When it comes to hacking Windows, you need to know how to use the Registry. It contains the underlying organization of the entire operating system, and its often-incomprehensible settings hold the key to countless hacks. In simpler days, you could hack Windows without bothering with the Registry; a solid knowledge of such things as .ini files would suffice. But no longer. If you want to get hacking, the Registry holds the key—literally, since it’s organized by way of keys.
Even if you’ve edited the Registry before, you’ll find a lot in this chapter to help. It not only teaches the mechanics of using the Registry, but also explains its underlying organization. You’ll find ways to keep your Registry safe, learn how to back it up, and find downloadable tools to make the most of the Registry. As a bonus, this chapter includes a grab bag of other great hacks.
This chapter also covers Group Policy Editor. Don’t be confused by its name; it’s not just a tool for system administrators looking to handle file permissions, centrally manage settings across users and computers, and the like. In fact, it’s an exceedingly powerful tool for hacking many parts of Windows. It comes with Windows 8 Professional and Windows 8 Enterprise, so if you’ve got other versions of Windows 8, you’re out of luck.
The Registry is a great tool for hacking Windows 8. Here’s an introduction to how it’s organized and how to use it.
If you ...