Registry Editor Could Not Accomplish the Requested Operation

Article translations Article translations
Article ID: 158294 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q158294
This article has been archived. It is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
Expand all | Collapse all


When you run Registry Editor (Regedt32.exe), and attempt to restore the registry information of a specific key by choosing Restore from the Registry menu, the following error message appears:
Registry Editor could not accomplish the requested operation.


This error can be caused by trying to restore a key that was saved with the Save Subtree As... option from the registry menu. This cause is described in this article.

Additionally, attempting to use Load Hive with a key that was saved using Save Subtree As... causes the following error:
Registry Editor could not load the key.
The file is not a valid registry file.
The error message indicated in the Symptoms section can also be caused by opening the registry of a remote computer and attempting to save the registry information of a specific key by clicking Save Key from the Registry menu.

For additional information, please see the following article(s) in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
ARTICLE-ID: 139600
TITLE : Registry Editor Save Key Saves Key on Wrong Computer


WARNING: Using Registry Editor incorrectly can cause serious, system-wide problems that may require you to reinstall Windows NT to correct them. Microsoft cannot guarantee that any problems resulting from the use of Registry Editor can be solved. Use this tool at your own risk.

When saving the key, instead of clicking the Save Subtree As... option, click the Save Key option from the Registry menu. When trying to restore the key, click the Restore option from the Registry menu. The saved key will be restored without error.


The Save Key option saves, as a file, the information contained in a registry key and in all of its subkeys. A file created using Save Key can be loaded into the registry (with Load Hive), or can be restored (with Restore). This format is readable by the Registry Editor and should be used when trying to move or save registry keys from one registry to another.

The Save Subtree As... option saves the contents of the currently selected key as a text file, including all subkeys and value entries for that key. This format is used to provide a user readable text format for verifying all of the entries in a key or subkey, and it is not meant to move or save registry keys.


Article ID: 158294 - Last Review: February 28, 2014 - Revision: 2.1
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.5
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.51
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 3.5
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 3.51
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition
kbnosurvey kbarchive kbenv KB158294

Contact us for more help

Contact us for more help
Connect with Answer Desk for expert help.
Get more support from