Enterprise Software

Tech Tip: Distribute registry changes

Registry changes, while potentially dangerous, are sometimes necessary. As an administrator, you can place registry tweaks in .reg files for distribution. Here's an example of the .reg file syntax:

REGEDIT4 [HKEY_USERS\,DEFAULT\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet
Settings] "GlobalUserOffline"=1

By default, there's a file association created in Windows that lets users double-click a .reg file and then confirm the action, thereby merging the contents of the file into the local registry. It's your job to get that .reg file out to all your users.

If your users don't run login scripts or are geographically remote, this might seem problematic, but there's a simple solution. Distribute the .reg file as an e-mail attachment. In addition, send an accompanying note that explains the change and reminds users to confirm the action once they've double-clicked the file open.

Note: Editing the registry is risky, so be sure you have a verified backup before making any changes.

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