Are you facing an issue where nothing happens when you open the Registry editor? The Windows Registry stores essential data, settings, options, and features on Windows. If the editor doesn’t open, you cannot make any modifications. While it’s not necessary for general consumers, it helps in many instances for pro users. This post will share what you can do when the Registry editor is not opening or crashing in Windows.
Fix: Registry Editor Not Opening or Crashing in Windows
Given below are the four fixes to solve the issue.
- Fix Corrupt System Files
- Enable the Registry Editor Using the Local Group Policy Editor
- Replace regedit.exe
- Perform System Restore
You will need admin permission to fix the problem. We also recommend that you take a backup of your files and system in case sometime goes wrong.
1] Fix Corrupt System Files
If your computer has flaws and damaged system files, the Registry Editor frequently malfunctions and will not load. Therefore, you can fix the problem by removing those corrupt system files. The SFC and DISM scans can fix or replace damaged system files.
Run SFC Scan
Follow these simple instructions to run the SFC tool:
- In the search box on the Start Menu, type Command Prompt.
- Next, right-click on the Command Prompt option and choose Run as administrator.
- Next, type the command given below and press Enter to run an SFC scan:
After the scanning is complete. Close the Command Prompt window and restart your computer.
Run DISM Scan
- In the search box on the Start Menu, type Command Prompt or Windows Terminal
- Next, right-click on it and choose Run as administrator.
- Next, type the command given below and press the Enter key to perform the DISM scan:
DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth
- Wait for this scan to finish. Next, type the command given below and press Enter.
DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
- Wait for some time for the procedure to finish. To apply the fixes, restart your device after it is done.
2] Enable the Registry Editor Using the Local Group Policy Editor
The Registry Editor may be inoperative because the system settings have disabled it. Using the Local Group Policy Editor (LGPE) is one of the simplest ways to make this tool available.
- Press the Windows key + R to open the Run command dialog box.
- Type gpedit.msc into the Open box and click OK to open the Local Group Policy Editor.
- Next, go to User Configuration > Administrative Templates > System.
- Double-click the Prevent access to registry editing tools on the right pane.
- Select the Enabled option in the next window. Click Apply, OK, and restart your device to save these changes.
3] Replace regedit.exe
iCacls is a Windows tool that displays and changes discretionary access control lists (DACLs) for files and folders. In short, it can fix permission-level issues for files, programs, and folders.
In this scenario, if the user doesn’t have the correct permission to open the registry, it will crash and close when you open it. Another thing you can do is to get a fresh copy of regedit.exe from a working PC and paste it into the existing PC. Once done, you can apply the proper permission for the user to make the registry work again.
- Open Command Prompt or Windows Terminal with admin privileges.
- In the Terminal window, copy and paste the following command and press Enter:
takeown /f "C:\Windows\regedit.exe"
- Next, copy and paste the following command and press Enter:
icacls "C:\Windows\regedit.exe" /grant "%username%":F
- After running the command, open your PC’s File Explorer > Local Disk (C:), open the Windows folder, and find regedit.exe.
- Next, right-click on regedit.exe and rename it to regeditOLD.exe. Click Continue and click Yes and restart your PC.
- Copy the registry program you took from another PC and paste it into the exact location where the program resides.
Once done, restart your PC, launch the Registry Editor, and check if it works.
4] Perform System Restore
There are chances that you may have misconfigured some system settings in your computer, which can lead to Registry Editor problems. However, it gets challenging to fix this issue if you unknowingly configure some settings, and you will not know what settings to change to solve the Registry issues.
So, here is where we use the System Restore tool that will help you remove issues by restoring your device to its previous state. Follow our guide on how to use System Restore on Windows PC.
I hope the post was easy to follow and that you were able to fix the Registry editor issue. While the system restore is the easiest to fix the problem, if it doesn’t work, you can manually restore the file and apply the correct permission to get it working.
Is It Safe To Modify the Registry?
Microsoft has strictly warned not to edit the registry unless there is no other way to change a configuration. For example, Windows PC, which does not have Group Policy Editor, needs to change configuration using the registry. However, this is usually practiced by IT admins who are aware of and prepared for these scenarios.
That said, while you can edit the registry, make sure to create a system restore, take a backup of files, and so on. Any incorrect edit in the Registry can result in an unstable system or a system that won’t even start.
Is It Safe To Use Registry Cleaners?
While there are tons of registry cleaner software, none is officially recommended by the Windows team or Microsoft. These registry cleaners look for fragments of keys in the database which is not related to any software and remove them. While many users have reported that they work, there are reports where cleaning the registry has also caused issues. It is best not to clean the registry manually or use any program.