Regedit, the Registry editor that comes with Windows is a rather simple tool. It makes sense to use a third-party tool, even if you only have to edit the Windows Registry every once in a while. RegAlyzer is a free Registry editor with useful features.
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My favorite feature is its search functionality. RegAlyzer supports different search criteria such as wildcards, Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) and even regular expressions. You can also limit your search by date (newer than, older than, between and outside of). However, the latter didn’t work properly when I tested it.
More important is RegAlyzer’s search result window. With regedit’s find function you can only jump from hit to hit. This is quite cumbersome. Usually, you have to hit F3 numerous times until you found the right Registry key. By contrast, RegAlyzer displays all matches in a result tab. This allows you to skim over all search results easily. A double click opens the corresponding key in RegAlyzer’s Registry editor. Selected search results can be exported as reg file. RegAlyzer also allows you to replace strings in the Registry database. This is certainly a dangerous function and one should be very careful with it.
What I also like about RegAlyzer is its undo and redo log. Both logs are in reg format which enables you to correct mistakes whenever you messed up your system. Editing the Registry is always risky even if you are a Windows geek. So don’t rely only on the logs and always backup the Registry database before you make changes to it.
Other RegAlyzer features (from the publisher’s site)
- Hierarchical bookmark support
- Jump to key by command line parameter
- Jump to key by typing/copying it into dialog (instead of browsing)
- DWord editing with parallel hex/decimal/binary display
- Support of QWord (64 bit integer)
- Display of .reg file contents without importing it
- Support of version 5 files (Unicode) even with Windows 95/NT
- Low-level display of security settings with option to export it
The only feature I am missing is a global delete function that allows me to remove all Registry entries that match a certain search pattern. This is even more dangerous, but it would save me a lot of time whenever I want to get rid of all entries created by a certain application. What is your favorite Registry editor?