Switch between HKCU and HKLM quickly in Registry Editor

Registry Editor in Windows 10 has a useful option which allows you to switch quickly between registry keys in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE and HKEY_CURRENT_USER when identical branches exist under both root keys.

Root keys are keys present at the root level of the registry, with their names beginning with “HKEY”. The following are the root keys:

  • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT (HKCR for short)

If HKEY_CURRENT_USER and HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE have identical registry subkeys, you can switch between the two branches quickly by right-clicking on a key and clicking Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER or Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE.

Let’s take the case of Run registry keys. Startup entries for your current user account are stored here:


And the per-system Startup entries are here:


When you’re in the HKCU..\Run branch, you can quickly switch to HKLM..\Run and the other way round using the “Go to …” right-click menu option. The option doesn’t appear if no identical branch exists under the other root key.

switch between hkcu and hklm registry
switch between hkcu and hklm registry

Not many users know about this much useful feature which exists in Windows 10. Also, in the Windows 10 Creators Update (or Redstone 2, v1703) which is due for release in March 2017 or somewhere around that period, the Registry Editor will have an address bar which you can use to directly jump to registry keys. You’ll be able to change the default Registry Editor font as well.


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About the author

Ramesh Srinivasan founded Winhelponline.com 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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