Here's what happens when you 'zero-bomb' the Windows 10 Registry - amazingly the OS still works

Go into the Registry and change every single value to zero - rather incredibly, Windows 10 still boots, and some apps even work, up to a point.

1 minute & 48 seconds read time

The Registry is a fabled beast and many tales have been told about how you mess with it at your peril - though someone has taken that idea to extremes in Windows 10, and apparently got away with it. Well, sort of...

As you're doubtless aware, when it comes to any Windows how-to guide, if there's a step that takes you into the Registry to make a modification, it inevitably comes with warnings of dire consequences: Type carefully and don't make mistakes, as you might nuke your system with a slip of a key (or certainly cause something nasty to happen).

Well, how about if you changed every single value in Windows 10's Registry to zero? Does that count as messing about enough? Well, YouTuber 'Come on Windows' did exactly that, and you can see the results in the above video.

Impressively - amazingly even - Windows 10 still manages to boot, although it doesn't really work. You lose some key abilities, like the functionality to run an EXE file, for example. Not exactly a minor quibble.

As Tom's Hardware, which spotted the above clip, makes clear, pretty much everything goes awry as you might expect. Even the device spec goes wonky and the processor is detected as a '00th Gen Intel CPU' (the 'Intel Core i7-00800H' to be precise - from the long-forgotten Nothing Lake generation).

Actually, a few things do still work, of a fashion, and that includes Paint and WordPad, rather incredibly. Microsoft's Edge browser will launch, and run through its initial tutorial, before bombing out when it actually comes to trying to load a web page.

We bet adverts for Edge still work though - probably all Microsoft's various nudging to use Edge, Bing, OneDrive, a Microsoft Account, Microsoft 365, and so forth, are all still present no doubt. Like cockroaches after the 'zeropocalypse' scuttling around and trying to get you to upgrade to Windows 11 (yeah, we bet that multi-screen nag panel still works, too).

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Darren has written for numerous magazines and websites in the technology world for almost 30 years, including TechRadar, PC Gamer, Eurogamer, Computeractive, and many more. He worked on his first magazine (PC Home) long before Google and most of the rest of the web existed. In his spare time, he can be found gaming, going to the gym, and writing books (his debut novel – ‘I Know What You Did Last Supper’ – was published by Hachette UK in 2013).

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