Microsoft PowerToys is a tool designed for making a computer geek’s life easier. It is a set of add-ons and extensions for the Windows operating system that allow you to make changes to the OS with convenience.
Recently, Microsoft has added a new feature to the PowerToys tool known as “Registry Preview” which came out with PowerToys version 0.69.0. However, another minor update has also been made afterward that addresses some issues with the app, and the latest PowerToys version available at the time of writing this post was 0.69.1.
This new Registry Preview extension is still a preview, meaning it is currently under development, but available for the public to use with basic functionality. As the name of this feature suggests, Registry Preview can be used to preview, edit, modify, and compare the Windows Registry with the Registry files (.REG).
This means that you no longer have to open the Registry Editor to make changes manually. Instead, use PowerToys’ Registry Preview to do it with the help of a Graphical User Interface (GUI.)
In this article, we are going to discuss in detail what the registry Preview extension is and how to use it.
Already a fan of PowerToys? Here is a complete guide to downloading PowerToys and its shortcut guide.
What is PowerToys Registry Preview
As mentioned above, Microsoft PowerToys is a set of tools that easily lets you make changes to certain Windows elements which otherwise isn’t easy to do, like making changes to the Hosts file, keeping the computer from sleeping, and much more.
With Microsoft PowerToys version 0.69.0, they now introduced the Registry Preview feature that allows you to manage and preview the critical Windows Registry values, as well as any Registry files that you may have on your computer.
Registry Preview adds a more modern touch to handling the Windows Registries with the added benefit of comparing your current Registry configuration with a Registry file that you are about to run. This comparison will let you know what changes the .REG file will make to your PC.
How to Use PowerToys Registry Preview
Getting started with the Registry Preview feature in PowerToys isn’t that complicated. However, we advise caution as making changes to the Windows Registry can harm your operating system if done incorrectly.
Therefore, we always advise our audience to create a system restore point or a complete system image before making changes to the Windows Registry. You can also use our top selection of disk imaging and backup software so you never lose your data or operating system again.
Let us now show you how to use the Registry Preview feature in PowerToys:
Start by downloading and installing PowerToys.
winget install --id Microsoft.PowerToys
Once installed, click Registry Preview on the left.
Now click “Open Settings.”
Toggle the slider in front of Enable Registry Preview into the On position, and then close the settings window.
Back on the PowerToys window, click “Launch Registry Preview.”
This will open the Registry Preview tool in a separate window.
Now, open a Registry File by clicking “Open File” from the ribbon menu and then select the .REG file that you want to open.
As you can see in the image above, the left side of the tool contains the editor and the top window on the right shows where the changes will be implemented in the system Registry in a tree view. The bottom-right window shows the values, including DWORDS, QWORDS, Strings, etc.
You can make changes to the file and then write the changes to the system Registry by clicking “Write to Registry.”
You can also preview and edit a Registry file by right-clicking it and then clicking “Preview” from the context menu.
This will automatically open the file in PowerToys Registry Preview.
pen the Registry Editor directly from Registry Preview by clicking “Open Registry Editor” from the ribbon menu.
The Registry Preview is a convenient tool for sysadmins that need to make changes to the Registry often. After having used it, we believe that it significantly reduces the risk of human error in manipulating the Windows Registry.
If you find yourself making changes to the Windows Registry, we recommend that you always use PowerToys Registry Preview to check, modify, and write a .REG file onto the Windows Registry directly from the file’s context menu.