Windows registry is the over-arching database that saves all the low-level system settings for your Windows operating system (OS). Changing settings in the Windows registry can help you fix errors and corrupt applications.

However, if someone does not know what they are doing while editing the Windows registry, they can cause permanent damage to your computer.

If your computer has network access to the Windows registry enabled, it is essential to disable the network access to it to prevent unwelcomed surprises. If someone tries to edit your Windows registry through the network, they can completely corrupt your computer. While this is not a pressing issue, you should always look for ways to maintain your computer’s security and protect your data. 

If you would like to know the multiple ways to disable network access to the Windows Registry (and how to fix Windows registry issues), read the entire article. 

How To Disable Network Access to the Registry 

Network access to the Windows registry could be enabled on your PC. It could be that way for various reasons, including default settings, or your work or school’s IT department made it that way. Regardless of the reason it is enabled, you want to disable it. Here is how to disable it in a few different ways, which may vary based on your version of Windows OS (7, 8 10). 

Edit Network Access to Windows Registry in Services 

Using “Services” to disable network access to your Windows registry is the easiest and safest method. To open the “Services” window, you can type “Services” into your search area on your Start bar. 

Services will open into a new window and display a list of different running services on your computer. You should be able to find ‘Remote Registry” in the list of services. Once you find it, double click on it to open the “General Tab” for Remote Registry. 

You should see a selection called “Startup type” with a drop-down menu selection in the window. Click on the options and select “Disabled,” and click Apply/Okay. The next step is to close out the window and restart your computer. The change will now take effect, and your computer will now be protected from external users editing your registry. 

Use Windows Registry to Edit Network Access

To change the network access setting, you can do it by editing the Windows registry itself. Uh-oh, were you not prevent others from editing the Windows registry, and now you are doing it yourself? Please follow these steps carefully to avoid any corruption or errors to your computer. 

Yous should back up your Registry first. 

  • Search for “Regedit” in your start menu
  • Open Registry Editor
  • Click File, then export in the drop-down menu.
  • Export your entire registry into a backup folder (it may take a long time to backup, so go and grab a snack while you wait)

Now that you have your backup created select HKEY_YouUserName > System on the left menu panel in the registry editor window. 

Next, right-click on “System” and select “New > DWORD (32 bit) and create a new value named “Disable Registry Tools.” Finally, open the properties of the “Disable Registry Tools” value that you just made by clicking on it, and change the “Value data” from 0 to 1 and select OK. 

Congratulations, you just disabled network access to your Windows registry! Hopefully, you did not accidentally change other, more critical settings. If you did, good thing you made that backup file first!

Differences Between Windows 7, 8.1, and 10

The steps you take to disable network access to the Windows registry are the same for the three most recent Windows versions- i.e., Windows 7, 8.1, and 10. However, the user interface is slightly different on each version.

You should be able to follow the steps easily outlined above no matter which version you have. The main difference is just the “look” of the programs and windows themselves. 

What Issues You Can Prevent by Disabling Network Access to Windows Registry

So now that you have used Registry or Services to disable network access to the Window Registry, you are probably wondering how this protects your computer. If you are using your computer as a standalone device on your help network, disabling network access to the Windows Registry will prevent hackers and viruses from compromising your computer. Here are some issues hackers or inexperienced Registry editors can cause: 

  • Make your computer completely unbootable.
  • Corrupt information.
  • Delete files.
  • Break installed programs.
  • Cause an infinite-boot loop for specific processes. 

How to Fix Common Issues in Windows Registry 

If you are having issues with your computer, you might be able to fix them through Windows Registry. However, you will have to determine if the setting is controlled by the Windows Registry first. If Windows Registry controls it, you can edit it with the super tool- Registry Editor or Regedit for short. 

Windows Registry typically controls basic settings and options, like volume levels for each user or opening a program installed on your computer. Here is a list of top issues/pet-peeves/problems you can change with the Registry Editor. 

    • Save the Recycle Bin from being deleted. Why would you ever want to delete the area your delete items go? If you plan to keep the Recycle Bin forever, you can use the Registry Editor to do so. 
    • Increase the number of simultaneous downloads. If you are a heavy downloader of files, there is some good news for you! You can use Regedit to increase the number of files you can download at the same time. Note: this may slow the download speed of each individual file. 
    • Edit the name of a registered user. If you changed company names, there is a super useful and easy way to modify your company name you registered Windows with when you initially set up your PC. 
  • Entirely Remove Corrupt Programs. If you have programs that were installed or uninstalled unsuccessfully, you may have a corrupt, lingering registry file. You can typically fix this type of issue in the Registry Editor. 

As you can see, there are many common uses you can fix with the Windows Registry Editor. It is vital to prevent these issues from happening in the first place by disabling network access to the registry. 

More Things You Can do with Registry Editor

There are some fun uses and interesting “hacks” you can utilize via Windows Registry Editor. If you want to poke around and have some fun using the Registry Editor, go for it, but please make a backup file first. As mentioned earlier in this article, you can cause severe issues if you do not know what you are doing. 

Suppose you feel confident in editing the Windows Registry after you successfully disable network access. In that case, you can use your newly learned skills to do some or all of the following neat tricks in the Registry Editor. 

Prevent Other Users From Powering Off Your Computer

Have you ever been working on important files, then logged out to let your spouse/sibling/colleague use the computer with their user profile? If so, you might have also had the unfortunate experience of them completely shutting down the computer before you could save your files. Well, if this has happened to you, you can prevent it with just a simple change with the Registry Editor. 

Block Other Users From Running Specific Installed Programs

If you have children using your computer, you may desire to put obstacles in place to prevent them from accessing specific programs altogether. If you do not want them to access certain things, you can create a controlled profile for your child and lockout applications like games and internet browsers with the Registry Editor. 

Display a Custom Message at Sign-in

If you want your computer to display a special message when any user signs in, you can do that with the Registry Editor. The Regeditor is perfect for giving your spouse a surprise message when they sign in or a message to your children reminding them to only use the PC for school-related work. 

Displaying a start-up message is also perfect for businesses that want to inform their computer users routinely that company computers are only for work purposes. They can edit and provide any type of disclaimer this wish to appear each time you log in. 

Disable the Lock-Screen on Windows 10

If you do not like the hassle of having to click (or swipe) through Window 10’s lock screen, you can use the Registry Editor to boot straight to the login prompt instead. If you login to your PC multiple times per day, this efficiency improvement can save you thousands of seconds!

Conclusion

Leaving your Windows Registry open to network access is like leaving your computer unprotected in the wild. Of course, you want to protect and preserve your computer, so you should disable the network access to the Windows Registry right away.

Disabling network access will prevent potential issues with dubious intentions from wreaking havoc on your PC and inept individuals from accidentally causing issues. 

Disabling network access to the registry is not a complicated process; it can be done quickly through the Registry Editor or the Services setting on Windows 7, 8.1, or 10 computers. Always be safe and backup your computer and registry before making any changes.