Assign permissions to a registry key

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

To assign permissions to a registry key

  1. Open Registry Editor.

  2. Click the key to which you want to assign permissions.

  3. On the Edit menu, click Permissions.

  4. Assign an access level to the selected key as follows:

    • To grant the user permission to read the key contents, but not save any changes made to the file, under Permissions for name, for Read, select the Allow check box.

    • To grant the user permission to open, edit, and take ownership of the selected key, under Permissions for name, for Full Control, select the Allow check box.

    • To grant the user special permission in the selected key, click Advanced.

  5. If you are assigning permissions to a subkey and you want the inheritable permissions assigned to the parent key to apply to the subkey also, click Advanced and select the Inherit from parents the permission entries that apply to child objects. Include these with entries explicitly defined here check box.


  • Incorrectly editing the registry may severely damage your system. Before making changes to the registry, you should back up any valued data on your computer.


  • To open Registry Editor, click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then click OK.

  • You must have appropriate permissions to make changes to a registry key. To maintain security when making changes to a registry key for which you need administrative credentials, log in as a member of the Users group and run Regedit as an administrator by right-clicking the Regedit icon, clicking Run as, and clicking an account in the local Administrators group. The Regedit icon does not appear by default from the Start menu. To access the icon, open the Windows or WINNT folder on your computer.

  • If you own a registry key, you can specify the users and groups that can open that key. To determine who can open your registry keys, you need to assign permissions to them. You can add or remove users or groups from those authorized to access your registry keys at any time.

  • The Special Permissions check boxes indicate whether custom permissions have been set for this key, but you cannot set special permissions by clicking these check boxes. Click Advanced to set special permissions.

Information about functional differences

  • Your server might function differently based on the version and edition of the operating system that is installed, your account permissions, and your menu settings. For more information, see Viewing Help on the Web.

See Also


Audit activity on a registry key
Grant full control of a registry key
Add users or groups to the Permissions list
Remove a user or group from the Permissions list
Assign special access to a registry key