Windows registry changes - Is a restart always necessary?

Hello,

 

From my many years of working with Microsoft Windows, my experience has led me to believe that changes to the Windows registry requires a restart of Microsoft Windows before they become effective. Is this always the case?

 

It would be helpful if someone can explain how the Windows registry works in this sense.

For example, do some registry changes become effective immediately? Does Windows only parse the registry during startup? etc.

 

Thank you,

Samson

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Answer
Answer

From my many years of working with Microsoft Windows, my experience has led me to believe that changes to the Windows registry requires a restart of Microsoft Windows before they become effective. Is this always the case?
 
It would be helpful if someone can explain how the Windows registry works in this sense.
 
For example, do some registry changes become effective immediately? Does Windows only parse the registry during startup? etc.


Very simply put - depends on the registry change in question *and* whether or not just restarting Explorer.exe (all instances) might have the desired effect without messing too much up.
 
So the answer to your question depends on the registry setting.  No, Windows does not just access the registry at startup (of Windows) as many settings in the registry are for things other than Windows.
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Shenan Stanley
MVP 2005-2011 & 2013-2015
Insider MVP 2016-
.-

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A restart is not always required. I know that I change a registry setting when setting up machines here at %work% and it changes what I need immediately.
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Last updated August 26, 2021 Views 60,422 Applies to: