TweakHound's Super XP Tweaking Guide


Creating Your Own Registry Files


***Warning*** - I've previously hesitated in posting this because this is a VERY quick way to hose your machine. Please note that under no circumstances will I entertain questions/complaints on this section. BACKUP, BACKUP, BACKUP before you go any further...


What is a Registry File?

A registry file is really just a text file (.txt made with notepad). It becomes a registry file (.reg) when you change the extension from .txt to .reg. For example you have a text file called test.txt, you right click on it and select "rename" and change it to test.reg. If properly configured, when you click on it and answer yes to the pop-up screen, it will make immediate changes directly to your registry. It is a fast and easy method to tweak your computer, save the customizations you made, and apply tweaks to an installation.


How do I make a .reg file?

Lets try this first. Open your registry, press the Windows + R keys > in the resulting windows type regedit and then click OK.



Now that we have Registry Editor open, lets navigate to a popular key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced .


Click on the "+" sign next to HKEY_CURRENT_USER, next do the same for SOFTWARE, scroll down and do the same for Microsoft, then Windows, CurrentVersion, Explorer.





Now click on Advanced. You should be here:




Now, right-click on Advanced and choose Export. Navigate to your desktop to save the file there, name it test and click Save.




You should now have a file on your desktop that looks like this:




Right-click on it and choose Open with, and then Notepad. If Notepad isn't readily available then select Choose Program and find Notepad in the list. Once open you should see something similar to the picture below. This is a .reg file. There are 2 keys here. The first is the line, Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00 which tells XP "I'm a .reg file". The second is syntax, which tells XP what key to change (or add) and what to set the value to. Whole books have been written on this.



So, we now have an example of a .reg file. I've showed you this method because it the simplest way to start making your own .reg files, in fact, it's the way I started. To work from here I change the extension from .reg to .txt to make it safer to work with. Simply right-click on test.reg and rename it to test.txt. I add/remove keys and change values then rename it back to a .reg file, noballontips.reg for example. Hope this helps you understand what a .reg file is.

Let's move one to my registry settings...