The HKCC registry hive is really just a shortcut to the HKLM hive

In This Article

Jump to a Section

HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIG, sometimes shortened to HKCC, is a registry hive that's a part of the Windows Registry. It doesn't store any information itself but instead acts as a pointer, or a shortcut, to a registry key that keeps the information about the hardware profile currently being used.

HKCC is a shortcut to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE hive. More specifically, to that hive's \SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Hardware Profiles\Current\ registry key. It's there that the information is truly stored—HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIG just provides a quick way to get there.

Therefore, this registry hive really just exists for convenience. It's easier to access the data in the other registry key—to view and modify it—by just going to HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIG. Since they contain the same information and are always connected to each other, you can make changes in either location to get the same results.

HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIG Registry Hive (Windows 11).


Viewable from the top level in Registry Editor, this hive is pretty easy to get to:

  1. Open Registry Editor
    . A really quick way to do this in all versions of Windows is to execute the regedit command in the Run dialog box or search box.

  2. Locate HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIG on the left side of the Registry Editor tool.

    This hive is listed at the bottom of all the other hives, right below HKEY_USERS.

  3. Select HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIG or do the same to the arrow or plus sign to the left to expand the hive.


This hive may be difficult to find if a previous visit to Registry Editor was left on a key deep in the registry. Just collapse any open subkeys (by selecting the arrow or plus sign to the left) until you get back to the list of hives, which is where you'll find HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIG.

Registry Subkeys in HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIG

Here are the two registry keys you'll find under this hive:

hkey_current_config registry subkeys

See Microsoft's Windows Server 2003/2003 R2 Retired Content document for more information on the hardware profile information seen under HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIG. You can read about the data in the \CurrentControlSet\Hardware Profiles\ registry key, which is the same as what's found in HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIG, on page 6730 of that PDF.


Like we said above, HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIG replicates whatever is found in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Hardware Profiles\Current\. This means that if you edit anything in the former registry key, it will be reflected in the latter, and vice versa.

For example, if you add, edit, remove, or rename anything in the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Hardware Profiles\Current\Software\ key and then exit and reopen Registry Editor (or refresh with the F5 key), you'll see that the change took place immediately in HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIG\Software\.

You may notice there are multiple registry keys inside HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Hardware Profiles\. That's because that key is used to hold all the hardware profiles for the whole computer. The reason you only see one hardware profile in the HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIG key is that it's only pointing to one of those hardware profiles—specifically, to the one that pertains to the user that's currently logged on.

In some versions of Windows, you can create additional hardware profiles from the System link in Control Panel. Select Hardware and then Hardware Profiles.

Was this page helpful?