How to Change Administrative Rights in the Registry

By C.D. Crowder

Updated September 28, 2017

Registry editor.
i C.D. Crowder

Each registry key in the registry has certain rights or permissions for each user on your computer. This tells the key which users can alter the key or even access the program or files associated with the key. Administrative rights typically mean you have full access to everything on the computer. However, if you only want certain users to have access to registry keys, you can change the rights in the registry to restrict or allow access. You can also add administrative rights to any keys that currently lack those rights.

Log in to the computer with full administrative rights. If you need to add the administrator, you can log in with your own user name, even if it doesn't have administrative rights. If you don't have a log-on, you more than likely have administrative rights, especially for home users.

Open your registry. Go to "Start -- Run" and type "regedit." Your registry editor will open.

Select the registry key or folder you want to change administrative rights to. Use the arrows to the left of each folder to browse.

Right-click the folder or single key you wish to change, and click "Permissions."

Add or remove a user and select their rights by choosing "Add" or "Remove." Select a user from a list of available users on your computer or network. Click "Add," and use the check boxes in the permissions area to check which permissions to allow or deny them.

Select a current user to change her permissions. Uncheck any permissions you don't wish them to have. To further restrict access, check the "Deny" boxes beside each permission. Check any permissions you want the user to have. For more advanced permissions, click "Advanced" for a full list of available permissions. Click "Apply" when finished, and exit the registry editor.


Write down your registry key changes in case you need to change them back. This will help remind you exactly what you changed and when.


Never edit the registry by hand unless you know exactly what you're changing. Changing permissions or anything in the registry incorrectly can prevent your system from operating correctly.