Managing Registry with PowerShell

    Managing Registry with PowerShell

    Managing registry with PowerShell: Registry keys are items on Windows PowerShell drives, working with them is very similar to working with files and folders. Registry entries are properties of keys and, as such, cannot be directly browsed, we need to take a slightly different approach when working with them. PowerShell is a powerful scripting language that can be used to manage the Windows registry. You can create, modify, and delete registry keys and values using various cmdlets. Here is a brief overview of how to perform common registry management tasks with PowerShell.

    Playing with Windows Registry is dangerous and sometimes may cause system damage. Only proceed if you know what you are doing. First try on test servers with proper registry backup.

    Get list of available providers: 

    PS C:\Temp> Get-PSDrive
    Name           Used (GB)     Free (GB) Provider      Root                                                                                                                                                                                                                            CurrentLocation
    ----           ---------     --------- --------      ----                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ---------------
    Alias                                  Alias
    C                 126.24        112.22 FileSystem    C:\                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Temp
    Cert                                   Certificate   \
    D                  38.72        892.80 FileSystem    D:\
    E                 196.21        735.31 FileSystem    E:\
    Env                                    Environment
    Function                               Function
    HKCU                                   Registry      HKEY_CURRENT_USER
    HKLM                                   Registry      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
    Variable                               Variable
    WSMan                                  WSMan

    Listing All Subkeys of a Registry Key:

    PS C:\>Get-ChildItem -Path HKCU:\ | Select-Object Name
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Keyboard Layout
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Volatile Environment

    If you use Get-ChildItem -Path hkcu:\ , this will display Name and Property.

    The following command will copy all Keys and properties in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion1

    PS C:\> Copy-Item -Path 'HKLM:\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion' -Destination 'HKLM:\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion1'

    Creating Keys

    Creating new keys in the registry is simpler than creating a new item in a file system. Because all registry keys are containers, you do not need to specify the item type; you simply supply an explicit path, such as:

    PS C:\Temp> New-Item -Path HKCU:\NewItem_DeleteMe
    Name                           Property
    ----                           --------

    Deleting Keys

    Deleting items is essentially the same for all providers. The following commands will silently remove items:

    Remove-Item -Path HKCU:\NewItem_DeleteMe\
    1. To view a registry key:

      Get-Item -Path "HKLM:\Software\ExampleKey"
    2. To create a new registry key:

       New-Item -Path "HKLM:\Software\ExampleKey" -Force 
    3. To create or modify a registry value:

      Set-ItemProperty -Path "HKLM:\Software\ExampleKey" -Name "ValueName" -Value "ValueData" -Type "String" -Force

      Change the -Type parameter to "DWord", "QWord", "Binary", or "MultiString" if needed.

    4. To retrieve a registry value:

      Get-ItemProperty -Path "HKLM:\Software\ExampleKey" -Name "ValueName"
    5. To delete a registry value:

      Remove-ItemProperty -Path "HKLM:\Software\ExampleKey" -Name "ValueName"
    6. To delete a registry key:

      Remove-Item -Path "HKLM:\Software\ExampleKey" -Recurse -Force

    Remember to replace "HKLM" with "HKCU" if you want to work with the current user's registry hive instead of the local machine's hive. Also, replace "ExampleKey", "ValueName", and "ValueData" with the appropriate key, value name, and data for your specific use case.

    *** Always be careful when working with the registry, as incorrect changes can cause issues with your system. It's a good idea to back up your registry or create a system restore point before making changes.