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Tips & Tweaks for Windows

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Delete keys using .reg files

Adding registry keys or values using .reg files is common practice, but did you know that you can remove registry keys the same easy way?

Normal .reg file

The usual .reg files format contains keys between brackets and the values underneath the keys.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\ZEDA]
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\ZEDA\TestKey]

"Testval1"="Test 1"
"Testval2"="Test 2"

After importing this example registry file, you will see the key HKCU\Software\ZEDA\TestKey in regedit.

Delete values

A small adjustment in the reg file will cause the value to be removed from the registry. This is done by assigning the value - (minus).

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\ZEDA\TestKey]

"Testval1"=-

Delete Keys

Deleting a entire key is done the same way. In this case you put the minus sign in front of the key name, within the brackets.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[-HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\ZEDA\TestKey]

This post applies to: Windows 2003, Windows 2008, Windows 2012, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8.

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Tips & Tweaks for Windows

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