How to Take Full Ownership of Windows Registry Keys

The Windows Registry is where all the Windows system and software configurations are stored.┬áIn fact, most Windows tutorials you find online require you to add, modify or delete Windows Registry keys. But sometimes, when you intend to modify or delete a Windows Registry key, Windows may not allow you to do so. This is because your user account or even the administrator account doesn’t have full ownership or permissions of that particular registry key. In order to edit any protected or system-critical registry keys, you need to take full ownership of that key.

So, if you ever need to, here is how you can take full ownership of a Windows Registry key.

Taking full ownership of Windows Registry keys is easy, but before doing anything, always make sure that you have a good backup before messing with Windows Registry.

To start, press “Win + R”, type regedit and press the Enter button to open the Windows Registry.

Press Win + R, type 'regedit' and press Enter.

Once the Windows Registry is opened, navigate to the key you want to take ownership of.

Navigate to the key you want to take ownership of.

After getting to the intended registry key, right click on it and select the option “Permissions.” While taking the ownership, you cannot directly take ownership of the Values on the right pane; instead, you need to take ownership or permissions for the entire key.

Right-click on it and select the option 'Permissions.'

The above action will open the permissions window. Here, click on the “Advanced” button to change the special permissions.

Click on the Advanced button.

Here in this Advanced Permissions window, select the username “Administrators” and click on the “Apply” and “Ok” buttons. This action will add the Administrator account as Current Owner.

Select the username 'Administrators.'

Now, back to the Permissions window. Select the user name, Administrator and give that user full control by selecting the checkbox “Full Control” under Permissions for Administrator section.

Select the user name 'Administrator.'

That’s all there is to do. From this point forward, you can modify or delete the target Windows Registry key. Alternatively, if you want your user account to have full ownership, then select your user account name rather than the administrator account and give it full control.

Note: if you are using Windows 8.1, then you need to change the Owner from Trusted Installer to your user account. If not, you won’t be able to take full ownership of the Windows Registry key.

If you think that the manual procedure is quite a hassle, then you can use the freeware RegOwnit by TheWindowsClub. Simply download the application and run it; being a portable app, there is no need for you to install it.

Once the app has been opened, enter the registry key location in the Registry Address field. Now, select the user account and permissions and click on the Apply button to take full ownership of the target registry key.

Enter the registry key location in the Registry Address field.

That’s all there is to do, and it is that simple to take full ownership of a Windows Registry key either using the manual method or the free app like RegOwnit.

Hopefully that helps, and do comment below sharing your thoughts and experiences about using the above methods to take full ownership of a Windows Registry key.