When I open regedit in Windows 7, I get

"Registry editing has been disabled by your administrator"

Can I open it someway in readonly mode? Or does anyone know how can I see values in the registry?

  • This means your system administrator has disabled registry editing through Group Policy. The computer I'm using now is affected by said condition; using reg cmd tools does not work either. You will not be able to read or write to the registry Jul 5, 2016 at 13:36
  • I wish they was a read-only mode, I want to check something in the registry without having to worry about accidently changing something.
    – jamie
    Dec 13, 2020 at 18:38

3 Answers 3


Non-administrators have the same registry 'read' rights as administrators.

You also have full write access (Full Control) to the HKEY_CURRENT_USER key.

To open the registry:

  • Open the Windows Start Menu
  • Type in "regedit" and press 'Enter' on the keyboard enter image description here
  • Workstations which are a member of a domain will prompt for a password - just enter the password for your non-administrator account. enter image description here

Please note:

  • Some sections of the registry are locked to all users (Admin or Non-Admin), for example HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SECURITY

  • If your system is configured to disallow the use of 'regedit' you will need to speak with your system administrator. Giving advice on how to circumvent this would be unethical and likely against the superuser terms of use.


Use reg query in cmd. It does not need admin privileges.

  • And neither does regedit; it's a matter of group policy restrictions, which I assume both regedit and reg follow. Jul 10, 2011 at 9:31
  • @grawity As a default, (and therefore for computers that are not part of a domain, and have no group policy set), reg query works, and regedit does not.
    – soandos
    Jul 10, 2011 at 9:47
  • I've used regedit as a User on Windows 95, 98, NT 4.0, 2000, XP, Vista, and 7. Jul 10, 2011 at 9:54
  • @grawity, I dont know what settings you were operating under, so I can't comment. In either case, my answer is not wrong, it just may not be needed.
    – soandos
    Jul 10, 2011 at 9:57

Probably your administrator had disabled from group policy the right of opening registry editors.

Go to Run » gpedit.msc » User Configuration » Administrative Templates » System » "Prevent access to registry editing tools". Disable it or choose "Not Configured".

The main problem is that reg query doesn't work, giving the same error:

ERROR: Registry editing has been disabled by your administrator.

… or this sounds to me as a bug in Windows 7. On Windows XP, reg query is working fine, without any problem if "Prevent access to registry editing tools" is Enabled.

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