The registry editor is a registry editing tool that comes standard in all Windows operating systems. The registry editor can be disabled, locked and blocked protect important system registry files. The registry is probably the most delicate Windows file/folder. If the wrong person snoops around and deletes and or makes changes to the registry, it can affect almost any aspect of your computer’s performance. The registry editor can also be disabled by certain viruses as well.
When the registry editor has been disabled, the user will be unable to open or run the registry editor. Attempting to run regedit.exe will only return the error message “Registry editing has been disabled by your administrator”. Therefore it is literally impossible to bypass this restriction within the registry editor itself. It is possible however, to circumvent this restriction by editing the registry and removing the key that blocks the registry editor from opening.
Using a VBS Script to Disable or Enable the Registry Editor
There are certain VBS scripts that will allow one to disable and enable their registry editor. One script in particular that is notably helpful is the regtools.vbs script, which can be found for free online. The regtools.vbs VBS script file will check for the correct value used for enabling/disabling of the registry editor. If the registry key cannot be found, then the key will automatically be created to disable the registry editor. If the value is found, then it will be switched back to the adverse state and you will then be notified that you must log off and then log back on or reboot your PC.
Enabling Registry Editor with a Local Group Policy Editor
If you’re using Windows Vista Ultimate or Windows XP Professional and you have access to an administrative user account, then you can change the registry editor options in your local group policy editor.
- First click on the Start menu. Then click Run (or type run in the search box if you are using Vista).
- Next, type GPEdit.msc into the run box and press the Enter key on your keyboard.
- Then browse to this location – User Configuration, then Administrative Templates, then System.
- Now locate the Prevent access to registry editing tools option, in the Settings pane and double click to open the settings dialog.
- Then click on “Disabled” or “Not Configured”.
- Click OK
- Now try running RegEdit.exe, and if necessary restart your computer.
Resetting Registry Values to Default Using UnHookExec.inf
In most instances, the registry editor is disabled intentionally by virus, which tries to stop the user from correcting any malicious changes to the registry. The virus makes changes to the registry to create loopholes through which it can run. So, if the avifileshellopencommand key is altered, the virus will run any time an .avi file is opened. Resetting the registry values to default will usually correct these kinds of issues.
The UnHookExec.inf file can be downloaded for free online. Once you’ve downloaded the file, Right-click it and then click on install. Doing this will automatically reset the settings to default with no notifications appearing. Now try running RegEdit.exe once again to see if it works. If it is still not working then try rebooting your computer, and it should work upon restarting.