How to take full control & ownership of Windows Registry keys

Windows operating system will not allow you to make changes in certain system critical registry keys. Nevertheless, if you want to make changes even in such registry keys, you will have to take full control of these keys before Windows will allow you to make or save the changes.

We have seen how to take ownership or files & folders in Windows, now let us see how to take ownership of Registry keys.

Take ownership & full control of registry keys

Before you open the registry editor as admin, first backup your Windows registry and create a system restore point.

Next navigate to the registry key where you want to make the change.

If you try to make changes to such system critical registry keys, you will get the following error:

Take ownership & full control of registry keys

Error Creating Key, Cannot create key, You do not have the requisite permission to create a new key

Close this error dialog box and right click on the registry key where you want to make the changes and click on Permissions.

In the Permissions box, under its sole security tab, highlight your own Administrators account and then check the box under Full Control – Allow.

Click Apply > OK.

If it still doesn’t work and you get the following security warning – Unable to save permission changes, do the following.

Open the Permissions windows again and click on Advanced button instead, and click on the Owner tab.

Do you see another owner like say, TrustedInstaller ? If so, change owner to your Name.

Click Apply > OK.

NOW again in the Permissions box, under its sole security tab, highlight your own Administrators account and then check the box under Full Control – Allow. Click Apply > OK.

It should work!

It is always a good practice reversing the changes back to their default settings, once you have made the necessary changes.

UPDATE: You may also want to check out our freeware RegOwnit, which lets you take full control of Windows registry keys easily.

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Posted by on , in Category Windows with Tags
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.

14 Comments

  1. Rushikesh Ware

    As mentioned in = > “In the Permissions box, under its sole security tab, highlight your own Administrators account and then check the box under Full Control – Allow”.

    Well this does not work for me (i.e. not the case as seen in the second image in the post).

    In “Security” tab,I highlighted Administrator,and then in “Permission for Administrator” tab,I get all options freezed.

    Further I tried “Open the Permissions windows again and click on Advanced button instead, and click on the Owner tab.”

    After I select my name and clicked OK,It popped the message saying “I do not have sufficient privileges”

  2. stuspam

    Yeah, not really impressed at all with this vague article. When dealing with the registry and permissions, more often than not you’ll need to set permissions that replace children object permissions. Similarly, when dealing with the ownership, you’ll need to change it so it changes on subcontainers and objects. Unless this is done, you’ll more than likely still get the same error.

    For example, if i wanted to edit;
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DesktopBackground\Shell\Display
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DesktopBackground\Shell\Personalize
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DesktopBackground\Shell\Gadgets

    i would need to take ownership and set permissions on HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DesktopBackground\Shell as mentioned. If i just took ownership and set permissions as you specify @ HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DesktopBackground\Shell\Gadgets, i would not be able to modify anything beyond that point.

    Also, backing up the registry and creating a system restore point is redundant. One or the other, preferably system restore. (also note importing .reg files don’t modify the ACL)

  3. stuspam

    Oh yeah.

    Apply > OK is also redundant. Just OK will suffice 🙂

  4. E. Völzke

    I am busy on the key
    ‘HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Enum\USBPRINT\Lexmark_8300_Series\7&302ced01&0&USB001\Properties\{83da6326-97a6-4088-9453-a1923f573b29}00000070000000’
    Originally, I wanted to delete the “Lexmark_8300_Series” key to reinstall the drivers for the All-in-One device. This, however, was refused. Following the advice with adjusting the permissions, I ended up with what you see above: whenever I “succeeded”, a new subkey was created, but the deletion request was refused due to “no priviledge”.
    How can I escape from the vicious circle?

  5. Popeye

    Cool. This was helpful enough to get my Flash Drive working for ReadyBoost on Windows 7. Thanks Dude.

  6. Neelabh

    Thanks a lot:)

  7. Darrin Tyler

    well guess what…it STILL doesn’t work!…

  8. Jonny

    hey! ever find out how to manage permissions on enumerated registry keys?

    trying to fix issues with mounted virtual volumes being incorrectly identified as removable….

  9. Bad Registry

    Another year passes and it still don’t work

  10. shaharyar khan

    It really worked for me.Thank you for the tutorial. 🙂 😀

  11. Stefania

    it still doesnt work, it keeps saying the same thing..

  12. pised.off

    why bother pretending to be helpful by writing this when its that vague its useless. Page is solely to push your program

  13. Candid White

    do this…. Right click Permissions and highlight admin then click advanced. Now click owner tab and hit apply. now tick the button to replace owner on subcontainers and objects, click apply … optional click auditing and untick the box apply. under permissions remove tick to inherit then click add, delete any user you dont want on and click apply. go back to owner tick inherit box and apply. some reg intries have hidden properties and if you wish to delete keep going. even though it denies the delete it will show what was hiding. then you must do the above for every hiding entry. some properties keys will also deny so just do the above.

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