How to Edit Your Registry in Windows Mobile

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First things first: What’s a “Registry”?

Regardless if you’re
talking about Desktop, Notebook or Pocket PCs running a certain version of
Microsoft Windows Operating System, they all have a registry, which basically
is a database of settings and options. According to Wikipedia, “It contains information and settings for
hardware, operating system software, most non-operating system software, and
per-user settings. The registry also provides a window into the operation of
the kernel, exposing runtime information such as performance counters and
currently active hardware.

A deeper look: What’s a “Registry” made of?

Registries are made of two
components: keys and values and are structured in logical
components called hives. Look at
registry keys like they were folders,
each key having the ability of containing one or several other
“subkeys” and so on. Values on
the other hand are name/data pairs which are stored inside keys.

List
of WM Registry Value Types

REG_NONE

No type

REG_SZ

A string
value

REG_BINARY

Binary data
(any arbitrary data)

REG_DWORD

A DWORD
value, a 32-bit unsigned integer (numbers between 0 and 4,294,967,295 [232 – 1]) (little-endian)

REG_MULTI_SZ

A
multi-string value, which is an array of unique strings

* source: Wikipedia

Short examples might be consisting of the following:
String values usually are paths to applications or
executables. A String value example might be:
“mp3dec.dll”=”Windowsmp3dec.dll”

or
DWord values usually define the enabled/disabled,
existing/inexistent, etc. state of the value. A DWord example could be: "Enabled"=dword:00000001

Hives are
structures of a Registry and, in a typical Windows Mobile environment; you will
have the following hives:

List
of WM Registry Hives

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT

stores information about registered
applications, such as file associations and OLE Object Class IDs, tying them
to the applications used to handle these items

HKEY_CURRENT_USER

stores settings that are specific to the
currently logged-in user

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE

stores settings that are specific to the
local computer/device

HKEY_USERS

contains subkeys corresponding to the
HKEY_CURRENT_USER keys for each user profile actively loaded on the machine,
though user hives are usually only loaded for currently logged-in users. This
also contains valuable keys related information about different users

Registry editing:
principles

Editing your registry basically comes down to a few
operations you need to understand: adding, deleting and modifying plus registry
import and export.

Most of the times, all editing is done on the values, as
they are the ones that have a finality but there are times though when you need
to create keys




01 Add

Adding to the registry is done by creating either one or
more values and/or one or more keys. You need to create a value or a key when
the specific value or key is not in your device’s registry. You create
values and keys using the same method: tap and hold on an empty space, tap on
“New” and select “Key” if you want to create a new Key
or select one of the “DWord”, “String”, “Multi
string” or “Binary” in case you want to create a value,
depending on the type of your value to be created. Example!




02 Delete

Deleting from the registry means that you will physically
remove something from the registry, so that the reference is no longer to be
found. You might be required to do so in cases you want to revert to defaults
or undo changes made.




03 Modify

You modify the values of a Registry when you want to
alter behavior related to that exact value. Typical scenarios are:
enable/disable, path settings, and value settings. Example!

Import and Export functionality is important in a
Registry Editor application as it allows you to import a registry patch (which
consists of several registry keys and values) rather than doing some huge edits
yourself, or to Export existing Registry keys and values for several reasons:
backing up, moving to other device, etc.

Registry editing:
direct on-device registry editing

The easiest way to edit your registry is to do it
directly, on your device. The advantages are that you can do this any time, any
place without the need of wires, connections or a PC. The applications used to
edit the Registry this way access the Registry on the device directly and so
they save the changes too. These applications are Device applications which
install and run on your Device.

Registry editing:
remote registry editing

Heavy Registry editing, in cases you need to undertake
several changes in the Registry, might require you to use, for ease of work
reasons, applications that edit your registry remotely. What does this mean? It
means that you will have your device connected via a wire/Bluetooth to a PC
through ActiveSync or Windows Mobile Device Center, and the application used to
edit the registry will access the Registry from your PC on your device through
the connection. These applications usually are PC applications which install
and run on your PC.

Ok – I understand – how can I find registry edits?

We have a whole section in our wiki devoted to Registry Edits. Check it out!

Registry editing
applications (just some of them, really)

Free:

PHM
Registry Editor
– Popular Stand-alone Windows Mobile Registry Editor
for Windows Mobile

CeRegEditor / CeRegEditor – Popular Remote Windows Mobile Registry Editor for Desktop

Dotfred’s
TaskManager
– A Free Task Manager Containing a Registry Editor

Total
Commander
– The Popular File Explorer Alternative With a Registry
Editor Inside

Commercial:

SKTools (pocketnow.com
review
)

MemMaid (pocketnow.com
review
)

Resco
Explorer
(pocketnow.com
review
)

Word of Warning!

Registry editing can
be harmful for your device! Be very careful when editing your registry and
always make sure you have a full backup handy just in case!

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About The Author
Anton D. Nagy
Anton is the Editor-in-Chief of Pocketnow. As publication leader, he aims to bring Pocketnow even closer to you. His vision is mainly focused on, and oriented towards, the audience. Anton’s ambition, adopted by the entire team, is to transform Pocketnow into a reference media outlet.