Error Accessing the Registry [Fixed by experts]

Ivan Jenic
by Ivan Jenic
Troubleshooting Expert
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  • The first thing you should do when dealing with the Registry Editor issues is to run the SFC scan.
  • In case your Registry Editor somehow got disabled, you'll have to use the Group Policy Editor to enable it. 
  • There are not so many problems with the registry but if you have some, go straight to our Windows Registry section for help.
  • If you run into a Windows 10 error, the best thing to do and read our articles from the Windows 10 Errors Hub.
Restart Required After Registry Change

Registry Editor is one of the most important parts of the Windows operating system.

This tool is usually used for resolving various problems and faults within the system, but what if the Regedit itself is the problem.

Although this is a rare case, there’s a chance that you may encounter some problems with this tool.

More precisely, we’re talking about the problem which prevents users from opening the Registry Editor.

Having the Registry Editor out of the function is something that can be very dangerous because you’re not able to control what happens within your system.

So, if you’re unable to open the regedit, keep reading this article, because we’ve prepared a couple of solutions that may come in handy.

Everything you need to know about changing the default font of the Registry Editor!

What can I do to open Regedit in Windows 10?

  1. Run SFC scan
  2. Use Group Policy Editor
  3. Enable Regedit manually
  4. Reset your system

1. Run SFC scan

Although there’s no more universal and cliche solution for dealing with Windows 10 problems, and you’re probably tired of people recommending the SFC scan, it’s actually helpful in this case.

So, the first thing you should do when dealing with the Registry Editor issues is to run the SFC scan.

In case you’re not sure how to do that, follow these instructions:

  1. Press Windows Key + X to open Power User Menu. Select Command Prompt (Admin) from the list.
  2. When Command Prompt opens, type sfc /scannow and press Enter.
    sfc cmd
  3. Wait until the scan is completed.
  4. Restart your computer

If everything is okay with the Regedit now, you’re good to go. On the other hand, if the problem is still there, you should move to move advanced solutions.

Need more ideas on how to run SFC scan? Check out this guide.

2. Use Group Policy Editor

In case your Registry Editor somehow got disabled, here’s a way to enable it again. You’ll have to use the Group Policy Editor.

But have in mind, the Group Policy Editor is only available in the Professional, Ultimate, and Pro versions of Windows. So, if you’re using Windows 10 Home, you won’t be able to perform this workaround.

On the other hand, there’s a way to install it in Windows 10 Home.

Anyway, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Go to Search, type gpedit.msc, and open Group Policy Editor
  2. Navigate to User Configuration > Administrative Templates > System
  3. Find Prevent access to registry editing tools, and open itGPE enable Registry
  4. If it’s set to Enabled, go and change it to Disabled or Not configured
  5. Restart your computer

3. Enable Regedit manually

Another way to deal with registry problems is to, ironically, apply a registry tweak. There are some of you that probably don’t know that you can run registry tweaks without opening the registry editor.

And in this case, it might be just what we’re looking for. Here’s exactly what you need to do:

  1. Open Run (Win key + R)
  2. Enter the following command:
    • REG add HKCUSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionPoliciesSystem /v DisableRegistryTools /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /fenable regedit manually
  3. Hit Enter

Now try to open the Regedit once again, and we hope you’ll be successful this time.

Fixing Windows Registry Editor is a nightmare? Check out these user-friendly registry editors!

4. Reset your system

Nothing says I surrender! more than clean-installing your system. But, if none of the previous solutions managed to solve the problem, you’ll have to go with this measure.

After you reset your system, you’ll end up with a fresh copy, and therefore all your Regedit problems (and other problems) will be resolved.

Here’s how to reset your Windows 10 system:

  1. Click Start.
  2. Open Settings.
  3. Open Update & Security.
  4. Choose Recovery.reset your pc
  5. Click Get Started under the Reset this PC.
  6. Choose Keep my files.
  7. After the procedure is finished, your Registry Editor should work like before.

If the problem is still persistent, you can also consider reinstalling the system. Even though the factory reset should be enough, you can always start from a complete scratch and reinstall the system.

The procedure is simple and it can be done with the Media Creation Tool. You can find out how to do so by following the steps in this article.

That’s about it, we hope at least one of these workarounds proved helpful in resolving the Registry Editor issues in Windows 10.

If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions, please let us know in the comments below.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in March 2019 and has been since revamped and updated in May 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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