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According to Microsoft, this offers several advantages over . Since file parsing is done much more efficiently with a binary format, it may be read from or written to more quickly than an INI file.
As well, strongly typed data can be stored in the Registry, as opposed to the text information stored in . This is a benefit when editing keys manually using , the built-in Windows Registry Editor.
In simple terms, The Registry or Windows Registry contains information, settings, options, and other values for programs and hardware installed on all versions of Microsoft Windows operating systems.
For example, when a program is installed, a new subkey containing settings like a program's location, its version, and how to start the program, are all added to the Windows Registry.
The kernel, device drivers, services, Security Accounts Manager (SAM), and user interface can all use the Registry.
The Registry also allows access to counters for profiling system performance.
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The Registry is a hierarchical database that stores low-level settings for the Microsoft Windows operating system and for applications that opt to use the Registry.
Registry values are referenced separately from Registry keys.
When the 32-bit Registry was created, so was the additional capability of creating multiple named values per key, and the meanings of the names were somewhat distorted.
For compatibility with the previous behavior, each Registry key may have a "default" value, whose name is the empty string.
Each Registry value stored in a Registry key has a unique name whose letter case is not significant.
The Windows API functions that query and manipulate Registry values take value names separately from the key path and/or handle that identifies the parent key.