Thursday, April 10, 2008

How To Get Default Registry Values

Playing with the Windows Registry is always a risk prone job. Often, the advisory from many professionals is to take a backup of your registry before changing the values. In this post, I will try to explain the process of getting the default values from Registry.

This post will be a good tool for those who often change the HKEY_CURRENT_USER branch of the registry. Sometimes, what happens is, that the user tends to forget the default value of the node while editing the registry. In such cases, it becomes tough to revert to the previous value. However, this trick comes handy.

You can easily find the default registry values for most of the settings in the HKEY_CURRENT_USER branching of the registry tree in the HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT node of the registry. This is the part of the registry which Windows XP edition uses while creating new user accounts.

Lets take up an example, Lets suppose you intend to customize Windows Explorer’s Menu color setting by altering the RGB value stored in the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Colors\Menu. To do this, you edit the value, but something prompts you to restore the value back to the default. However, to your horror, you had not noted the value at a safe place and now it seems to have gone.

But the good news is that you can still track down the RGB values for the default color by navigating to the HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Colors\Menu. You can then copy the default value from this subkey and paste it into the key that you’ve altered.

Following this trick will return you back your default value for the intended key.

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