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I am writting a .reg file to change some security Internet Settings to our users.

As we do not control our AD servers, I cannot try to set it for every user through policy. Yet, I can ask for automatic installations of our patches.

In the past, similar request have been dealt by writing a .bat in the startup folder so, everytime an user logs in, it runs and sets the keys in his HKCU/Software/Microsoft/Windows/Internet Settings branch.

Yet, I was wondering that if I did setup it at HKLM/Software/Microsoft/Windows/Internet Settings, which values would be used: the ones at HKCU? or at HCLM? the most restrictive of both?

So far, the most informative page I have found has been this that explains that you can force to use only HKLM settings trhough Group policies, but that is not exactly what I want.

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I think the HKLM ones are defaults, which are overridden by the HKCU ones. To test, try deleting the HKCU tree for a user and on next start, they should be refreshed from HKLM. – SmallClanger May 13 '11 at 10:17
up vote 0 down vote accepted

See this article: Merged view of HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT.

The system uses the following rules to merge information from the two sources:

  • The merged view includes all subkeys of the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes key.
  • The merged view includes all immediate subkeys of the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Classes key that do not duplicate the subkeys of HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes.
  • At the end of this topic is a list of subkeys that are found in both HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Classes and HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes. The immediate subkeys of these keys from the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE tree are included in the merged view only if they are not duplicates of immediate subkeys from the HKEY_CURRENT_USER tree. The merged view does not include the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE contents of duplicate subkeys.
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