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python-registry is a pure Python library that provides read-only access to Windows NT Registry files. These include NTUSER.DAT, userdiff, and SAM. The interface is two-fold: a high-level interface suitable for most tasks, and a low level set of parsing objects and methods which may be used for advanced study of the Windows NT Registry. This library is compatible with Windows,Linux, and MacOS, making it accessible and functional across all major operating systems.


Most users will find the Registry.Registry module most appropriate. The module exposes three classes: the Registry, the RegistryKey, and the RegistryValue. The Registry organizes parsing and access to the Windows Registry file. The RegistryKey is a convenient interface into the tree-like structure of the Windows NT Registry. A RegistryKey may have children RegistryKeys, and may also have values associated with it. A RegistryValue can be thought of as the tuple (name, datatype, value) associated with a RegistryKey. python-registry supports all major datatypes, such as RegSZ, RegDWord, and RegBin.

To open a Windows Registry file, its this easy:

import sys
from Registry import Registry

reg = Registry.Registry(sys.argv[1])

Print all keys in a Registry

def rec(key, depth=0):
    print "\t" * depth + key.path()

    for subkey in key.subkeys():
        rec(subkey, depth + 1)


Find a key and print all string values

    key ="SOFTWARE\\Microsoft\\Windows\\Current Version\\Run")
except Registry.RegistryKeyNotFoundException:
    print "Couldn't find Run key. Exiting..."

for value in [v for v in key.values() \
                   if v.value_type() == Registry.RegSZ or \
                      v.value_type() == Registry.RegExpandSZ]:
    print "%s: %s" % (, value.value())

Advanced users who wish to study the structure of the Windows Registry may find the Registry.RegistryParse module useful. This module implements all known structures of the Windows Registry.


  • Bug reports.
  • Feedback.

python-registry was originally developed to scratch one of the author's itches. Now he hopes it can be of use to someone outside of his lonely NYC apartment.


As of version 0.2.0, python-registry is released under the Apache 2.0 license. Before that, python-registry was released under the GPLv3.


Nearly all structure definitions used in python-registry came from one of two sources:

  1. WinReg.txt, by B.H., which may be accessed at:
  2. The Windows NT Registry File Format version 0.4, by Timothy D. Morgan, which may be accessed at: Copies of these resources are included in the documentation/ directory of the python-registry source.

The source directory for python-registry contains a sample/ subdirectory that contains small programs that use python-registry. For example, is a read-only clone of Microsoft Window's Regedit, implemented in a few hundred lines.