windows 3.x and MS-DOS configuration files, such as the Autoexec.bat and Config.sys.
Why is it important to remove malicious registry entries?
The majority of all hazardous parasites, especially Trojans, browser hijackers, spyware and adware threats have the ability to change the Windows registry. The malicious programs usually add various registry entries, generate new keys and modify default values. That's why it is important to learn how to remove malicious registry entries so you can quickly detect and remove deep-seated infections. Invalid registry entries may cause a serious harm, and they may be a reason of sluggish performance of your PC as well.
Remove Spyware Registry Entries Manually
Warning: Removing spyware registry entries is difficult and risky. If you delete the wrong file, your computer may crash and important data may be lost. As a precautionary measure, please back up important files and set a System Restore point (click Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > System Restore, and follow the on-screen instructions) or run a spyware check with a trusted anti-spyware program to automatically detect spyware.
Follow the steps below to manually remove registry entries:
- To open the Registry Editor, press the "Start" button and then choose the option "Run". In the "Open" field, type "regedit" and click the "OK" button.
- The Registry Editor has two panes. The left pane is to navigate on certain registry keys and the right pane is to see values of selected keys.
- To edit the value, right-click on it and select the "Modify" option.
- You can also double-click on the value with your left mouse button. Another option is to use the "Edit" menu, where you type in the chosen value in the window and click the "OK" button. You can do the same with any other value or registry key.
- Follow the same steps as just described to delete the value or the registry key. On this step, you will have to select the "Delete" option. If you get a list of results, you may want to plug them into the Web before you delete them, just to be sure you're erasing malware-related keys.
- To add a new registry key or a new value, click on the "Edit" menu. Then, select option "New" and select a type for the entry.
- To export any key or value from the registry to the defined file, right-click on the object and select "Export" from the menu.
- Enter a file name and save the exported registry files as a .reg extension.
- It is also possible to import a certain value or a key. Click on the "File" menu and choose "Import". Then, select the objects that you want to import.
- Close the registry editor and reboot your computer. If something appears wrong after you change the registry, you can restore the registry from the backup you've created.