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RegistryKey.GetValue Method (String, Object)

Retrieves the value associated with the specified name. If the name is not found, returns the default value that you provide.

Namespace:  Microsoft.Win32
Assembly:  mscorlib (in mscorlib.dll)

member GetValue : 
        name:string * 
        defaultValue:Object -> Object 


Type: System.String
The name of the value to retrieve. This string is not case-sensitive.
Type: System.Object
The value to return if name does not exist.

Return Value

Type: System.Object
The value associated with name, with any embedded environment variables left unexpanded, or defaultValue if name is not found.


The user does not have the permissions required to read from the registry key.


The RegistryKey that contains the specified value is closed (closed keys cannot be accessed).


The RegistryKey that contains the specified value has been marked for deletion.


The user does not have the necessary registry rights.

Use this overload of GetValue to handle the case where a name does not exist yet — for example, the first time your application is run. Whenever you call this overload, use the defaultValue parameter to specify the value to return if name does not exist.


A registry key can have one value that is not associated with any name. When this unnamed value is displayed in the registry editor, the string "(Default)" appears instead of a name. To retrieve this unnamed value, specify either a null reference (Nothing in Visual Basic) or the empty string ("") for name.

When the GetValue method retrieves expandable string values (RegistryValueKind.ExpandString), it expands environment strings using data from the local environment. To retrieve expandable string values from the registry on a remote computer, use the GetValue overload to specify that you do not want environment strings expanded.


If a value containing expandable references to environment variables has been stored as a string (RegistryValueKind.String), rather than as an expandable string (RegistryValueKind.ExpandString), the GetValue method does not expand it. You can expand such a string after it has been retrieved by calling the ExpandEnvironmentVariables method.


The recommended way to retrieve data from the PerformanceData key is to use the PerformanceCounter class rather than the RegistryKey.GetValue method.

GetValue does not support reading values of type REG_NONE or REG_LINK. In both cases, the default value (a null reference (Nothing in Visual Basic)) is returned instead of the actual value.

The following code example creates a test key with a value and retrieves that value. The example then attempts to retrieve a nonexistent value from the key; in this case the GetValue method returns the specified default value.

No code example is currently available or this language may not be supported.

.NET Framework

Supported in: 4, 3.5, 3.0, 2.0, 1.1, 1.0

.NET Framework Client Profile

Supported in: 4, 3.5 SP1

Windows 7, Windows Vista SP1 or later, Windows XP SP3, Windows XP SP2 x64 Edition, Windows Server 2008 (Server Core not supported), Windows Server 2008 R2 (Server Core supported with SP1 or later), Windows Server 2003 SP2

The .NET Framework does not support all versions of every platform. For a list of the supported versions, see .NET Framework System Requirements.