How To Use Regedit

reg-icon Windows stores its configuration settings in a database called the registry. These settings are constantly modified by the many different programs running in Windows. Users can also make changes to the registry by using the Windows registry editor, regedit. Making changes to the registry is a common way to correct problems and change the way Windows looks and acts.

However, making the wrong registry changes can cripple your Windows system. So before you start hacking away with regedit, you should learn a little about it. This tutorial will explain some of the features in regedit and tell you how to use it safely.

Backing up the registry

Back up the registry before you make changes. One convenient way to do this is to use Windows System Restore. Here’s how to use System Restore. Another method for backing up the Windows registry is using a free utility named ERUNT, and here is how ERUNT works. Make sure you understand one of these methods before going any further.

Launching regedit

Unlike most other system tools, regedit will not appear in any of your menus when you click the Start button. That means you’ll have to launch it some other way. I’ll tell you how to start it using the Run dialog.

To bring up the Run dialog, hold down the Windows key and tap the R key.

winkey r

Now type regedit into the command entry box and click OK.


Using Regedit

Once launched, regedit will pop up pretty quickly. Here’s what it looks like:


First, I’ll mention that you can see a Helpmenu in regedit and you’ll find plenty of information in it that I won’t cover in this tutorial.

The navigation pane (on the left) is showing the 5 main hivekeys, which always start with the word HKEY. To navigate deeper into the registry, you need to click on the plus (+) signs next to a hive key. The same applies the further into registry you go. Once you click on a plus, it will display all the sub-keys under that key and the plus will change into a minus (-) sign. Clicking on the minus sign will collapse the structure back to the way it was.

In the view below, you can see that I’ve located the key for a piece of software that I had installed.


At the bottom of the window you can see the registry path to this key. Right clicking on a key will bring up a menu showing several actions.

  • New, will create a new key under the key I have selected.
  • Delete- If this was a program that was no longer installed on my PC, I could safely delete this key.
  • The Copy Key Nameaction places the full path to the key in your Windows Clipboard, and it can be pasted as text into other applications, such as email or a web browser.
  • Exportaction allows you to save the information under a registry key, and this information can be restored later if it’s needed. It’s a good idea to export a key before you make changes to it. I’ll talk more about exported keys later.

Here you can see that I’ve navigated down into the Current User hive to take a look at my mapped network drives.


In this view, I have the Zkey open. In the right pane (data pane), you can see the entries for the data values under this key. Each piece of data under a key has a name, type and value. The data name can be almost any string of letters as long as it doesn’t contain a space. There are several types of data, as shown above, and you can learn more about them in the regedit help file.

Right clicking into an empty area in the data pane will bring up the Newmenu, as shown above, which allows you to add new data entries. Right clicking on one of the data entries, as shown below, will allow you to modify its value or delete it entirely.


Importing data into the registry

Above I mentioned that you can export a key to save all the sub-keys and data under it. When you export a key, you will see that it wants to save as a REG file.


A .reg file is actually a plain text file and you can open it up in Notepad to see what’s inside of it. Here’s a look inside of one:


That’s good to know, because you will often find registry tweaks published online in plain text as shown in the image above. All you need to do is to copy the text, paste it into Notepad and then save it as a .REG file.


Once you have a REG file that you want to restore or add to the registry, all you need to do is double click on it, or right click on it and Mergeit into the registry. When you do this, you’ll get a message asking you to confirm this action.


After you confirm, you’ll get a message telling you that the information was entered.


  • If you’ve made changes to the registry, you won’t always see an immediate change (if it’s one you can see). Many times you will have to log out of Windows and log back in before you see any changes.
  • Some free tools make it easy to change your registry without using regedit. These programs are often called tweakor system enhancement tools, such as TweakUI (from Microsoft).
  • Here are some sites with lots of registry tweaks you can apply to Windows.
  • Here are some tutorials on how to use the registry and REG files.
  • Here is a list of free registry tools.

I’ve told you what the registry is, how to back it up, make changes to it, and finally, how to add to the registry using REG files. Now you have enough information to safely make registry changes, and you can learn even more about these topics in the regedit help file and other places online.

Record Songs with Last Recorder – But is it Legal?

icon-last-fm [Windows Only] The other day, I ran into a new listing for a freeware application named Last Recorder. Here’s what the author says about this little tool.

Last Recorder is a small program that can save tracks from audio streams into separate tagged mp3 files.

While I can’t confirm that I actually used this program to download music, I can confirm that this program does work. It does download full length mp3 songs from while preserving the song titles. Here’s what Last Recorder looks like:


Last Recorder is a single executable file and no installation is needed. When it first launches, it will prompt you to enter your user ID and password. Then you can select a choice of radio stations by using the drop down on the left and these are the options:

My Tag
My Radio
My Loved Tracks
My Neighbors
My Recommendations
Custom URL

You will also have to select a download location on the right side drop down box.

Given the fact that this download tool seems to work, the question that many people will have is, Is this legal?. I did find an FAQ on the site regarding this question and the answer was I don’t know for sure.In my opinion, downloading these songs is about the same as recording music from the radio stations or television. Do I think it’s legal? It may be legal to download the information (music), but you are definitely breaking your agreement with’s Terms of Use. Whether or not that agreement is actually binding on you may depend on where you live and which way the courts are swinging that day.

So, I’ll leave it up to you.

Last Recorder Home Page

Techie Buzz Verdict:

This application does what it says and it also portable. While those are both good features, the question of it’s legality leaves me doubting that I will use it.

Techie Buzz Rating: 2.5/5 (Average)

3 Animated Waterfall Screensavers You Will Love

[Windows only] What is it about moving water with a clear blue sky that soothes and fascinates us? I think it’s built into us like the need to breathe. Today I’ll show you three free and fantastic screensavers that will feel like a breathe of fresh clean air.


1. NFS HD Waterfall 01 This screensaver shows animated water in the falls and in the pools. There are also some birds flying around. Sounds of nature and music can be controlled in the settings.

Download from Softpedia



2. NFS HD Waterfall 03 This screensaver shows animated water in the falls and in the pools. Sounds of nature and music can be controlled in the settings. (no birds in this one)

Download from Softpedia



3. NFS Waterfall 01 This screensaver shows animated water in the waterfalls and in the pools. There are also some birds flying around. Sounds of nature and music can be controlled in the settings.

Download from Softpedia



Kudos to NewFreeScreensavers, the developer of these and many more screensavers. Check them out when you have the time.

Techie Buzz Verdict:

These screensavers are completely free, and there are no nag screens, ads or big trade marks on them. The settings aren’t very complicated but do offer some great options. I found nothing to complain about and I highly recommend them.


Techie Buzz Rating: 4.5/5 (Excellent)

Split and Merge PDF Files with GiosPSM

pdf-icon I deal with PDF files almost every day at work. Unless you have the full version of Adobe Acrobat, making changes to existing PDF files is sometimes a problem. I’ve discovered one program that helps me deal with splitting and merging PDF files. It’s name is Gios PDF Splitter and Merger‘ (GiosPSM).

GiosPSM is the result of an open source set of tools for manipulating PDF files. It is a stand-alone program and it’s all contained in a single executable file about 145kb in size. The program is small, mainly because it relies on the .NET Framework v2.0 libraries. Here’s what the main interface looks like:


The feature I like best about GioPSM is the fact that you can drag and drop PDF files into it’s list when you are using it. This is a big time saver when you are merging dozens of PDF files. So far, I haven’t found any other PDF split/merge tools that allowed drag and drop without some other limitations.

GiosPSM also allows you to set page ranges when you are splitting and merging so that you can specify exactly what you need to work with. There is also a command line version of GiosPSM for those who need to automate splitting and merging operations.

The one thing I don’t like about GiosPSM is the fact that it’s a little fussy and will occasionally crash on you. When it happens, no permanent harm is done and it’s only a minor problem.

Download: Gios Home Page (requires .NET Framework 2.0)

Techie Buzz Verdict:

techiebuzzrecommendedsoftware1 GiosPSM is easy to use, it’s small and it’s portable. This is a great free product that is actively being developed. The additional command line version is a real bonus for those needing to automate PDF operations.

Techie Buzz Rating: 4/5 (Excellent)

Lock Your Programs with Lockup

lockup-icon [Windows Only] Do you manage or share user accounts on a PC? Are there certain programs that you don’t want someone to use? A tiny stand-alone freeware application named Lockup‘ will let you lock programs so they won’t run at all.

Lockup is very easy to use, but you should be very careful with it. If you make one wrong move, you can accidentally lock an entire user account so that it’s difficult to return to a usable state.

How to use Lockup:

Here’s a screenshot of one of the two modes of operation, Only the listmode.


In the screenshot above, you can see that I’ve added Internet Explorer to the list of executable files that will not run. To add more executables to the list, click the Browsebutton to select an EXE file, then click the little green check-mark icon at the bottom of the Lockup window. After you reboot or log off the PC and log back in, you’ll find that the EXEs you’ve listed will bring up a message telling you that the program is restricted.

Below, you can see a screenshot of Lockup in the All except the listmode.


This is a fairly risky mode since all executable files will be blocked from running, except those you add to the list. Make sure you don’t remove Lockup from the list or you may have a little trouble getting back access to it. I tried this mode briefly and it works great. All of my autorun (startup) applications failed to load when I logged in, even my antivirus application was blocked. This mode would be perfect for a PC that was used in a public place such as a library, school or cafe.

How does it work?

Occasionally, I run into a little program like this and I have to figure out what it’s doing. I learn lots of neat tricks this way. I suspected that Lockup was only making some changes to the Windows Registry and I was correct. I used an installation monitor to find out what changes it made in the second mode I showed you above.


As you can see in the image above, Lockup made changes to the Current_User policy to achieve the blocking it does. Anyone with the knowledge of these registry keys can do the same thing using the Windows Registry Editor (regedit.exe). Here’s a link to more information on the DisallowRun and RestrictRun registry keys.

Final Tips:

If you do get blocked from using programs or a specific program, you can still launch them using the Windows Run menu (Press Windows key + R) or from the command console (Press Windows key + R / type CMD’ without quotes / press Enter). For example, if I wanted to run Notepad, I could type notepad’ into the Run menu.

You can run Lockup from a USB flash drive if you want to make sure that nobody using the PC has access to the Lockup program. This could also be used for a practical joke if you are feeling mean (not recommended).

Also … here’s how to:

* Password Protect Programs and Files
* Lock and Hide Files and Folders
* Hide Your Secret Files in Zip Folders

Download: Home page for Lockup (requires .NET Framework 3.5)

Techie Buzz Verdict:

If you need to keep people from running specific applications on your PC, this little freeware app could be one of your favorite tools. It’s small, easy to use and it’s free.  The only thing missing from this application is a password protection feature.

Techie Buzz Rating: 4/5 (Excellent)

7Plus Puts Useful Windows Shortcuts Under One Hood

[Windows only]: I am a freeware freak and whenever I find a utility that adds something productive in my daily computer usage, I use it without giving a second thought. Yesterday, I came across 7plus a free utility which adds tons of features and shortcuts to speed up the normal workflow in Windows.

During installation, 7plus provides some basic settings which you can check and customize. This includes choosing the explorer windows, shortcut to create folders and various other mouse and keyboard shortcuts. Actually there are a whole lot of mouse shortcuts to consider and I did write some of them on paper.

Here is how the settings panel of 7plus look:


Some of the useful features of the application are as follows:

Copy Filenames with a shortcut key: You can copy filenames using the Alt + C keyboard shortcut. The normal way around is hitting F2, highlighting the file name and then pressing Control + C. 7plus saves you from 3 different keystrokes while copying filenames.

Copy paths as well as filenames: If you want to copy the path of the file, use Control + Alt + C. This comes handy, when you are designing something and have to frequently copy the exact path of a file.

Go back: Love this one. Just hold down right mouse button and click the left one to go back one window. You can double click on any empty area of Windows explorer to go a folder upwards.

Add FTP Details: The application also does some FTP job, just set up the FTP details in the program settings, select a file which you want to upload and press Control + U. The file will be sent to your FTP server from Windows explorer.

Clipboard Manager: We have earlier seen some nice clipboard managers for Windows, but with 7plus you don’t need to use them at all. Press Windows key + V and a clipboard manager opens with the last 10 entries stored and ready to be used.

Check out this small video screencast to understand how 7plus works:

For a full list of features, check out this project page. Thanks Ghacks

Techie Buzz Verdict

7plus is an amazing little tool to tweak Windows the way you want. The program works with 32 bit as well as 64 bit editions of Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows7. It’s portable, doesn’t modify the registry and you can even use it from your USB drive on multiple computers. There is a small learning curve with the shortcut keys, but after using it for a while, you will love it.

Techie Buzz rating: 4.5/5 (Excellent)

Free Disk Space Analyzer – O&O DiskStat – Limited Time Offer

folder-check-icon[Windows Only] I recently saw an offer for a 1 Terabyte hard disk for around $120. The price of storage space keeps getting better and better. Once you start filling up huge disks, you need a way to figure out what stuff belongs on them and what you need to send to the trash.

There are dozens of disk management solutions out there and many of them are free. However, sometimes you get what you pay for. O&O Software is giving away copies of their O&O DiskStat program. It’s normally priced at $30 USD. In this case, you are getting much more than what you pay for.

o o-screenshot

Quote from O&O Software:

O&O DiskStat is a high-power tool for analyzing the used disk space on your storage volumes. With an easy-to-use interface based on the design of the Windows Explorer, you can take a closer look at the file and folder structure of your internal and external drives. Through intuitive and beautiful graphical representations you will find out which files, file types and folders are taking up the most space.

A few of the features:
* Analysis of the File System Structure
* Supports Internal and External Drives
* Windows Explorer Look & Feel
* Support of 64-bit Systems
* Windows Vista/7 Compatibility

Sign up for a free license of O&O DiskStat (requires an email address)

Microsoft Interested In Buying Canonical

According to a leaked company memo, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is reportedly interested in buying Canonical, the company behind the popular Linux Distro Ubuntu.

Canonical is responsible for bringing bringing Linux to the masses with its distro Ubuntu, whose main focus is on improved usability and stability. Since its introduction in 2004, Ubuntu has gone on to become the most popular Linux distro and has been increasing its user-base at the expense of Micosoft’s Windows Operating System.

According to a leaked memo, Microsoft considers Linux as the main competitor to its flag-ship product, Windows, and is concerned by the number of people who are turning away from Windows to Linux. Microsoft thinks that this is because of Ubuntu and wants to end it by acquiring Canonical. Here is the screenshot of the memo that we recieved:

Neither Microsoft nor Canonical has not made any official statement regarding this yet. But one thing that is for sure is that this is the Open-Source community’s worst nightmare and they will be furious.

Happy April Fools Day Folks!

Center TaskBar Icons in Windows 7 With TaskDock [Windows]

I used to be a big fan of programs like ObjectDock and RocketDock. However, I stopped using them after I upgraded to Windows 7. Windows 7’s taskbar (affectionately called the superbar) acts as a pretty good application launcher and makes these dock applications almost redundant.

TaskDock is a free portable utility, which enhances the taskbar’s dock-like feel by automatically centering all your icons. There is very little else to say about this app. It is tiny download and does just what it is supposed to do. As soon as you launch it, it will center all the icons present in your taskbar. TaskDock does not have any interface and operates silently from the system tray. It continuously monitors applications as they are opened and closed and re-aligns the taskbar buttons accordingly.


Techie Buzz Verdict

TaskDock does not serve any real purpose other than making the taskbar a bit more pleasing to the eyes. However, folks who like to dress up their system with fancy themes and icons will appreciate this subtle taskbar enhancement. TaskDock can be a bit jumpy but worked well enough for me to give it a thumbs up.

Techie Buzz Rating: 2.5/5 (Good)

[ Download TaskDock for Windows 7 ]

Tiny but Full Featured MP3 Player – STP

[Windows Only]  STP, short for “SysTrayPlay”, is an MP3 player made in Russia by Youri Strous.

This tiny music player is contained in a single executable file about 200k in size. Despite the small size, STP has everything you need to easily listen to and manage your MP3 collection. It’s designed to stay out of your way and provide music while you are busy doing other things on your PC.

Installation and first use:
This program is offered as a ZIP file collection. Since STP is a single EXE file, you can unzip and place the STP.EXE file anywhere on your hard drive. As far as I can tell it’s completely portable and you should be able to use it from a flash drive or any other media.

Once you launch it, you’ll see the STP icon in your system tray. It will save it’s own settings in an STP.INI file after it’s started.


A right single click on the STP icon reveals all the settings, controls and options. Normal left single mouse clicks will pause and play the current song. You can assign other functions to both right and left double and triple clicks of the mouse.


Using the STP minibar:
Under the Windows menu, STP can be set to display a “minibar” interface that many people will recognize as common in music players. The minibar can be dragged around on the screen by grabbing the dark grey rectangle on the right end.


The minibar also displays the standard Play, Pause, Stop, Forward and Backward buttons. The next “now playing” field is active and clicking on it will cause the player to jump to different portions of the song almost instantly. The next field shows the volume as a percentage. Clicking on the volume field allows you to change the volume up and down.

After the volume field, you can see that there are 5 letters displayed. Clicking on the letters “I E P T A” provides quick access to many of the often used player functions.

I – brings up up “MP3 Info” on the currently playing song where you can also edit the ID3 tags.


E – launches the built in “Equalizer” which allows you to adjust the sound frequencies and save or load EQ settings.


P – displays a playlist which can be saved as M3U or PLS files. MP3 files can be dragged and dropped on the playlist and once there, they can be re-ordered by dragging them up or down in the list. Playlists can also be searched by typing in the “Find Track” field at the top of the playlist.


T – shows the “Tracks” menus which I’d say should really be called the “Folders” because it allows you to see all the music folders that your current playlist is using.

A – shows “Album” menu with the current music folder and the songs in it.

That basically covers using the “minibar” interface. I prefer using only the systray icon along with some custom hotkeys.

Using Hotkeys instead of the minibar:
You can set your own custom hotkeys in STP by going to the Settings / Advanced menu. You’ll find lots of other goodies in this settings menu, but let’s focus on the hotkeys which can be accessed by hitting the “Hotkeys” button at the bottom.


Almost every function of STP can be accessed by hotkeys that you can define.


As you can see, I only use a few of the hotkeys such as Play/Pause, Prev/Next and Volume. Those alone are enough to keep me from having to click open any other menus while using STP.

STP Home page:

The only other MP3 player that I like as much as STP, is Foobar. Keshav, my friend and co-author here at Techie-Buzz, has written several posts about Foobar. It’s a well supported MP3 player with plenty of skins and plugins.

Techie Buzz Verdict:

techiebuzzrecommendedsoftware1 There are very few MP3 players that are smaller than STP and I’d give it 5 points for cramming in all of it’s features in such a small and completely portable package. However, I have to take one point back because the author is no longer actively developing this application. The source code is available for this application. Does anyone need a coding project?

Techie Buzz Rating: 4/5