Monitor critical Windows Registry settings using WinPatrol PLUS

WinPatrol is a favorite among many Windows users. It helps you monitor changes to your computer by keeping a watch on all the critical parameters. If some program tries to add a startup entry – or remove it, or if some software tries to change your default search or browsers settings, it will immediately bark and alert you. That is why, it is the first program I install after a fresh Windows install. Not only does it let you delay startup programs, it also lets you control their order of starting up.  It is pretty useful as a Crapware Removal Software too.

Malware, more often than not, will try to manipulate your Windows Registry settings. For instance, it could disable the system restore function or your firewall or your security center. It thus becomes imperative, in today’s changing times, to be extra alert and even monitor such critical registry locations. WinPatrol Plus will let you do so easily. Registry Monitoring is one of the lesser known, and lesser used features of this software.

Monitor Windows Registry settings

winpatrol-plus

Open WinPatrol Plus and click on the Registry Monitoring tab. Here you can add any registry location/s that you want to be monitored. WinPatrol will ensure that these registry settings do not change without your permission. You can set WinPatrol to alert you should anyone try to change them or you can set it to outright reject any changes made.

Let us say, you would like to protect your System Restore function and would like to be informed if anyone tries to makes changes to it. To prevent any change to its status, click on Add. In the box which opens, copy-paste the following key in the field specified.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\SystemRestore

Also enter the following information in the fields given:

  • Name: DisableSR
  • Value: 0
  • Value Type: REG_DWORD

If you wish to outright reject any changes made to this key, check the Always protect this key option. If not, you will be alerted if any changes are made. Once this is done, click on the Add button.

Similarly, to protect your Security Center settings, you can use the following values:

  • Registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Security Center
  • Value Type: REG_DWORD

Now add each of the following values one after the other and click the Add button,

  • Name: AntiVirusDisableNotify
  • Value: 0

And then,

  • Name: FirewallDisableNotify
  • Value: 0

If the keys are not present, they will be created for you.

Check this post at our forums, if you’d like to use a registry script for WinPatrol Plus to warn if Windows Firewall is turned off.

To make things easier for you, the good folks over at WinPatrol have made available a registry file for download here, that will allow you to safely add registry values in WinPatrol without having to be an expert. It will help you keep protected against changes being made to certain file types, checking of signatures, disabling of registry editing tools, and so on.

This registry monitoring and locking feature is pretty unique, and hence we decided to cover it – although it is available only in WinPatrol PLUS, which is shareware. While WinPatrol is free, WinPatrol Plus is not. Incidentally, WinPatrol also comes with a portable version, called WinPatrolToGo, which is again a freeware.

These may also interest you:

  1. Tools to Monitor Changes To Registry In Windows 8
  2. How To Back Up, Restore, Maintain Windows Registry.
  3. How To Restrict Access to Registry Editor, etc.
  4. How to open multiple instances of the registry in Windows.
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Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.