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How to Take Ownership of Registry Key or Folder

To modify system registry keys, you need ownership of them. Here is how you can take ownership of any registry key or folder in Windows 10.

For advanced Windows settings, there is a high probability that you might need to change the registry settings. This is especially true in the case of some obscure settings that Windows has no options for. For example, to change Windows system font, you have to edit the registry. There is no way around it unless you use some third-party application.

Though most registry keys and values are editable by the regular admin users, some registry keys are not. This is because they belong to the System. As such, even the administrators don’t have the necessary permissions to edit, change, delete, or add those keys. If you want to edit the system registry keys or folders, you have to first take ownership of the target registry key and then make the necessary changes. Taking ownership will give you full control over the registry key. The good thing is, as long as you are an administrator, you can easily take ownership of any registry key.

In this quick and straightforward guide, let me show you the steps (with pictures) to take ownership of a registry key or folder in Windows 10. These steps will also work in Windows 7 and Windows 8 too.

Take ownership of registry key or folder

To take full control of a registry key, take ownership of it by follow the steps below.

Step 1: Open the Windows Registry Editor. On Windows 10, you can launch the Start menu, type “Registry Editor” and press the Enter button to open it.

open registry editor

Step 2: Go to the registry key you want to take ownership of. You can expand the folder structure on the sidebar to go to the registry key or folder. For example, I want to take ownership of a File Explorer related registry key.

go to the registry key you want to take ownership of

Step 3: On the sidebar, right-click on the registry folder and select the “Permissions” option. As you can tell from the option name itself, this is the option that lets you take ownership of the registry key.

right-click on the registry folder and select permissions option

Step 4: Click on the “Advanced” button in the permissions window. This opens the advanced permissions window where you can change the ownership from system to administrator.

click advanced button

Step 5: Next to the “Owner” option, click on the “Change” option. If the registry key belongs to the System, you will see “System” as its default owner.

click change

Step 6: Click on the “Advanced” button in the Select User or Group window. This allows you to select the Administrators user.

click advanced

Step 7: Click on the “Find now” button. This action will list all the users and groups in your system to help you choose the administrators’ user account.

click find now

Step 8: Select the “Administrators” user from the list under the Search Results section and click on the “Ok” button. This action will choose the Administrators user.

select Administrators user

Step 9: Click the “Ok” button in the main Select User or Group window to confirm the user choice.

click ok to confirm changes

Step 10: Select the “Replace owner on subcontainers and objects” checkbox and click the “Apply” and “Ok” buttons in the Advanced Security Settings window. This action will save changes.

select replace owner checkbox

Step 11: In the Permissions window, select the “Administrators” user under the Group or Usernames section, select the “Full Control” checkbox under the “Allow” column, and click on the “Apply” and “Ok” buttons. Doing this will ensure the Administrators account has full control along with full ownership over the registry key. If you don’t do this, you might be able to edit the registry key even with ownership.

select full control checkbox

Wrapping up: Take ownership of registry key

That is all. From now on, you can make any changes you like to the target registry key. Keep in mind that these changes are is limited to that particular registry key only. If you want to modify another system registry key, you have to manually take ownership of it too.

Though not as simple as you think, it is still pretty easy to take ownership of a registry key in Windows as long as you follow the above steps as is.

I hope that helps. If you are stuck or need some help, comment below and I will try to help as much as possible. If you like this article, learn how to add the take ownership option to the right-click menu to take ownership of system files (not reg keys).

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