Fix Registry Editing Has Been Disabled By Your Administrator
1. Symptoms of the problem
When starting regedit.exe an error message like this appears:
(in Windows 7 and Vista)
(in Windows XP)
It may also appear in localized form in non-English versions of Windows.
Registry editing from console doesn't work too:
2. True reason why are you getting Regedit Disabled by Administrator error
Usually regedit.exe is disabled by malware (virus, trojan, spyware or something like that). Malware changes some startup lists in registry in order to gain control when computer starts; and then malware cuts off user access to registry editor (in order to survive).
Even after malware is removed by antivirus, user access to registry editor may still remain disabled.
This article explains how to enable it back.
3. How to fix Regedit Disabled by Administrator error
In order to enable Windows-builtin regedit.exe, you need offline registry editor which works outside of Windows, independently of Windows, and disregards all settings and restrictions for regedit.exe.
Emergency Boot CD is a powerful toolset to fix unbootable computers and recover data from them. One of EBCD tools is an offline Registry Editor, which can make changes to the Windows Registry from the outside of Windows.
Using EBCD Registry Editor, you'll be able to change DisableRegistryTools value to 0 in HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System, so enable builtin registry editor in Windows.
4. Step by step guide of using EBCD to enable registry editing in Windows
1) Download EBCD and burn it to CD/DVD according to the instructions, then set up your BIOS to boot from CD. You need full EBCD version to actually write changes to the disk, but it's recommended to try demo version first to make sure there are no hardware incompatibilities.
2) Boot from EBCD, wait until the main menu appears.
3) Wait while EBCD scans all local disks for Windows installations
4) Choose your Windows installation from the list
5) Choose Registry Hive you want to edit (HKEY_USERS\User), where User
is your default username in Windows.
6) EBCD Registry Editor appears, as shown below:
7) Navigate to Software registry key with your mouse or UP, DOWN and ENTER keys on the keyboard:
8) Navigate to Microsoft registry key:
9) Navigate to Windows registry key:
10) Navigate to CurrentVersion registry key:
11) Navigate to Policies registry key:
12) Navigate to System registry key:
13) Enter that key and press TAB to switch to the right panel (you may also click it with a mouse):
14) Find the value DisableRegistryTools of type REG_DWORD
and navigate to its Data.
15) Go to the black (editable) area with RIGHT/LEFT keys on the keyboard and press DEL key to clear the data:
16) Press 0 key (zero key) on the keyboard to enter the new data:
17) Finally, in the main menu of EBCD, choose "Reboot" or press F10:
5. Questions & answers
Q: Where is HKEY_CURRENT_USER?
Q: What if there are multiple users with disabled regedit.exe?
Q: I've set DisableRegistryTools=0 in HKEY_USERS\...\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System
but regedit.exe still gives me the same error message "Registry editing has been disabled by your administrator".
Q: Can I use EBCD registry editor to change other keys and values not mentioned in this acticle?