Opening REG files

Have a problem opening a .REG file? We collect information about file formats and can explain what REG files are. Additionally we recommend software suitable for opening or converting such files.

What is the .REG file type?

The main association of the .reg extension belongs to the Microsoft Windows Registry File (REG) file type/format. REG is a simple text-based format used in all Microsoft (MS) Windows operating systems for exporting system registry records. In MS Windows, the system registry is a tree-like (hierarchical) structure of records that describe the current system setup, installed software with settings, hardware device management, user profiles, file type associations, etc.

A .reg file is a text-based file with registry records (keys, parameters, and values) and processing instructions. REG files follow a certain syntax, similar to that of INI files. The .reg file type is associated with the system Registry Editor tool (regedit.exe) by default, and a double-click on a .reg file would ask the user if the data contained in the file should be added to the system registry.

Through the context menu, any REG file can be opened and modified with a text editor (e.g., Notepad). Adding erroneous or malicious data to the system registry via .reg files may cause system malfunction or compromise security.

Alternatively, and as a short for 'Registration,' the .reg extension is often used to label various files that contain software registration and/or license key information. Most commercial software employs user registration as a means of both copy protection and license management.

Thus, a .reg file is a small file, either text-based or binary, that contains user license information. Such .reg files are often text-based, using the PGP ASCII Armor method to record encrypted license key as text. A valid .reg file would be commonly required to be present in a certain location in order for the software to operate in the registered mode.

Software to open or convert REG files

You can open REG files with the following programs: 

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