What are Registry Subkeys?

The Windows registry is a hierarchical structure of hives, keys, subkeys, and their contained values; and this registry lingo throws many general computer users off by making the information seem far too complex or inaccessible. Thus, many of us general users have no clue what these terms refer to - let alone where our computer systems' registries are located. In fact, this is not at all the case.

Gaining an understanding of these terms and a general comprehension of the hierarchical framework of our systems' registries is not nearly as difficult as one might think. Getting bogged down in the lingo is usually at least half the battle. Therefore, it might help to think of your registry as a data tree, with your system's hives at the top echelon and subsequently followed by your keys, subkeys, and their values. Even more, it might be helpful to think of your keys as folders, you subkeys as subfolders, and their contained values as the data stored within your registry.

As previously stated, your registry subkeys can be found within your registry keys. The following is a list of registry subkeys:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\AppEvents
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\InstallLocationsMRU
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Keyboard Layout
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Network
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\RemoteAccess
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ASD
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ComputerName
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\DeviceClasses
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\FileSystem
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\GroupOrderList
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\IDConfigDB
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\InstalledFilesB
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Keyboard Layouts
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\MediaProperties
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Media Resources
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\NetworkProvider
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Nls
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\NTKern
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\PerfStats
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Print
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\PwdProvider
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SecurityProviders
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ServiceGroupOrder
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ServiceProvider
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Session Manager
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SessionManager
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Shutdown
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\TimeZoneInformation
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Update
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\VMM32
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\WebPost
HKEY_USERS\.default

Like keys, subkeys can also contain further subkeys or their values. Registry values are defined as the actual data and information stored in a key or subkey. These Values can appear in several formats, as there are many different types of registry Values, but most often they contain a binary, strings, and DWORD values. When attempting to visualize your Registry keys and subkeys, it may help to view your hives, keys, subkeys, and values as a navigation path. At the end of this path, lies the final stored data – or values – that you are searching for.

Posted: July 8, 2009
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