Finding Serial Key Of Software In Registry

12/13/2021by admin

You will find the serial number at: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE SOFTWARE ScanSoft NaturallySpeaking10 Activation folder. Option #4: Search the Registry on the Machine on Which Dragon is Located. Click “Start > Run” in Win XP. In Vista or Window 7 just click Start 2. Type “REGEDIT” without the quotes and click “OK”. Search For License Keys. Select the text file and click Open. On the File Open dialog box that displays, enter the password you assigned to the encrypted text file in the edit box and click OK. The list of license keys and serial numbers displays in the large text box on the LicenseCrawler main window. The best Windows 10 product key finder: find all your Microsoft serial numbers By Cat Ellis 2018-01-15T15:40:14.14Z Software Find the serial numbers for Windows and other software.

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  4. How To Locate Registry Key
Active1 year ago

I need to develop a process that will detect if the users computer has certain programs installed and if so, what version. I believe I will need a list with the registry location and keys to look for and feed it to the program which is not a problem. Is there a better way to accomplish this?

My first thought was to check in the registry in the uninstallation entries but it seems one of the apps I wish to detect does not have one. What is the standard location for all registry using applications to make an entry in?

Mark StahlerMark Stahler
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9 Answers

User-specific settings should be written to HKCUSoftware, machine-specific settings to HKLMSoftware. Under these keys, structure [software vendor name][application name] (e.g. HKLMSoftwareMicrosoftInternet Explorer) may be the most common, but that's just a convention, not a law of nature.

Many (most?) applications also add their uninstall entries to HKLMSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionUninstall[app name], but again, not all applications do this.

These are the most important keys; however, contents of the registry do not have to represent the installed software exactly - maybe the application was installed once, but then was manually deleted, or maybe the uninstaller didn't remove all traces of it. If you want to be sure, check the filesystem to see if the application still exists where its registry entries say it is.


If you're a member of the group Administrators, you can check the HKEY_USERS hive - each user's HKCU actually resides there (you'll need to know the user SID, or go through all of them).

Note: As @Brian Ensink says, 'installed' is a bit of a vague concept - are we trying to find what the user could run? Some software doesn't even write to the Registry at all: search for 'portable apps' to see apps that have been specifically modified to run directly from media (CD/USB) and not to leave any traces on the computer. We may also have to scan the disks, and network disks, and anything the user downloads, and world-accessible Windows shares in the Internet (yes, such things exist legitimately - live.sysinternals.comtools comes to mind). In this direction, there's no real limit of what the user can run, unless prevented by system policies.

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On 64-bit systems the x64 key is:

Most programs are listed there. Look at the keys:DisplayNameDisplayVersion

Note that the last is not always set!

On 64-bit systems the x86 key (usually with more entries) is:

Peter Brittain
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Bernd OttBernd Ott
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You could use MSI API to enumerate everything installed by Windows Installer but that won't list all the software available on a machine. Without knowing more about what you need I think the concept of 'installed' is a little vague. There are many ways to deploy software to a system ranging from big complicated installers to ZIP files and everything in between.

Brian EnsinkBrian Ensink
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An application does not need to have any registry entry. In fact, many applications do not need to be installed at all. U3 USB sticks are a good example; the programs on them just run from the file system.

As noted, most good applications can be found via their uninstall registry key though. This is actually a pair of keys, per-user and per-machine (HKCU/HKLM - Piskvor mentioned only the HKLM one). It does not (always) give you the install directory, though.

If it's in HKCU, then you have to realise that HKEY_CURRENT_USER really means 'Current User'. Other users have their own HKCU entries, and their own installed software. You can't find that. Reading everyHKEY_USERS hive is a disaster on corporate networks with roaming profiles. You really don't want to fetch 1000 accounts from your remote [US China Europe] office.

Even if an application is installed, and you know where, it may not have the same 'version' notion you have. The best source is the 'version' resource in the executables. That's indeed a plural, so you have to find all of them, extract version resources from all and in case of a conflict decid on something reasonable.

So - good luck. There are dozes of ways to fail.

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You can use a PowerShell script to look at registers and get the installed program details. The script bellow will generate a file with the complete list of installed programs. Save it with '.ps' extension and double click the file.

Arivan BastosArivan Bastos
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In addition to all the registry keys mentioned above, you may also have to look at HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftInstallerProducts for programs installed just for the current user.

David AirapetyanDavid Airapetyan
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Seems like looking for something specific to the installed program would work better, but HKCUSoftware and HKLMSoftware are the spots to look.

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Win32_Product never shows everything, only software installed via an MSI installer (as far as I can tell.)

There are lots of software packages that get installed via other installers that don't show up in there. another way is needed.


HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersionAppCompatFlagsCompatibility AssistantPersisted


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Product keys are becoming less and less common these days, but if you have a piece of software on your computer—and can’t find its product key—this simple program can help you extract it.

NirSoft’s ProduKey lets you view product keys for Windows, Microsoft Office, and many other software programs. It can show the keys from the current computer, or you can use it to view the keys stored on a broken computer’s hard drive.

How to Recover Keys From a Working Computer

RELATED:How to Find Your Lost Windows or Office Product Keys

Download the ProduKey archive from this page and run the ProduKey.exe file.

You’ll see the product key for your Windows installation as well as other applications installed on your system, including Microsoft Office, Visual Studio, MIcrosoft Exchange Server, Microsoft SQL Server, and some Adobe and Autodesk products.

If your computer comes with a Windows 10 or 8 key embedded in its UEFI firmware, it will be displayed as a “Windows (BIOS OEM Key)” here. This key is stored on your computer’s motherboard and Windows will automatically use it whenever you installed Windows on your PC. You don’t need to back it up or write it down.

Write down any product keys you want to keep and store them in a safe place. It’s that easy!

How to Recover Keys From a Separate Hard Drive

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If you have a computer that won’t boot, you can recover its keys as long as the hard drive still works. You just need to remove the drive, connect it to a functional computer, and point ProduKey at it.

If you’d like to do this, you’ll need to shut down the broken computer, open it up, and remove its internal drive. This will be easier on some computers than others—for example, many laptops aren’t designed to be easily opened, while desktops generally are.

You can then insert the drive into an internal drive bay on a working computer, or use an SATA hard drive docking station, like the one shown below.

Whatever option you choose, once the drive is plugged in and appears in Windows, go ahead and run ProduKey, just like you would on a functioning computer described in the previous section. Click File > Select Source to choose the secondary drive.

In the Select Source window, select “Load the product keys from external Windows directory” and point it at the Windows directory on the drive from the other PC. For example, if the other PC’s drive is D:, you’ll need to point it at D:Windows.

ProduKey will then display the keys from the other computer’s drive, and not the keys in use on the current computer.

How to Recover Keys Without Removing a Computer’s Drive First

Lastly, if you can’t—or just don’t want to—physically remove the drive from the first computer, you could instead use a Linux live USB drive to copy the files from that drive, and then examine them with ProduKey on another computer. Generally, we think it’s easier to just remove the drive, but this will work as an alternative.

To do this, you’ll first need to create yourself a live Linux drive. For example, you can create a Ubuntu drive. To do this, you’ll need to download a Ubuntu ISO and download the Rufus tool for Windows.

Warning: The USB drive you turn into a live Linux drive will be erased. Back up any important files on it first.

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Once you have both, connect a USB drive and launch Rufus. Select your USB drive, pick the FAT32 file system, and check the “Create a bootable disk using” box. Click the button to the right of it and select the Ubuntu ISO image you downloaded.

Click “Start” and agree to download the Syslinux software. Select “Write in ISO image mode (Recommended)” and agree to wipe the data on the disk when you’re asked.

RELATED:How to Boot Your Computer From a Disc or USB Drive

When the disk is created, you can connect the USB drive to your broken computer and boot from it. You may just need to insert the drive, boot it up, and the computer will start from the USB drive. Or, you may have to tweak the boot order or use a boot options menu.

When Ubuntu boots, open a file manager window by clicking the drive icon on the panel. Locate your Windows drive and navigate to C:Windowssystem32 . Right-click the “config” folder and select “Copy”. Connect another external USB drive to your computer and copy the config folder to it.

Take the drive containing the “config” folder to another computer running Windows.

You’ll need to recreate the directory structure. Create a “Windows” folder and then create a “system32” folder inside it. Copy the “config” folder into the system32 folder.

Launch ProduKey, click File > Select Source, and select the Windows folder you just created. You can’t just point it at the config folder directly.

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ProduKey will then show you the product keys from the config folder you copied over.

Image Credit: Phillip Stewart

How To Locate Registry Key

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