How to edit HKEY_CURRENT_USER for another user
There are times when you need to edit HKEY_CURRENT_USER for another user without logging on as that user. Knowing how to do this can be very handy when troubleshooting group policy issues that affect user specific registry settings. User registry settings are stored in the HKEY_CURRENT_USER registry key which can only be viewed or edited by the logged on user account. However, an administrator can view and modify user specific registry settings by matching the account and the SID for that account. The Security Identifier (SID) is a unique name that is assigned by a Windows Domain controller during the login process that is used to identify a user.
The rest of this post describes the step by step process on how to identify and match the SID with the account so that an administrator can view and/or edit user registry settings. You must have local administrative permissions on the local machine in order to modify these registry settings.
- Connect to the remote computer’s registry using the REGEDIT command
- Expand HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList
- Note the folders are named with the SID names of every users that has logged onto that computer
- Expand each folder and view at the “ProfileImagePath” key to identify the user profile associated with the SID folder
- Once you’ve found the account or user profile that you are looking for, make a note of the SID folder name
- Expand the HKEY_USERS registry key and look for the SID folder that you have identified in step 4
- Now modify or view the registry settings you wish to change.