Delete Stubborn Registry Keys or Reset Registry Key Permissions

When dealing with a Malware infested PC, you may have to delete several registry entries manually in case the cleanup tool you use does not remove all of them. In most cases, you would get an error (“Error Deleting Key”) stating that you don’t have permissions to delete the specified branch. In that case, additional steps are required to reset the registry ACL permissions first, before removing the key.

RegASSASSIN from Malwarebytes is a portable application which makes difficult to remove registry keys placed on your system by Malware a thing of the past. The program allows you to remove registry keys by resetting the key’s permissions and then deleting it. This tool makes it very easy to reset the ACLs and optionally, delete the keys. You don’t have to perform half a dozen steps to reset the permissions for each key manually.

Let’s say a Malware has added a Service to the registry and protected the key using ACL Permissions. Attempting to access or delete the key using the Registry Editor causes “Error while deleting key” or similar errors.

delete stubborn registry key using regassassin

We’ll see how to reset the permissions of the key and delete it using RegASSASSIN.

Deleting a Stubborn Registry Key

  1. Download the RegASSASSIN tool from Website.
  2. Using the Registry Editor, copy the registry key that you want to reset or delete. To do so, right-click on the key and click Copy Key Name.
    delete stubborn registry key using regassassin
  3. Run RegASSASIN (as administrator) and paste the registry key that was copied in the previous step.
    delete stubborn registry key using regassassin
  4. Select the following checkboxes:
    • Reset registry key permissions
    • Delete registry key and all subkeys
  5. Click Delete, and click Yes when prompted for confirmation:
    delete stubborn registry key using regassassin

    The stubborn and inaccessible registry key is now deleted!

Reset the permissions (ACLs) of a registry key without deleting it

In case a software installation in your PC fails due to lack of permissions to write to a specified registry key, you can reset the corresponding registry key (without deleting the key) using RegASSASSIN.

To just reset the registry key permission/ACLs and preserve the registry key, check Reset registry key permissions and uncheck the Delete registry key and all subkeys checkbox in RegASSASIN, and click Delete

delete stubborn registry key using regassassin

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About the author

Ramesh Srinivasan founded back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for 10 consecutive years from 2003 to 2012.

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