I use Sysinternals Procmon utility to monitor the registry access by some programs. Most log entries have the Path property starting from HKCU\… or HKLM\…, that corresponds to the registry hives HKEY_CURRENT_USER and HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE that can be seen using Regedit. But some entries have the Path starting from \REGISTRY\A\…:

enter image description here

Could you please explain what part of the registry it is? Can I see it using Regedit or some other utility? Can I access it programmatically?

I am running Windows 8.1 Enterprise x64.

UPDATE: I've contacted Procmon developers and they pointed me to the following MSDN resources covering this question:

  • 2
    A related question: stackoverflow.com/questions/4611291/… Dec 19, 2013 at 17:24
  • Did you try right-clicking one and selecting Jump To?
    – Synetech
    Dec 22, 2013 at 4:18
  • Yes, but it jumps to an unrelated key. Dec 22, 2013 at 22:47
  • Are you sure it’s unrelated? Did you try using jump-to to a similar key to see if it jumps to a similar key or to a completely different key? For example, if registry\a\foobar\1 jumps to hkcu\software\blah\a but registry\a\foobar\2 jumps to hklm\software\microsoft\internet explorer, then they do seem to be unrelated, but if the second one jumps to hkcu\software\blah\b, then they seem to be related in some way; there’s some sort of mapping.
    – Synetech
    Dec 22, 2013 at 23:16
  • Hmm, I think I know how you can find out exactly what it is, but it’ll have to wait until tomorrow morning (my time) when I can test it…
    – Synetech
    Dec 22, 2013 at 23:31

4 Answers 4


It is application hive, which can be seen in volatilty by no name! pplication hives are registry hives loaded by user-mode applications to store application-specific state data. An application calls the RegLoadAppKey function to load an application hive.

more info on


  • 1
    Is it possible to edit or delete this data entirely?
    – Maxim
    May 15, 2018 at 21:30

What does the path '\REGISTRY\A\…' in Sysinternals Procmon log mean? Could you please explain what part of the registry it is? Can I see it using Regedit or some other utility? Can I access it programmatically?

I can’t reproduce what you are seeing on my system, but I can tell you how you can find out what it is on yours. You can see a list of all registry hives that are currently mounted under any name (including system-wide hives, user hives for users that are currently logged on, and any hives loaded manually or by software) at the following registry key. It will show both the internal registry path and the path to the hive file (figure 1).


You can use this command to see which services are being hosted by the specific instance of svchost.exe. I’ve used the pid (1240) that it was using at the time of your screenshot; replace it with the current PID.

tasklist /svc /fi "pid eq 1240"

Figure 1: Screenshot of registry-editor with hivelist key highlighted, showing mounted registry hives

Screenshot of registry-editor with hivelist key highlighted

  • 2
    \REGISTRY\A isn't listed in the hivelist key. The answer from @abs2run is the correct answer in general.
    – Eryk Sun
    Aug 9, 2016 at 2:34
  • 1
    Though the information about hivelist is interesting and useful, even though this doesn’t explain \REGISTRY\A.
    – binki
    Jan 13, 2017 at 7:00

\REGISTRY\A is a hidden registry hive for use by Windows Store apps (aka Metro-style apps).

  • 2
    A few issues: • This question has the registry hive in question but is on Windows 7, so it doesn’t look like it is connected Windows apps. • Even if you are correct, what and how exactly do Windows apps use it; that is, what does it provide that the regular registry does not? • The Wikipedia page you linked to does not mention the registry at all, so we have no way to confirm what you said or learn about it.
    – Synetech
    Dec 26, 2013 at 22:15
  • In win10, if you do a procmon boot log, and filter on "path contains \registry\a" and "operation is regloadkey", in details you'll see "hive path: system32\config\BBI" and many "hive path: activationstore.dat" files processed for windows apps during boot. Sometimes the dcomlaunch service takes a long time with the BBI hive depending on the number of users.
    – js2010
    Oct 4, 2017 at 14:46

I need to answer to my own question in comments.

To edit private hive it should be loaded before.

For Visual Studio it can be made this way:


The increase the isolation and resilience of VS 2017, it uses now a private registry hive. Internally VS uses a redirection and while for VS extensions (which are dlls) this is transparent, for external processes (that are exes), this causes them not to work.

To change values in the private registry hive by hand, you can use regedit.exe to load a private hive. You need to select the HKEY_USERS node, and click the File > Load Hive… menu. You select the privateregistry.bin file, give a name to the hive (I entered “VS2017PrivateRegistry”) and now you can see the 15.0_Config key populated as usual (note: use File > Unload Hive when done):


To change values in the private registry hive programmatically you need either to build an extension for VS or if you want to use an external exe you need to use the RegLoadAppKey function or avoid using the registry directly and use the External Settings Manager. See the section “Change: Reduce registry impact” in Breaking Changes in Visual Studio 2017 extensibility.

Do not forget to unload hive in regedit before starting application using it.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .