Fix System Was Unable to Find the Specified Registry Key or Value [Four Efficient Solutions!]

Updated by Cici on Jan 11, 2023
  | Computer Instruction

Are you constantly seeing the error message "System was unable to find the specified registry key or value"? This can be a frustrating problem to deal with, as it can prevent you from accessing certain programs or settings on your computer. But don't worry. It's not unfixable.

error picture

In this article, we'll explore the potential causes of this error and provide practical solutions for resolving it.

Why System Was Unable to Find the Specified Registry Key or Value

The "System was unable to find the specified registry key or value" error message can occur at any time while using your computer, and many different issues can cause it. Here are some of the most common reasons why this error might appear:

  1. 1. Deleting the wrong key: If you're trying to make changes to the registry, it's important to be careful when deleting keys. Accidentally deleting the wrong key can trigger this error message.
  2. 2. Bad sectors: Hard drives can develop bad sectors over time, which can cause errors like this one to appear.
  3. 3. Corrupted registries: The Windows registry is a crucial part of the Windows operating system, and any corruption in the registry can result in problems like this.
  4. 4. Third-party program interference: Sometimes, third-party programs can interfere with the registry and cause this error to appear.

If you're seeing the "System was unable to find the specified registry key or value" error message, one of these issues likely is to blame. In the next section, we'll discuss ways to fix this problem and get your computer back to working smoothly.

How to Fix System Was Unable to Find the Specified Registry Key or Value

As mentioned earlier, the "system was unable to find the specified registry key or value" error can be fixed differently. Here are four solutions to try:

  1. Fix 1. Check If You Are Deleting a Key or Value
  2. Fix 2. Fix Bad Sectors on Hard Disk
  3. Fix 3. Run SFC and DISM
  4. Fix 4. Run Clean Boot

Now that we've introduced some potential solutions for fixing the "system was unable to find the specified registry key or value" error, let's dive into how each fix can help you resolve the issue.

Fix 1: Check If You Are Deleting a Key or Value

If you're attempting to make changes to the registry, it's important to be careful when deleting keys or values. Many have reported accidentally deleting the wrong value in the key instead of deleting it, which triggered the "system was unable to find the specified registry key or value" error. To fix this issue, you'll need to check if you are deleting the correct key or value. Here's what to do:

Step 1: Open the Registry Editor by typing "regedit" into the search bar and pressing Enter.

Check if you're deleting a key or value 1

Step 2: Locate the key or value you are trying to delete. You may need to navigate through several folders to find it.

Check if you're deleting a key or value 2

Step 3: Double-check that you have selected the correct key or value. If you are unsure, you can perform a search online to confirm that it is safe to delete.

Step 4: Delete the correct key or value once you have selected it.

Step 5: Close the Registry Editor and restart your computer.

While at it, be careful when making changes to the registry, as it is a crucial part of the Windows operating system, and any mistakes can cause problems.

Fix 2. Fix Bad Sectors on Hard Disk

If the "System was unable to find the specified registry key or value" error is being caused by bad sectors on your hard drive, you may be able to resolve the issue by fixing them. One tool that can help with this is EaseUS Partition Master. This software includes a "surface test" function to identify and fix bad sectors on your hard drive.

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Simply download and install the software, run the disk surface test, and follow the on-screen instructions in the following steps to fix any bad sectors that are found:

Step 1. Open EaseUS Partition Master. Right-click the disk that you want to check, and then click "Surface Test".

Step 2. The operation will be immediately performed and all bad sectors will be marked as red.

EaseUS Partition Master is a powerful tool to solve partition errors, and fix the corrupted file system. For example, it can fix UEFI boot Windows 10 and SD card not showing Windows 10. With this tool, you can resolve the "System was unable to find the specified registry key or value" error and get your computer back to working smoothly. 

Fix 3. Run SFC and DISM

If the error is being caused by a problem with the registry or other system files, running SFC and DISM utilities may be able to fix the issue. These tools are built into Windows and can help repair damaged system files. Here's how to use them:

Step 1: Open the Command Prompt as an administrator. To do this, type "cmd" into the search bar, right-click on the Command Prompt icon, and select "Run as administrator."

run as admin

Step 2: Type "sfc /scannow" into the command prompt and press Enter. This will start the SFC scan.

run sfc

Step 3: Wait for the scan to complete. This may take a few minutes. If any issues are found, the SFC utility will attempt to repair them.

Step 4: Type "dism/online /cleanup-image /restorehealth" into the Command Prompt and press Enter. This will start the DISM scan.

dism command

Step 5: Wait for the DISM scan to complete. This may also take a few minutes. If any issues are found, the DISM utility will attempt to repair them.

Step 6: Close the Command Prompt and restart your computer.

These steps should help you use the SFC and DISM to fix any problems with the registry or other system files that might be causing the error. You should, however, know that these tools are not sure-fire ways to fix all issues. So if the error persists after running them, just try an alternative fix.

Fix 4: Run a Clean Boot

Sometimes, third-party programs can mess with the registry and cause the "System was unable to find the specified registry key or value" error to appear. If you suspect this might be the case, you can try performing a clean boot to start Windows with a minimal set of drivers and programs. This can help you determine if a third-party program is causing the problem. Here's how to do it:

Step 1: Open the System Configuration utility by typing "msconfig" into the search bar and pressing Enter.

Step 2: Click on the "Services" tab and check the "Hide all Microsoft services" box. This will allow you to see just the third-party services that are running.

run clean boot 1

Step 3: Click the "Disable all" button to disable all third-party services.

Step 4: Click on the "Startup" tab and click on the "Open Task Manager" button.

Step 5: In the Task Manager, select each startup item and click on the "Disable" button. This will disable all startup items.

Step 6: Close the Task Manager and click the "OK" button in the System Configuration window to save your changes.

Step 7: Restart your computer.

By following these steps, you will have performed a clean boot and started Windows with a minimal set of drivers and programs.

Bottom Line

In this guide, we explored some of the most common causes of the "system was unable to find the specified registry key or value" error and provided solutions for fixing it. Whether you're dealing with a corrupted registry, bad sectors on the hard drive, or third-party program interference, we've covered you with these tried and tested fixes.

If you're still having trouble with this error, we recommend giving EaseUS Partition Master a try. It can solve most problems related to disk partition. And this powerful software includes a "surface test" function that can help identify and fix bad sectors on your hard drive, which may be causing the "System was unable to find the specified registry key or value" error. So why wait? Download EaseUS Partition Master now and get your computer back to working smoothly.

FAQs of System Was Unable to Find the Specified Registry Key or Value

There are some frequently asked questions about the system was unable to find the specified registry key or value error. Hope these answers can be helpful to you.

1. How do I fix error access to the registry?

To fix an "access to the registry" error, try running the SFC (System File Checker) utility, which can repair damaged system files. You can also try running a clean boot to start Windows with minimal drivers and programs, which can help determine if a third-party program is causing the problem.

2. How do I fix the Registry Editor not working?

To fix a Registry Editor that is not working, try running the SFC and DISM utilities, which can help repair damaged system files. You can also try performing a clean boot or restoring the registry from a previous restore point.

3. How do you locate keys and their values in the registry?

To locate keys and their values in the registry, open the Registry Editor by typing "regedit" into the search bar and pressing Enter. Then, use the search function or navigate through the folders to find the key or value you are looking for. You can also look for specific keys or values in the registry using online resources.

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