I tried to alter the default path for "Program Files," but was unsuccessful, and made some other change inadvertently. Now, I cannot open regedit. The error says:

"Windows cannot find [path to regedit]".

Is there some other program I can use to change back the altered registry keys? Or is there another way to solve this problem?

(this is under Windows 7 Ultimate)

  • 1
    Can you run %SystemRoot%\system32\regedit.exe?
    – user1686
    Dec 12, 2011 at 11:26
  • @grawity: regedit.exe is not located in the system32 folder. At least not on 64 bit Windows 7 Home Premium.
    – Dennis
    Dec 12, 2011 at 11:42
  • Ah, I forgot... %SystemRoot%\regedit.exe then?
    – user1686
    Dec 12, 2011 at 11:55
  • @grawity: There is always a copy in %SystemRoot%. There is also one in %SystemRoot%\SysWOW64 on 64 bit Windows 7, so %SystemRoot%\system32 might also contain one in the 32 bit version.
    – Dennis
    Dec 12, 2011 at 12:25

2 Answers 2


There is a couple of things you could try:

  1. If you have System Restore enabled, boot from your installation disc, choose Repair your computer and pick an restore point before the changes to your registry.

  2. You should be able to open regedit by specifying the full path. Press [Windows] + R and type in C:\Windows\regedit.exe.


If you have a backup of the modified keys you can use the command line REG utility, which is built into Windows.

From an elevated command prompt:

reg import C:\mybackup.reg
  • I can't even open cmd.exe :(. (says the same thing) Dec 12, 2011 at 11:04
  • Try downloading this reg file to your desktop, then double click it. It may fix it. Dec 12, 2011 at 11:10
  • It says the same thing when trying to run that file to Dec 12, 2011 at 11:12
  • @Amazed: Importing .reg files requires regedit...
    – user1686
    Dec 12, 2011 at 11:26
  • @grawity I believe the shell can handle it on its own. Regedit is merely the GUI for accessing the registry, not the API. Though I haven't tested this. Dec 13, 2011 at 3:14

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