Read the Registry with PowerShell

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Daily PowerShell #38

Daily PowerShell Windows

November 23, 2021

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In this blog post, learn how to read the registry with PowerShell.

Registry Provider

The registry provider makes reading from the registry similar to accessing a file system.

Open a Registry Hive

Registry hives are drives within the registry provider. You can list the hives by using Get-PSDrive.

Get-PSDrive -PSProvider Registry

Navigate to a particular drive with Set-Location or the cd alias.

Set-Location HKCU:\

List Subkeys

You can list subkeys with the Get-ChildItem or dir alias.

cd HKCU:\

Open a Subkey

You can also use the Set-Location or the cd alias to open subkeys.

Set-Location HCKU:\Console

Get Values within a Key

You can get values for a key by using Get-ItemProperty.

Get-ItemProperty HKCU:\Console

You can also list the current path’s values by using Get-ItemProperty without a path.

Set-Location HKCU:\Console

.NET Registry Class

You can also use the .NET Registry class directly. While it’s not quite as user friendly as the Registry Provider, it does provide more options.

Open a Registry Hive

The Registry class has several static fields for accessing hives.


List Subkeys

To list subkeys, use the GetSubKeyNames() method.


Open a Subkey

To open a subkey, use the OpenSubKey() method. You will need to ensure that you call Dispose() when you are done using it.

$Subkey = [Microsoft.Win32.Registry]::CurrentUser.OpenSubKey("Console")

Get Values within a Key

You can get the values within a key using GetValue() and GetValueNames() methods.

$Subkey = [Microsoft.Win32.Registry]::CurrentUser.OpenSubKey("Console")