5 Tools for Monitoring Registry Changes in Windows

Ivan Jenic By: Ivan Jenic
4 minute read
software monitor registry changes windows 10

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Here are the software solutions mentioned in this guide:

  1. Regshot
  2. WhatChanged
  3. RegFromApp
  4. Process Monitor
  5. Reg and FC

When you install a certain software, it copies a few files into your registry, and it could cause some problems sometimes. Solution for this problem is to monitor registry changes, find the error and reset it back to normal.To help you find the best solution for monitoring registry, we present you the list of best registry-monitoring software and tools.
windows 10 registry wind8apps

Keep track of Registry changes

Regshot

regshot

Regshot is very useful tool for monitoring changes in your registry, besides showing the current state of Windows registry, it allows you to take a screenshot of it and save it for later comparison. Regshot is an open-source tool.

This free monitoring utility worked on both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of previous Windows operating system, and it will work on both versions of Windows 10 without any problems. Besides Windows registry, Regshot also allows you to take a snapshot of the Windows directories. You can download this open-source registry monitoring tool from SourceForge for free.

WhatChanged

what changed software

WhatChanged is another well-known, free registry utility for tracking changes of Windows registry. WhatChanged uses so-called ‘brute force method,’ and with it you’ll be able to scan your registry to find the modified files and recent registry entries, so that makes it easy to compare all the changes of your system settings.

WhatChanged is a great tool for checking what are the programs you installed recently, and maybe delete some unnecessary ones. WhatChanged is available for free download from Major Geeks.

RegFromApp

regforapp monitor registry changes

RegFromApp is a registry monitoring tool that smoothly monitors all the changes in the registry made by Windows or a certain program you selected. It also creates a RegEdit registration file (.reg) which stores all registry changes and modifications made by the program or an app you installed.

This .reg file could be used to import all registry changes with RegEditApp, if needed. You can download RegFromApp for free from its developer’s website, nirsoft.net.

Process Monitor

process monitor software

Process Monitor is another very popular, free registry monitoring utility, that offers some advanced options. It works in real time and shows all system files, registry changes and processes/threads of your system. This tiny tool is also able to fix your registry, if there are some errors, as well as to remove malware and other types of malicious software. You can download this small, but powerful registry tool fro free from TechNet.

Reg and FC

And now something for those who don’t like using third-party software for performing system tasks, or any other tasks in Windows. Reg and FC is Windows’ built-in command line from Windows registry, which allows you to monitor and compare states of your registry. Before comparing the registry changes, export all the important registry keys you want to monitor (when your system is performing well) to a text file, and export these keys again after a few changes or new installations. Now compare the both files with fc.exe:

  1. Go to search and type fc.exe
  2. Open fc command and enter the following command line:
    • fc 1st.reg 2nd.reg > result.txt

This command will compare both files and save them in the same directory as .text file.

Now, you know what tools you can install on your Windows 10 computer in order to keep an eye on the Registry changes that various apps and software operate on the OS.

Knowing what’s changed is one thing, but knowing how to revert the changes is another one. So, if you want to simply get rid of all the changes, you can use a Restore Point — provided that you already created one. For more information on how to create a Restore Point and use it to actually restore your Registry, you can check out these step-by-step guides:

Additionally, if you want to reset your Registry, you can also install one of these Registry Cleaners and run it on your machine.

I hope that you’ll find at least one of these tools useful, and that it will help you to monitor registry changes easily. If you have some comments, suggestions, or maybe know some other, powerful tool for monitoring registry changes, reach us in the comments below, we would love to hear your opinion.

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in May 2015 and has been since updated for freshness, and accuracy.

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