Microsoft KB Archive/247005

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Article ID: 247005

Article Last Modified on 6/2/2005


  • Microsoft Visual C++ 5.0 Enterprise Edition
  • Microsoft Visual C++ 6.0 Enterprise Edition
  • Microsoft Visual C++ 5.0 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Visual C++ 6.0 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Visual C++ 6.0 Standard Edition

This article was previously published under Q247005

IMPORTANT: This article contains information about modifying the registry. Before you modify the registry, make sure to back it up and make sure that you understand how to restore the registry if a problem occurs. For information about how to back up, restore, and edit the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

256986 Description of the Microsoft Windows Registry


The Visual C++ Integrated Development Environment (IDE) settings are stored in the following registry key:


Where x.0 denotes the version number of the VC++ installation.

When you customize the Visual C++ IDE and quit from Visual C++, this key is updated. The next time Visual C++ is started this key will be queried and the changes will be reflected in the IDE. The "More Information" section discusses the specific keys that are used to store the Visual C++ IDE settings and the steps involved in moving those registry values to another computer.


WARNING: If you use Registry Editor incorrectly, you may cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that you can solve problems that result from using Registry Editor incorrectly. Use Registry Editor at your own risk.

To move Visual C++ customizations from one Visual C++ installation to another, you will have to export and import all or some of the registry keys mentioned in the "Visual C++ registry keys" section. This section doesn't cover all the Visual C++ keys. If you want your new Visual C++ install to be identical your current install then export and import the entire HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\DevStudio\x.0 registry key. See the "Export and Import registry keys" section on exporting and importing these keys.

The only difference between the key names in Visual C++ versions 5.0 and 6.0 is the version number in the name. For Visual C++ 5.0, the keys you are looking for are all sub keys of:


and for Visual C++ 6.0:


Not all of these keys will be present on every system, some of the keys are created when you customize specific IDE settings. If you are upgrading from Visual C++ 5.0 to Visual C++ 6.0, the Visual C++ setup program asks you if you'd like to move your customizations to the new installation. The procedures outlined in this article assumes that you have made no customizations to the new installation of Visual C++. If customizations have been made to the new installation, it is possible that the customizations will be lost when importing from the customized computer.

Visual C++ registry keys

  • Format

    The Format key contains the settings for the custom colors and fonts used for the various windows that Visual C++ supports. You can get to this setting in Visual C++ by selecting the Tools menu, clicking Options, then selecting the Format tab.

    For Visual C++ 5.0 the key is:


    For Visual C++ 6.0 the key is:

  • Layout

    The Layout key contains information on the custom menus, toolbars, and command buttons. It's the same as the preceding key except you replace Format with Layout.

    NOTE: The locations of these controls on the screen could be different, depending on the screen resolution.

  • TextEditor

    The Text Editor key has information on the tab settings for different file types and some advanced settings. You can get to this setting in Visual C++ by selecting the Tools menu, clicking Options, then selecting the Tabs tab.

  • Tools

    The Tools key contains information on the Tools menu item, including all the default tools that come with Visual C++ and the tools you have added, along with their absolute paths. You may have to update these paths correctly on the new computer.

  • General

    The General key mainly contains information on controlling the Window menu and ToolTips.

  • Graphics Editor

    The Graphics Editor key contains information on screen color.

NOTE: Some keys store absolute path information. Make sure these paths are right for your new installation or Visual C++ won't behave as expected.

Export and Import registry keys

Use the following steps to export a registry key:

  1. Start the registry editor Regedit.exe.
  2. Navigate to the key that you want to export, for example select:

  3. Select Export Registry File from the Registry menu.
  4. Specify a file name in the "Export Registry File" dialog box. The default extension for the file is REG.

Follow the steps below to import a registry key:

  1. Copy the exported registry file to the target computer.
  2. Start the registry editor Regedit.exe.
  3. Select Import Registry File from the Registry menu.
  4. Browse for the file copied in step 1 from the "Import Registry File" dialog box. On clicking Open, the Registry Editor message box displays whether the operation was successful or not.

You can avoid the above steps by double clicking on the REG file in Windows Explorer. This works as long as the .reg extension is a registered shell extension.

NOTE: Make sure that you have permissions to update the registry.


For more information on Customizing Visual C++ see the following topic in the MSDN library:

For additional information about the Windows registry, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

136393 How to Modify the Windows Registry

Keywords: kbhowto kbinfo kbregistry kbide kbdevstudio KB247005