Registry Keys Affected by WOW64

Under WOW64, certain registry keys are redirected. When a 32-bit or 64-bit application makes a registry call for a redirected key, the registry redirector intercepts the call and maps it to the key's corresponding physical registry location. For more information, see Registry Redirector.

Other registry keys are shared by both 32-bit and 64-bit applications on 64-bit Windows. 32-bit registry calls to shared keys are not redirected. Instead, one physical copy of the key is mapped into each logical view of the registry.

Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP: A subset of redirected registry keys are also reflected to keep the keys and their values synchronized between 32-bit and 64-bit views of the registry. Registry reflection was removed starting with Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2. For more information, see Registry Reflection.

This topic lists registry keys that are redirected, shared, or redirected and reflected under WOW64. It also lists symbolic links that provide compatibility for existing applications that may use hardcoded registry key paths containing Wow6432Node. For more information, see the following:

Redirected, Shared, and Reflected Keys Under WOW64

The following table lists registry keys that are redirected, shared by both 32-bit and 64-bit applications, or redirected and reflected on 64-bit Windows. Subkeys of the keys in this table inherit the parent key's behavior unless otherwise specified. If a key has no parent listed in this table, the key is shared.

Key Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003, and Windows XP
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE Shared Shared
** SOFTWARE** Redirected Redirected
** Classes** Shared Redirected and reflected
** Appid** Shared Redirected and reflected with one exception: the DllSurrogate and DllSurrogateExecutable registry values are not reflected if their value is an empty string.
** CLSID** Redirected Redirected and reflected only for CLSIDs that do not specify InprocServer32 or InprocHandler32.
** DirectShow** Redirected Redirected and reflected
** HCP** Shared Shared
** Interface** Redirected Redirected and reflected
** Media Type** Redirected Redirected and reflected
** MediaFoundation** Redirected Redirected and reflected
** Clients** Shared Redirected
** Microsoft**\COM3 Shared Redirected and reflected
** Microsoft**\Cryptography\Calais\Current Shared Shared
** Microsoft**\Cryptography\Calais\Readers Shared Shared
** Microsoft**\Cryptography\Services Shared Shared
** Microsoft**\CTF\SystemShared Shared Shared
** Microsoft**\CTF\TIP Shared Shared
** Microsoft**\DFS Shared Shared
** Microsoft**\Driver Signing Shared Shared
** Microsoft**\EnterpriseCertificates Shared Shared
** Microsoft**\EventSystem Shared Redirected and reflected
** Microsoft**\MSMQ Shared Shared
** Microsoft**\Non-Driver Signing Shared Shared
** Microsoft**\Notepad\DefaultFonts Shared Redirected
** Microsoft**\OLE Shared Redirected and reflected
** Microsoft**\RAS Shared Shared
** Microsoft**\RPC Shared Redirected and reflected
** Microsoft**\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Shared Tools\MSInfo Shared Shared
** Microsoft**\SystemCertificates Shared Shared
** Microsoft**\TermServLicensing Shared Shared
** Microsoft**\TransactionServer Shared Shared
** Microsoft**\Windows\CurrentVersion\App Paths Shared Redirected
** Microsoft**\Windows\CurrentVersion\Control Panel\Cursors\Schemes Shared Shared
** Microsoft**\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\AutoplayHandlers Shared Redirected
** Microsoft**\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\DriveIcons Shared Redirected
** Microsoft**\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\KindMap Shared Redirected
** Microsoft**\Windows\CurrentVersion\Group Policy Shared Shared
** Microsoft**\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies Shared Shared
** Microsoft**\Windows\CurrentVersion\PreviewHandlers Shared Redirected
** Microsoft**\Windows\CurrentVersion\Setup Shared Shared
** Microsoft**\Windows\CurrentVersion\Telephony\Locations Shared Shared
** Microsoft**\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Console Shared Redirected
** Microsoft**\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\FontDpi Shared Shared
** Microsoft**\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\FontLink Shared Redirected
** Microsoft**\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\FontMapper Shared Shared
** Microsoft**\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Fonts Shared Shared
** Microsoft**\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\FontSubstitutes Shared Shared
** Microsoft**\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Gre_Initialize Shared Redirected
** Microsoft**\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options Shared Redirected
** Microsoft**\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Language Pack Shared Redirected
** Microsoft**\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\NetworkCards Shared Shared
** Microsoft**\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Perflib Shared Shared
** Microsoft**\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Ports Shared Shared
** Microsoft**\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Print Shared Shared
** Microsoft**\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList Shared Shared
** Microsoft**\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Time Zones Shared Shared
** Policies** Shared Shared
** RegisteredApplications** Shared SharedWindows Server 2003 and Windows XP: This key was added in Windows Vista.
HKEY_CURRENT_USER Shared Shared
** SOFTWARE** Shared Shared
** Classes** Shared Redirected and reflected
** Appid** Shared Redirected and reflected with one exception: the DllSurrogate and DllSurrogateExecutable registry values are not reflected if their value is an empty string.
** CLSID** Redirected Redirected and reflected
** DirectShow** Redirected Redirected and reflected
** Interface** Redirected Redirected and reflected
** Media Type** Redirected Redirected and reflected
** MediaFoundation** Redirected Redirected and reflected

HKEY_CURRENT_USER is a symbolic link to HKEY_USERS\* where * indicates a match for all user security IDs (SIDs). HKEY_USERS\*\SOFTWARE\Classes is a symbolic link to HKEY_USERS\*_Classes.

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT is a merged view of HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes and HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes. Redirected keys in these registry paths are effectively redirected for HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT also. This is also true for reflected keys on systems that support them.

WOW64 defines the following symbolic links only for compatibility with existing applications that may use hardcoded registry key paths containing Wow6432Node. New applications should avoid using Wow6432Node in registry key paths.

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Classes is linked to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\Wow6432Node
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\Wow6432Node\AppId is linked to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\AppId
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\Wow6432Node\PROTOCOLS is linked to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\PROTOCOLS
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\Wow6432Node\Typelib is linked to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\Typelib

Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003, and Windows XP: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Classes is linked to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\Wow6432Node. Other symbolic links were added in Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2.