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:


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

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