How to enable Registry Editor, when it gets disabled

While checking the registry on my machine because of the issues I had with Task Manager, described in this post, I noticed that I was unable to start Registry Editor.

When trying to run regedit, I would get a message saying

“Registry editing has been disabled by your administrator”

Regedit Disabled
Disabled Registry Editor

Enable Registry Editor (regedit) in Local Group Policy with gpedit.msc

This can be changed by editing Local Group Policy with gpedit.msc.

Click Win+R keys to open Run dialog interface, and issue gpedit.msc command to open Local Group Policy Editor.

Navigate to:

User Configuration > Administrative Templates > System > Prevent access to registry editing tools.

Enable regedit in Group Policy
Enable Registry Editor in Group Policy

This should by default be set to Not Configured, which should not prevent you from starting Registry Editor.

It was set on Not Configured on my machine already, so I set it to Disabled, and this enabled back Registry Editor for me.

Interestingly, after returning the setting back to Not Configured, Registry Editor did not get disabled again.

This seems to have got disabled during installation of some drivers, and even do Local Group Policy was set on Not Configured, it seem some registry values were set to disable registry editing tools from running, and switching back between Enabled, and Not Configured seems to have return them to default values.

Alternate possible methods of enabling regedit.

Alternate method 1:

Click Start -> Run. Type this command in Run box and press Ok.

REG add HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System /v DisableRegistryTools /t REG_DWORD /d 0

A prompt should come up with this question:

Value DisableRegistryTools exists, overwrite (Y/N)?

Type yes and hit Enter.

After that, also type this command in the run box and hit enter.

REG add HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System /v DisableRegistryTools /t REG_DWORD /d 0

Then a prompt should come up with this question:

Value DisableRegistryTools exists, overwrite (Y/N)?

Type yes and hit Enter.

Alternate method 2:

STEP1. Disable as much as you can from your startup. Remove programs from your startup folder and such, so as not to lag down the boot process.

STEP2.Create a new shortcut on your desktop, point it to “C:\Windows\regedit.exe”

STEP3.Log off, then log back on.

STEP4.As soon as you see your desktop, double-click on the shortcut. The system does not check for policies until a few seconds after it booted up. If you click on the icon fast enough, it should let you get in.

After you close it though, it will not open unless you redo step 3 and 4.

Alternate method 3:

Get into the registry editor by making a vbs script in notepad:

Open Notepad and copy this script into it. And save it as regtool.vbs on your desktop.

VBS SCRIPT(select everything and copy into notepad and save as regtool.vbs):

Option Explicit 
'Declare variables 
Dim WSHShell, rr, rr2, MyBox, val, val2, ttl, toggle 
Dim jobfunc, itemtype 
On Error Resume Next 
Set WSHShell = WScript.CreateObject("WScript.Shell") 
val = "HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System\DisableRegistryTools" 
val2 = "HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System\DisableRegistryTools" 
itemtype = "REG_DWORD" 
jobfunc = "Registry Editing Tools are now " 
ttl = "Result" 
'reads the registry key value. 
rr = WSHShell.RegRead (val) 
rr2 = WSHShell.RegRead (val2) 
If (rr=1 or rr2=1) Then toggle=0 
If toggle = 1 Then 
WSHShell.RegWrite val, 1, itemtype 
WSHShell.RegWrite val2, 1, itemtype 
Mybox = MsgBox(jobfunc & "disabled.", 4096, ttl) 
WSHShell.RegDelete val 
WSHShell.RegDelete val2 
Mybox = MsgBox(jobfunc & "enabled.", 4096, ttl) 
End If

Open regtool.vbs ,and you should be able to access Registry Editor then.