How to fix the Registry Editor cannot rename, edit protected registry key

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Registry Editor is a powerful tool and overusing it can make your system unstable or even inoperable. So there are several reasons these registry keys are protected. Editing a protected key can sometimes tamper with Windows or the application to which the key is associated. Fortunately, just like in the Windows file system, the Registry provides tools that allow you to own and edit permissions on keys.

This post shows how to fix the Registry Editor cannot rename the specified key or edit protected registry key. Windows sometimes throw an error message when you try to rename a key in the Registry Editor. The error says:

In Registry Editor, right-click the key that you cannot edit (or the key contains a value that you cannot edit) and then select “Permissions” from the context menu.

In the Permissions window that appears, click the “Advanced” button.

Next, you will have ownership of the Registry key. In the “Advanced Security Settings” window, next to the Owner listed, click the “Change” link.

In the “Select a user or group” window, in the “Enter an object name to select” box, enter the name of your Windows user account (or your email address if you have a Microsoft account) and then click Click on “Check Names” to verify the account name. When done, click OK to close the “Select users or groups” window, then click OK again to close the “Advanced security settings” window.

Back in the Normal Permissions window, select the Users group, and then select the “Allow” checkbox next to the “Full Control” permission. If you want, you can only grant full permissions to your user account and not to the Users group. To do that, click the Add button, go through the steps to add your user account to the list, then give it Full Control permission. Whichever method you choose, click OK when you’re done to return to the Registry Editor.

Back in the Registry Editor, you can now make changes to the key you already own and give yourself full editing permissions. You probably won’t encounter protected keys often when editing the Registry. We rarely come across them ourselves. However, you should know how to use that protection when needed.


In ours case after performing the above steps, we did not see the error again.

Hopefully this article will be useful for you. Good luck !

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