Registry Home > Windows > File System

Change the Default Disk Utilities (All Windows)

These settings control the default tools used for Windows disk management including Backup, Defrag, Repair and Cleanup. Changing these values will alter the programs used when you right-click a disk in My Computer and select Properties > Tools.

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Open your registry and find the key [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \SOFTWARE \Microsoft \Windows \CurrentVersion \Explorer \MyComputer].

Under this key are four sub-keys representing each tool (the key may not already exist and may need to be created manually). The "(Default)" value in each key is used to specify the program to use for that function. The sub-keys are:

  • [..\BackupPath] - For the file backup utility.
    Default NT/2000/XP: "%SystemRoot%\system32\ntbackup.exe"
    Default W9x/WME: "C:\Windows\Backup.exe"

  • [..\ChkDskPath] - For the disk repair utility (chkdsk)
    Default NT/2000/XP: "%SystemRoot%\system32\chkdsk.exe %c:"
    Default W9x/WME: "C:\Windows\chkdsk.exe"

  • [..\CleanupPath] - For the disk cleanup utility
    Default NT/2000/XP: "%SystemRoot%\system32\cleanmgr.exe /D %c"
    Default W9x/WME: "C:\Windows\CleanMgr.exe"

  • [..\DefragPath] - For the disk defragmenter
    Default NT/2000/XP: "%systemroot%\system32\dfrg.msc %c:"
    Default W9x/WME: "C:\Windows\Defrag.exe"
To return the value to the default either set it to a value above or delete the entire sub-key.

Changes take effect immediately and can be accessed by right-clicking a disk drive in My Computer and selecting Properties > Tools.

Note: If you set the value to an invalid path or filename Windows will show an error when you attempt to launch the tool.

Registry Editor Example
|NameTypeData|
|(Default)REG_SZ%SystemRoot%\system32\ntbackup.exe|
-
|HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion...|
-
Registry Settings
System Key: [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\
MyComputer\{utility key}]
Value Name: (Default)
Data Type: REG_SZ (String Value)
Value Data: Program filename

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Disclaimer: Modifying the registry can cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. We cannot guarantee that problems resulting from modifications to the registry can be solved. Use the information provided at your own risk.

Last modified: January 8, 2003