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It is very dangerous to be deleting or changing things in the Windows registry. That's why it requires special permissions.
Why does Windows 7 prevent me from deleting third-party registry entries? What can I do to circumvent this problem?
In this excerpt from Answercast #45, I strongly recommend that you leave the registry alone. But if you really know what you're doing, there are steps to gain access.
First, I want you to be absolutely positively sure that you want to circumvent this problem!
Depending on the registry keys you're talking about deleting, you could in the worst case damage your system so that it won't even boot! So obviously, if you're going to go down this path:
Now, "Why does Windows prevent you from deleting arbitrary registry keys like this?"
It's protecting you from what I just described! It is possible to severely hurt your machine by deleting the wrong registry keys.
It doesn't matter that it's a third-party application or whether it's Windows itself. Applications themselves, when they install registry keys, can set permissions so that individuals can't just randomly delete the keys.
What most people don't realize about the registry is that it has a very similar permissions model to the file system. In other words, in the file system, you can mark files as being read-only so only certain accounts can access them; only certain accounts can delete them and so forth. The same is actually true for individual keys in the Windows registry.
Now, how do we go about forcing our way through?
We absolutely know what we're doing!
We know that what we are about to delete will not hurt anything.
We just want to get it gone.
The way to do that is to actually run the Registry Editor as the administrator. My guess is that you're simply running Registry Editor from the Run command on the Start menu. That's not enough.
What I would recommend you do is to find the Registry Editor (regedit.exe, I believe is what you'll find probably in Windows/System32). Right-click on that and then "Run as administrator." That should give you all of the permissions you need to basically say, "I know what I'm doing. Don't prevent me from deleting anything. It really needs to be gone."
I hope that you know what you're doing. Those kinds of permissions are there for a reason.
In general, if you've uninstalled third-party software, and there are a few leftover keys,
It doesn't really hurt anything to just leave them be.
So, ultimately that's my strongest recommendation. That you probably not do what it is you're trying to do. But if you must:
Then running Registry Editor as administrator;
After having done a full backup is the way to go.
Next from Answercast 45 – Do I need to reboot into safe mode to run anti-malware scans?
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