1. Technology
Send to a Friend via Email
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

How To Delete Registry Keys in Windows 7

By

Confirm Key Delete Message - How to Delete Registry Keys in Windows 7

Confirm Key Delete Message in Windows 7

Sometimes, as part of a troubleshooting step, or a "registry hack" of some kind, you may need to delete a registry key from the Windows Registry.

Assuming you know the location of the registry key in the Windows 7 Registry, removing it is very easy.

However, considering how important the registry is to Windows 7, be sure to follow these instructions exactly!

Follow these easy steps to delete a registry key in the Windows 7 Registry.

Note: Obviously the steps below require working with the Windows Registry. Making changes other than the ones described below could cause serious problems.

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: Deleting Windows Registry keys in Windows 7 usually takes less than 10 minutes

Here's How:

  1. Click on the Start button.

  2. In the search box, type regedit and then press Enter. The Registry Editor program will open.

  3. Using the > icon, navigate through the registry key branches until you reach the subkey (the folder on the left) that you want to delete, or the subkey that contains the value (on the right) you want to delete.

  4. Backup the registry key you're about to delete.

    As sure as you probably are that removing this particular key or value will get you the results you're looking for, it's a good idea to create a backup just in case you're wrong and need to restore the information back to the Windows Registry later.

  5. If you're deleting the registry subkey, make sure it's selected on the left. If you're deleting a specific registry value, make sure it's selected on the right.

  6. With the subkey or value selected, choose Edit and then Delete from the Registry Editor menu.

  7. If you're deleting an entire subkey on the left, you'll be prompted with this Confirm Key Delete message:

    Are you sure you want to permanently delete this key and all of its subkeys?

    If you're deleting one or more individual values on the right, you'll be prompted with this Confirm Value Delete message:

    Deleting certain registry values could cause system instability. Are you sure you want to permanently delete this value?

  8. No matter the confirmation message, click on the Yes button to remove the key or value.

    Note: Changes in the Windows 7 Registry are made immediately. There are no Save or Undo options like in many other programs.

  9. Close Registry Editor.

  10. Restart your computer. Depending on the keys or values you removed, you may need to restart to see the changes take effect in Windows 7 or in another program.

  11. If deleting the registry key or value didn't do what you expected it to do, you can always restore the registry key using the backup you created in Step 4.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.