Finding Registry Entries
The Registry contains only five root keys, but they contain hundreds of subkeys. The fact that some root keys are aliases for subkeys in a different branch only adds to the confusion. If you know exactly where you're going, the Registry Editor's tree-like hierarchy is a reasonable way to get there. If you're not sure where a particular subkey or setting resides, however, you could spend all day poking around in the Registry's labyrinthine nooks and crannies.
To help you get where you want to go, the Registry Editor has a Find feature that enables you to search for keys, settings, or values. Here's how it works:
- In the Keys pane, select Computer at the top of the pane (unless you're certain of which root key contains the value you want to find; in this case, you can highlight the appropriate root key instead).
- Select Edit, Find or press Ctrl+F. The Registry Editor displays the Find dialog box, shown in Figure 12.9.
Figure 12.9 Use the Find dialog box to search for Registry keys, settings, or values.
- Use the Find What text box to enter your search string. You can enter partial words or phrases to increase your chances of finding a match.
- In the Look At group, activate the check boxes for the elements you want to search. For most searches, you want to leave all three check boxes activated.
- If you want to find only those entries that exactly match your search text, activate the Match Whole String Only check box.
- Click the Find Next button. The Registry Editor highlights the first match.
- If this isn't the item you want, select Edit, Find Next (or press F3) until you find the setting or key you want.
When the Registry Editor finds a match, it displays the appropriate key or setting. Note that if the matched value is a setting name or data value, Find doesn't highlight the current key. This is a bit confusing, but remember that the current key always appears at the bottom of the Keys pane.