Troubleshooting - Deleting undeletable registry keys

by Mitch Tulloch [Published on 28 Aug. 2012 / Last Updated on 28 Aug. 2012]

A tip on how to delete registry keys that won't delete when you try and delete them.

Problem: You've uninstalled an application from your computer, but the application has left behind some registry keys that you can't delete with Registry Editor. 

Resolution: Here are three ways you might approach this problem:

1. Boot the computer into Safe Mode, open Registry Editor, and try deleting the keys.

2. Get the Windows Sysinternals utility Psexec and run the following command to launch Registry Editor with highest privileges:

psexec -s -i regedit.exe

3. Leave the registry keys alone unless you feel you have a valid reason for believing their presence can impact some aspect of the functionality of Windows or other installed applications on your computer.

Mitch Tulloch is a seven-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award and widely recognized expert on Windows administration, deployment and virtualization. For more tips by Mitch you can follow him on Twitter or friend him on Facebook.

The Author — Mitch Tulloch

Mitch Tulloch is a widely recognized expert on Windows administration, networking, and security. He has been repeatedly awarded Most Valuable Professional (MVP) status by Microsoft for his outstanding contributions in supporting users who deploy and use Microsoft platforms, products and solutions. Mitch has published over two hundred articles on different IT websites and magazines, and he has written or contributed to almost two dozen books and is lead author for the Windows 7 Resource Kit from Microsoft Press. For more information, see www.mtit.com .

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