Improve on the search in Windows' built-in RegEdit with RegScanner.

RegScanner improves upon Windows' built-in RegEdit in a number of ways, and does so for free. It's available in 32- and 64bit versions for Windows. This Registry scanner doesn't replace RegEdit, but it makes it easier and faster to get into your Windows Registry.

RegScanner lives up to its name: it scans the Registry, but it doesn't give you any power to edit it (although it will fire up RegEdit when you've found the keys you seek). RegScanner shows you all found keys at once, rather than forcing you to single-step through found items in the Registry tree. It allows you to filter by data type, to pick any base key, to search for keys added or modified only within a given date (helpful for some security purposes, if you suspect something has been changing keys but you're not sure which ones), and so on. Once the list is complete, you can export all or some of them, create an HTML report, or double-click an entry to open RegEdit for that key.

There are some drawbacks to RegScanner. The Help menu item merely displays an 'About' box, and double-clicking the .chm file causes an error. If you accidently use the 32bit version on a 64bit computer, as we did, you may experience extremely bizarre (albeit non-destructive) behaviour - in our case, it locked into a recursive loop in which it kept appending a key to itself. And of course, if you are unfamiliar with the Registry or don't know why you'd want to scan it, this program probably isn't for you.

RegScanner: Specs

  • All Windows versions from Windows 98 to Windows 7 (32- and 64bit)
  • All Windows versions from Windows 98 to Windows 7 (32- and 64bit)


Several years ago, I had to find and fix a complex registry-related bug. If I'd had RegScanner instead of just RegEdit, I could have fixed the problem in half the time. That's about as strong a recommendation as I can make.