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What is the Windows Registry?

Seth from MD asks:

What’s the Windows “Registry?”

Basically, the Windows Registry is a database used to store system and program settings.

Here’s what it looks like:


So, for an example, let’s say a particular program gives you the option of setting its font. You select a font on its font selection screen and hit OK. When you hit the OK button, *most* kinds of software will make an entry into the registry. Next time you run the program, it retrieves the information you set, in this case the font style.

Yeah, that’s a bit of an over-simplification, so just in case, here’s the Wikipedia entry [1] for those who want to delve a little further.