As well, strongly typed data can be stored in the Registry, as opposed to the text information stored in . This is a benefit when editing keys manually using , the built-in Windows Registry editor.Because user-based Registry settings are loaded from a user-specific path rather than from a read-only system location, the Registry allows multiple users to share the same machine, and also allows programs to work for less privileged users.By contrast, the Windows Registry stores all application settings in one logical repository (but a number of discrete files) and in a standardized form.
The Windows Logo Program has specific requirements for where different types of user data may be stored, and that the concept of least privilege be followed so that administrator-level access is not required to use an application.
The key located by HKLM is actually not stored on disk, but maintained in memory by the system kernel in order to map all the other subkeys. On Windows NT, this key contains four subkeys, "SAM", "SECURITY", "SYSTEM", and "SOFTWARE", that are loaded at boot time within their respective files located in the %System Root%\System32\config folder.
The Windows API functions that query and manipulate Registry values take value names separately from the key path and/or handle that identifies the parent key.
Registry values may contain backslashes in their names, but doing so makes them difficult to distinguish from their key paths when using some legacy Windows Registry API functions (whose usage is deprecated in Win32).
The Registry also allows access to counters for profiling system performance.
In simple terms, The Registry or Windows Registry contains information, settings, options, and other values for programs and hardware installed on all versions of Microsoft Windows operating systems.
The standard types are: A multi-string value, which is an ordered list of non-empty strings, normally stored and exposed in UTF-16LE, each one terminated by a NUL character, the list being normally terminated by a second NUL character.
They are frequently abbreviated to a three- or four-letter short name starting with "HK" (e.g. Technically, they are predefined handles (with known constant values) to specific keys that are either maintained in memory, or stored in hive files stored in the local filesystem and loaded by the system kernel at boot time and then shared (with various access rights) between all processes running on the local system, or loaded and mapped in all processes started in a user session when the user logs on the system.
Windows 95 and Windows NT extended its use to rationalise and centralise the information in the profusion of INI files, which held the configurations for individual programs, and were stored at various locations.