We don’t really know who rolls out the Windows updates but often we find the features that used to work perfectly end up faulty when a new update rolls out. Things start to get really messy when Microsoft doesn’t recognize these bugs or application faults as potential high priority problems that need to get fixed. One such error was raised in the registry editor of Windows 10. After an update, the registry editor was failing to search for keys entered by the users. When you enter any key, the program would loop endlessly and not give you any output. Any acts of intervention like cancelling the search or clicking endlessly (for no reason like we do when we are enraged) would make the registry editor crash.
The reason behind this behavior is that the default maximum registry length that has been programmed by Microsoft to work with the registry editor is “255 bytes”. With the new update, one of the registry values must have had a length more than the maximum allowed value. While during the registry search when such a subkey is found, the registry editor keeps running in an endless loop. When you try to close the application, it will probably crash because it doesn’t know any better. It’s perfectly fine if you don’t understand the root cause of the problem being a non-programming person. We have got a workaround for you even though Microsoft should have fixed the problem on their part by now. We have described two methods to deal with this issue. We suggest reading both and then following the one that suits your expertise and needs the most.
Method 1: Replace regedit.exe With a Working One
What we are going to do is we are going to replace the existing registry editor by one that was present in a previous Windows build. For starters, you need to find whether you have the specific folder in your root drive or not: “C:\Windows.old”. If you don’t have the folder then that means that you no longer have the older version available to you. In this case, you have 2 options:
If you want to continue with the following method, you can go to this link, and download the compressed file. Now, decompress the file, follow the steps mentioned below but just remember to use this file instead of the old one that we will be using to replace the currently faulty registry editor.
Another option is to just use a different registry editor. Move over to method 2 if you are interested in this.
Let’s proceed. Hit “Windows button + X” to pop-up the window on the start button.
Select “Command prompt (Admin)” from it.
Get ownership of the registry editor file by using the following command. (Note: You need to have administrator privileges to proceed)
takeown /f “C:\Windows\regedit.exe”
Now you have to use the following command to get complete control and permissions on the same registry editor file (for the logged in account):
icacls “C:\Windows\regedit.exe” /grant “%username%”:F
Now you are ready to rename the existent file and replace it with either the old one or the downloaded one. Move over to “C:/Windows” and go through the contents till you find the registry editor file that should be named “regedit.exe”. Rename this file to “regeditold.exe” or any name for that matter.
Finally you can copy either the downloaded registry editor file to this location or the one that is present in the folder “C:/Windows.old/Windows”. Make sure that the file is named exactly “regedit.exe” otherwise the operating system won’t recognize it.
Now when you start the registry editor, the find option should work like a charm.
Method 2: Using a Third Party Registry Editor
In a case where you find the above method to be a bit beyond your level of expertise or in a case where the above solution doesn’t work (the chances of that are very slim), you can always download another third-party registry editor and use it to scavenge through your registry files. These third party software are designed to cater for the bugs that are existent in the registry editors that Microsoft releases. Here are two of our favorites:
Regscanner: Regscanner is a small tool that has been developed by Nirsoft and it can be downloaded by following this link. It’s completely portable, doesn’t need any installation. It will allow you to search through the registry keys and the values like a charm.
O&O RegEditor: O&O is another fantastic small registry editor replica that can be downloaded for free via this link. It is completely safe, has an aesthetic interface and most importantly doesn’t need any installations. It has the classic import, export along with other cool functions.