How to remove hkey_local_machine software?

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When it comes to removing the “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftware” registry key, it is important to proceed with caution. The “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE” hive is a crucial part of the Windows Registry, containing system-wide settings and configuration information. Removing the “Software” subkey within this hive can have significant consequences and should only be done if absolutely necessary. In this article, we will explore the steps involved in removing the “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftware” registry key and discuss some important considerations.

Understanding the Windows Registry

Before diving into the process of removing the “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftware” registry key, it is essential to understand the Windows Registry and its structure. The Windows Registry is a hierarchical database that stores configuration settings for the operating system, hardware, software, and user preferences. It is organized into several hives, with “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE” being one of the most critical hives.

Within the “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE” hive, the “Software” subkey contains information related to installed software on the system. This includes settings, preferences, and other data specific to each installed application. Removing this subkey can potentially break the functionality of installed programs or even render the system unstable.

Backup the Registry

Before making any changes to the Windows Registry, it is strongly recommended to create a backup. This ensures that you can revert to the previous state if something goes wrong during the removal process. To back up the registry, follow these steps:

1. Press the Windows key + R to open the Run dialog box.
2. Type “regedit” and press Enter to open the Registry Editor.
3. In the Registry Editor, click on “File” in the menu bar and select “Export.”
4. Choose a location to save the backup file, provide a name, and select the “All” option under the Export range.
5. Click “Save” to create the backup file.

Removing the “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftware” Registry Key

Removing the “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftware” registry key should only be done if you are absolutely certain that it is necessary and have a backup of the registry. Here are the steps to follow:

1. Open the Registry Editor by pressing the Windows key + R, typing “regedit,” and pressing Enter.
2. In the Registry Editor, navigate to the “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftware” subkey.
3. Right-click on the “Software” subkey and select “Export” to create a backup of the subkey.
4. Choose a location to save the backup file, provide a name, and click “Save.”
5. Once the backup is created, right-click on the “Software” subkey again and select “Delete.”
6. Confirm the deletion when prompted.

It is important to note that deleting the “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftware” subkey will remove all the information related to installed software. This can lead to issues with the functioning of installed programs or even cause system instability. Therefore, it is crucial to exercise caution and only remove this subkey if you are certain of the consequences.


Removing the “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftware” registry key is a delicate process that should be approached with caution. The Windows Registry is a critical component of the operating system, and removing key subkeys can have significant consequences. Before proceeding with any changes, it is essential to create a backup of the registry to ensure that you can revert to the previous state if needed. Additionally, it is crucial to be certain of the necessity of removing the “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftware” subkey and understand the potential impact on installed software and system stability.


– Microsoft Support:
– How-To Geek:
– Windows Central: