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The registry editor does not work - it closes itself!


I believe to have a virus or malware on my computer and want to clean it up in the registry. But I cannot open the registry editor - the registry editor closes upon about 5 seconds to opening it. So I keep opening registry editor and every time I opened it, about 5 seconds later it closes itself.


Many trojan horses, viruses and other malwares make changes to the registry. They may one or more of the shellopencommand keys. By changing these keys they can make themselves be executed each time that you 'open' a certain type of file e.g. if they modified the exefileshellopencommand key then the trojan will be invoked every time you start any (!) executable file.

One common trick is to disable the registry editor, so that it is more difficult for you to get rid of the trojan horse. Yes, Microsoft provides such a key in the registry - under


you will find an entry DisableRegistryTools which can be 0 or 1. By default this entry does not even exist which means you are allowed to edit the registry.

Here is an installer script which you can download and have it execute and it should restore your original settings. It does not do any magic. It will simply reset the shell open command for executable files:
.exe, .com, .bat, .pif, .scr (screensavers!)
and also for .reg files (registry data files).

Further on it will re-enable editing the registry alltogether and make sure that the application associated with registry batch files (*.reg) is indeed the official registry editor and not some trojan horse.

  1. download this file by right-clicking on the link and save it to your desktop
  2. right-click on the file and select 'install'

It will not display any success message but your registry editor will work now again.

It is important that you right-click on the link and save the file as described. If you just click on it, it will probably open in Notepad. (You could save it from there to the desktop though.)

Generated 20:02:12 on Aug 7, 2020