Common Registry Hive Locations

From time to time, I found myself needing to know weird things – such as where a certain registry hive is located so I can edit the hive offline. I decided to finally make a list of where to find these registry hives.

  • Default User: C:\Users\default\NTUSER.DAT
  • User: C:\Users\{username}\NTUSER.DAT
  • System: C:\Windows\System32\config\SYSTEM
  • Software: C:\Windows\System32\config\SOFTWARE
  • Security: C:\Windows\System32\config\SECURITY
  • Drivers: C:\Windows\System32\config\DRIVERS

Interesting fact that I found is that the registry actually has a list of all the hives on that machine:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\hivelist

Please keep in mind that editing any of these files can permanently your Windows installation and to use caution!

One Reply to “Common Registry Hive Locations”

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.