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Configure a Registry Item

Applies To: Windows 8, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012

Registry preference items allow you to create, update, replace, and delete keys and values (including name, type, and data) in the Windows registry. Before you create a Registry preference item, you should review the behavior of each type of action possible with this extension.

Creating a Registry item

To create a new Registry preference item

  1. Open the Group Policy Management Console . Right-click the Group Policy object (GPO) that should contain the new preference item, and then click Edit .

  2. In the console tree under Computer Configuration or User Configuration , expand the Preferences folder, and then expand the Windows Settings folder.

  3. Right-click the Registry node, point to New , and select Registry Item .

  4. In the New Registry Item dialog box, select an Action for Group Policy to perform. (For more information, see "Actions" in this topic.)

  5. Enter registry settings for Group Policy to configure or remove. (For more information, see "Registry settings" in this topic.)

  6. Click the Common tab, configure any options, and then type your comments in the Description box. (For more information, see Configure Common Options.)

  7. Click OK . The new preference item appears in the details pane.

Actions

This type of preference item provides a choice of four actions: Create , Replace , Update , and Delete . The behavior of the preference item varies with the action selected and whether the registry key or value already exists.

 

Create

Create a new registry value or key for computers or users.

Delete

Remove a registry value or a registry key and all of its values and subkeys for computers or users.

Replace

Delete and recreate a registry value or key for computers or users. If the target is a registry value, the net result of the Replace action is to overwrite all existing settings associated with the registry value. If the target is a registry key, the net result is to delete all values and subkeys in the key, leaving only a default value name with no data. If the registry value or key does not exist, then the Replace action creates a new registry value or key.

Update

Modify settings of an existing registry value or key for computers or users. This action differs from Replace in that it only updates settings defined within the preference item. All other settings remain as configured in the registry value or key. If the registry value or key does not exist, then the Update action creates a new registry value or key.

Registry settings

You can click the Browse button next to the Key Path field to navigate to the registry value or key to be configured.

 

If the registry value or key that you want to configure exists on this computer, click to browse to the value or key. The remaining fields in the Properties dialog box are populated based on your selection. You can edit the values in those fields.

To select a key without specifying a value (or if the value does not yet exist), click the key in the tree at the top of the window, and then click Select .

Hive

If you did not browse to a value or key, select the hive for the registry key.

  • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT is an alias for HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Classes.

  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER is an alias for HKEY_USERS\ logged-on user's hive . HKEY_USERS\.Default is used when HKEY_CURRENT_USER is configured under computer configuration.

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE is the default option for computer policy. These settings affect all users of the computer.

  • HKEY_USERS is the default option for user policy. These settings affect individual users.

  • HEKY_CURRENT_CONFIG is an alias for HEKY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Hardware Profiles\Current.

Key Path

If you did not browse to a value or key, type the key path. Do not include the hive or a leading or trailing slash.

This field accepts preference processing variables. Press F3 to display a list of variables from which you can select.

Value name

To configure a value, either select the Default checkbox to configure the default value for the key or type the name of the value to configure. To configure only a key, leave this field blank.

This field accepts preference processing variables. Press F3 to display a list of variables from which you can select.

Value type

To configure a value, select the value type. To configure only a key, leave this field blank.

This option is available only if the action selected is Create , Replace , or Update and if you have entered a Value name .

Value data

To configure value data, type the data for the registry value. To configure only a key, leave this field blank.

This field accepts preference processing variables. Press F3 to display a list of variables from which you can select.

This option is available only if the action selected is Create , Replace , or Update and if you have selected a Value type .

Additional considerations

  • Using the Registry Wizard, you can create multiple Registry preference items based upon registry settings that you select. For more information, see Create Multiple Registry Items Using the Registry Wizard.

  • You can organize Registry preference items by dragging them into collections that you create. The structure of collections of Registry preference items has no impact on the position of keys and values in the Windows registry. For more information, see Organize Registry Items.

  • You can use item-level targeting to change the scope of preference items.

  • Preference items are available only in domain-based GPOs.

Additional references

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