How to read a value from the Windows registry


Question

Given the key for some registry value (e.g. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\blah\blah\blah\foo) how can I:

  1. Safely determine that such a key exists.
  2. Programmatically (i.e. with code) get its value.

I have absolutely no intention of writing anything back to the registry (for the duration of my career if I can help it). So we can skip the lecture about every molecule in my body exploding at the speed of light if I write to the registry incorrectly.

Prefer answers in C++, but mostly just need to know what the special Windows API incantation to get at the value is.

1
79
6/21/2009 10:05:37 PM

Accepted Answer

Here is some pseudo-code to retrieve the following:

  1. If a registry key exists
  2. What the default value is for that registry key
  3. What a string value is
  4. What a DWORD value is

Example code:

Include the library dependency: Advapi32.lib

HKEY hKey;
LONG lRes = RegOpenKeyExW(HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, L"SOFTWARE\\Perl", 0, KEY_READ, &hKey);
bool bExistsAndSuccess (lRes == ERROR_SUCCESS);
bool bDoesNotExistsSpecifically (lRes == ERROR_FILE_NOT_FOUND);
std::wstring strValueOfBinDir;
std::wstring strKeyDefaultValue;
GetStringRegKey(hKey, L"BinDir", strValueOfBinDir, L"bad");
GetStringRegKey(hKey, L"", strKeyDefaultValue, L"bad");

LONG GetDWORDRegKey(HKEY hKey, const std::wstring &strValueName, DWORD &nValue, DWORD nDefaultValue)
{
    nValue = nDefaultValue;
    DWORD dwBufferSize(sizeof(DWORD));
    DWORD nResult(0);
    LONG nError = ::RegQueryValueExW(hKey,
        strValueName.c_str(),
        0,
        NULL,
        reinterpret_cast<LPBYTE>(&nResult),
        &dwBufferSize);
    if (ERROR_SUCCESS == nError)
    {
        nValue = nResult;
    }
    return nError;
}


LONG GetBoolRegKey(HKEY hKey, const std::wstring &strValueName, bool &bValue, bool bDefaultValue)
{
    DWORD nDefValue((bDefaultValue) ? 1 : 0);
    DWORD nResult(nDefValue);
    LONG nError = GetDWORDRegKey(hKey, strValueName.c_str(), nResult, nDefValue);
    if (ERROR_SUCCESS == nError)
    {
        bValue = (nResult != 0) ? true : false;
    }
    return nError;
}


LONG GetStringRegKey(HKEY hKey, const std::wstring &strValueName, std::wstring &strValue, const std::wstring &strDefaultValue)
{
    strValue = strDefaultValue;
    WCHAR szBuffer[512];
    DWORD dwBufferSize = sizeof(szBuffer);
    ULONG nError;
    nError = RegQueryValueExW(hKey, strValueName.c_str(), 0, NULL, (LPBYTE)szBuffer, &dwBufferSize);
    if (ERROR_SUCCESS == nError)
    {
        strValue = szBuffer;
    }
    return nError;
}
65
10/17/2012 3:01:05 PM

const CString REG_SW_GROUP_I_WANT = _T("SOFTWARE\\My Corporation\\My Package\\Group I want");
const CString REG_KEY_I_WANT= _T("Key Name");

CRegKey regKey;
DWORD   dwValue = 0;

if(ERROR_SUCCESS != regKey.Open(HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, REG_SW_GROUP_I_WANT))
{
  m_pobLogger->LogError(_T("CRegKey::Open failed in Method"));
  regKey.Close();
  goto Function_Exit;
}
if( ERROR_SUCCESS != regKey.QueryValue( dwValue, REG_KEY_I_WANT))
{
  m_pobLogger->LogError(_T("CRegKey::QueryValue Failed in Method"));
  regKey.Close();
  goto Function_Exit;
}

// dwValue has the stuff now - use for further processing

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