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Copy over registry settings for All Users

I have this application that needs specific preferences set.  The preferences only stick with the current user.  I found in the registry where the local preferences are located.  I want to know if there is a way to copy these registry settings to all the current users and future users?



Date Votes
  • Emily,

    I think what you want is to modify it for the default user profile. That way whenever a new user profile is generated it will have that preference set by default.

    You can do that by loading the default user hive:

    • Open regedit
    • Click on HKEY_USERS
    • Click on File > Load Hive
    • Browse to C:\Users\Default\NTUSER.DAT
    • You can use pretty much whatever key name you want but I usually use "DefaultUser"
    • Make your changes under the new "HKEY_USERS\DefaultUser" hive
    • Unload the hive by clicking on "DefaultUser" then clicking File > Unload Hive

    This will affect any new user profile that gets built. One potential issue here is that it won't affect any user profiles that have already been built. In order to modify those you would probably have to loop through each user under HKEY_USERS and modify it there, create a script to modify the current user and place it in the startup folder, clean all user profiles so they have to be rebuilt with the new default profile, etc. Each method has pros and cons so it's kinda up to you how you want to implement it.

  • This is good information, thank you.  I was trying to avoid having users re-create their profiles.  Otherwise I will just re-image the machine and set the preferences in the app before sysprepping it.

  • In that case I would try a solution like iterating through each user's profile in HKEY_USERS to hit every existing profile or using a startup script. You could also try a RunOnce registry entry so that it will run once per user profile.

  • Oh boy, this might be out of my realm.  Tell me more about this RunOnce registry entry?

  • Below is what I want to import into each user profile in the registry,  I'm horrible at scripting.  Is there a way to do anything with scans in PDQ?  Like, scan to see if the below registry setting is in a user's settings and if it's not can PDQ add it when the user logs on?

    "ShadeLaunchApp"="Motion Detection"


  • This is a perfect candidate for using Group Policy Preferences, if you are using Active Directory that is.

  • YES!

    I've started a new policy.  Is this going to be a user or computer policy? And will I use Preferences, Windows Settings, Registry?

  • I agree with Chris that doing this with a GPP is probably best, as well as implementing this change in the default user profile in your master image so newly provisioned machines get the setting automatically. Is using Group Policy an option in your environment? If not, you'll have to get a bit more creative.

    Edit: Just saw your other response.

    User Configuration > Preferences > Windows Settings > Registry

  • Ok I'm there.  I'll see what happens. Thank you for all your help guys!

  • Sorry...I'm such a noob at this.  Is this what I want to do? I did the registry wizard and connected to the computer that has the registry changes I want to add to the policy.  I set the .DEFAULT user, but how do I get this setting on all users? 

  • Emily,

    You don't want to apply those settings to "HKEY_USERS\.Default", you want to apply them to "HKEY_CURRENT_USER". That way it will run at login for all users.