What is HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE? (HKLM) Definition, Location, Registry Subkeys


What does HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE stand for? This article explains what HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE is and where it can be found, as well as how to open and inspect the registry keys under the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE Windows Registry tree.


One of the Windows Registry root keys is HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, usually known as HKLM.

The Windows Registry is a database that stores the configuration settings for the Windows operating system. The Windows Registry is divided into various trees. Several alternative root keys can be found in Windows Registry Editor. Each registry root key contains information about a distinct Windows function.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE Many local computer settings and configurations are stored in the root registry tree. SOFTWARE, SYSTEM, SECURITY, SAM, and HARDWARE are the five main registry subkeys.

The majority of the configuration information for Windows OS, installed software, Windows services, device and hardware drivers is stored in the HKLM registry hive. It also includes your Windows 10/8/7/Vista computer’s boot configuration.


In terms of the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE location on Windows 10, you can quickly access it by following the methods below.

Step 1: To open Windows Registry, press Windows + R to enter the Windows Run dialogue, type regedit in the Run box, and hit Enter.

Step 2: In Registry Editor’s left side, look for HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE can be expanded by clicking the arrow icon next to it.

Tip: If you’ve already opened and used Registry Editor, you might need to collapse the opened registry keys to locate the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE root key.

# HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE : Registry Subkeys

You can examine the registry subkeys under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE after expanding it. It usually includes the subkeys shown below.


However, different machines and Windows OS versions may have different subkeys under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE. The HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINECOMPONENTS key may not exist on some modern machines.

The SOFTWARE subkey may be the most frequently used registry key. It keeps track of the settings for the many programmes installed on the computer. When you install a programme, it will store the application settings in the SOFTWARE registry key. The application’s individual settings will be immediately imported into the computer memory the next time you launch it. As a result, you won’t have to configure the programme every time you use it.

The HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion key holds configuration options for many Windows components.

Configuration parameters for several Windows services are stored in the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services key.

BIOS, hardware devices, processors, and other configurations are stored in the HARWARE key. On a Windows PC, for example, you may quickly verify the BIOS version.

Conclusion :

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE is a container for registry data that doesn’t actually reside on the computer. If you need to update the value data for any registry key under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, launch Registry Editor and go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE.

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