Delete locked Registry keys with Registry DeleteEx
Deleting Registry keys is an important part of removing malware or other stubborn applications, but it’s not always easy. If the key is locked then you might see errors, or find your delete attempts just don’t work.
Registry DeleteEx is a portable free tool which enables deleting of even the most stubborn Registry keys.
The interface is basic. There’s no REGEDIT-type viewer, no tree to help you find the key you need: just boxes to enter a key or value, and a Delete button to get rid of it.
What’s interesting here is that Registry DeleteEx ignores the usual Windows deletion method, instead using a (temporary) kernel driver to write to the Registry directly.
As a result, it’s not affected by permissions issues, and it won’t matter if malware has hooked the Windows API to try and protect itself: the target key will be deleted.
(If you’ve malware running on your system then it could always restore the key, of course, but that’s another problem.)
Beware: this kind of power is extremely dangerous. Make a mistake and you could easily trash your PC. Don’t use the program unless you know what you’re doing, and have system restore points and a full backup available.
But, if you’re already well aware that recursively deleting HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE is probably going to be a bad idea, then Registry DeleteEx is probably going to be a welcome addition to your troubleshooting toolkit. Give it a (careful) try.
Registry DeleteEx is a freeware application for Windows XP and later.