Data Types in the Windows 2000 Registry

Data types define what kind of data an entry can store. The following data types are used by entries in the Windows 2000 registry:


Raw binary data. Most hardware component information is stored as binary data. It can be displayed in an easy-to-read format by using Windows 2000 Diagnostics. REG_BINARY data can be displayed and entered in binary or hexadecimal format in a registry editor. For example, see PagingFiles .


Data represented by a number that is 4 bytes (32 bits) long. Boolean (0 or 1) values and many entries for device drivers and services take this data type. REG_DWORD data can be displayed in binary, hexadecimal, or decimal format in a registry editor. For example, see ActivityLogFlag .


Same as REG_DWORD. A 32-bit number in which the most significant byte is displayed as the leftmost or high-order byte. This is the most common format for storing numbers in computers running Windows 2000 and Windows  98.


A 32-bit number in which the most significant byte is displayed as the rightmost or low-order byte. This is opposite of the order in which bytes are stored in the REG_DWORD and REG_DWORD_LITTLE_ENDIAN data types.


A variable-length text string. REG_EXPAND_SZ data can include variables that are resolved when an application or service uses the data. For example, the value of File includes the variable Systemroot. When the Event Log service references the File entry, this variable is replaced by the name of the directory containing the Windows 2000 system files.

Indicates a symbolic link between system or application data and a registry value. You can use Unicode characters in a REG_LINK entry.


Multiple text strings formatted as an array of null-terminated strings, and terminated by two null characters. Values that contain lists or multiple values in a form that people can read usually take this data type. The values in a REG_MULTI_SZ entry can be separated by spaces, commas or other marks. For example, the value of Machine is a list of paths accessible by all remote users of Windows 2000.


A fixed-length text string. Boolean ("True" or "False") values and other short text values usually have this data type. For example, see Wallpaper .


A series of nested arrays designed to store a resource list for a hardware component or driver. For example, in Regedt32, double-click ConfigurationData (in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Hardware\Description\System \MultifunctionAdapter\0\ControllerName\0).