I received a registry to merge in msi. I can do that but - is mentioned before a key what does - mean?

Here is the registry information,


[HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop]



















I'm referring to the last 2 line which has - before. What does that mean?

Thanks in advance.

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I've just tested this, by creating my own key set, exporting it, and then adding the '-' to the registry path and doubling clicking it to import it.

It removes the key in question.

So in your case you just need to ensure that you remove the keys with a '-' in front of them as part of your package, and add the keys without the '-'.

Hope that helps,


Answered 06/07/2013 by: dunnpy
Red Belt

  • But, those keys are not available in my msi and they are part of base machine.
  • >those keys are not available in my msi
    Soooooo...add them? Or, better yet, since they're keys associated with Group Policy, you'd be better off having the changes made via, er, Group Policy.

    BTW, as far as *most* packaging is concerned, you can ignore registry entries below '[HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT]'. That belongs to the local System account and packages have no right futzing with it.
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Means, this will remove the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DesktopBackground\Shell\Display and HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DesktopBackground\Shell\Personalize keys (Including it's subkeys, values and data),

Answered 06/07/2013 by: jagadeish
Red Belt

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