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Is there an easy (automated) way to delete all subkeys in a key in the Windows registry without deleting the key itself?

Thanks

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3 Answers

up vote 0 down vote accepted

Do you know what the sub-keys are in advance? If so you can do it with a .reg file using something like this to delete all sub-keys of Test:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Test\Key1]
[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Test\Key2]
[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Test\Key3]
[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Test\Key4]

The minus sign at the start of the line tells it to delete that key, full syntax here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/310516

If not, then you're looking for a script that'll enumerate all the sub-keys and then go through deleting them all one by one. I've got one that'll do this at work, but I'm at home and can't get to it!

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Question is actually a moot point now, I don't need to do this anymore. And no, I do not know the subkeys in advance. Thanks anyway! –  Cameron Aug 31 '09 at 23:00
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With Windows7 or Vista, you can use Powershell commands like this, referring to the registry path the same way that you refer to a file system path:

Remove-Item -Path HKLM:\Software\Test\Key1 -Recurse
Remove-Item -Path HKLM:\Software\Test\Key2 -Recurse
Remove-Item -Path HKLM:\Software\Test\Key3 -Recurse
Remove-Item -Path HKLM:\Software\Test\Key4 -Recurse
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The PowerShell Is available for xp as well, there is 2.0 version for sp3...check out softpedia or microsoft's site.

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