How to restrict access to the Registry Editor in Windows 10

Messing with the Windows 10 Registry Editor can be problematic if you don’t know what you’re doing. You might know that, but if you’re sharing a computer with others who don’t, your best method would be to disable access to it from a Standard user account. Follow along and we’ll show you how to make Registry Editor access exclusive to the PC’s administrator.

Changing permissions to Windows 10’s Registry Editor

As per the norm, before messing with any files or keys like this, you’ll want to create a system Restore Point. This process only disables registry editing for Standard user accounts, but some users report that it does it for the admin account as well. Other users say that after they did it, they could still make changes under the admin account. In other words, your mileage may vary, so make sure you have that Restore Point setup.

To change permissions in the Registry Editor, you’ll first need to make sure you’re logged into an administrator account. Once you are, you’ll need to open the Registry Editor, which can be done by simply searching for “regedit” in the Search bar and then opening the application.

Next, you’ll want to navigate to this registry key (or file path): HKEY_CURRENT_USER > SOFTWARE > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > Policies > System.

Inside the System key we’re not going to be changing any values, but we’ll be adding a new one. To do this, right-click on the System key itself and select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value. The name of the Value will be “DisableRegistryTools.” You’ll need to set its value to the number 1 in the “Value data” field.

After you press OK and close the Registry Editor, the changes take affect immediately. You can test this by trying to access the Registry Editor from a Standard user account. You should get an error message (example above) that says “Registry editing has been disabled by your administrator.

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Closing

By following these steps, you’ve successfully restricted unwanted editing of registry keys. To reverse the changes, you can simple delete the DisableRegistryTools value outright under the same System key.

If you got stuck and need more help, be sure to leave a comment below or join us in the PCMech Forums.

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