This documentation is archived and is not being maintained.

RegistryKey.GetValue Method (String, Object, RegistryValueOptions)

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

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

public Object GetValue(
	string name,
	Object defaultValue,
	RegistryValueOptions options


Type: System.String

The name of the value to retrieve.

Type: System.Object

The value to return if name does not exist.

Type: Microsoft.Win32.RegistryValueOptions

One of the RegistryValueOptions values that specifies optional processing of the retrieved value.

Return Value

Type: System.Object
The value associated with name, processed according to the specified options, 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.


options is not a valid RegistryValueOptions value; for example, an invalid value is cast to RegistryValueOptions.


The user does not have the necessary registry rights.

Use this overload to specify special processing of the retrieved value. For example, you can specify RegistryValueOptions.DoNotExpandEnvironmentNames when retrieving a registry value of type RegistryValueKind.ExpandString to retrieve the string without expanding embedded environment variables.

Use the defaultValue parameter to specify the value to return if name does not exist.

The string name is not case-sensitive.


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 null or the empty string ("") for name.

GetValue does not support reading values of type REG_NONE or REG_LINK. In both cases, the default value (null) is returned instead of the actual value.

The following code sample creates a test key, adds a value with an embedded environment variable, and retrieves the value in both expanded and unexpanded forms.

using System;
using Microsoft.Win32;
using Microsoft.VisualBasic;

public class Example
    public static void Main()
        // Delete and recreate the test key.
        Registry.CurrentUser.DeleteSubKey("RegistryValueOptionsExample", false);
        RegistryKey rk = 

        // Add a value that contains an environment variable.
        rk.SetValue("ExpandValue", "The path is %PATH%", RegistryValueKind.ExpandString);

        // Retrieve the value, first without expanding the environment  
        // variable and then expanding it.
        Console.WriteLine("Unexpanded: \"{0}\"", 
            rk.GetValue("ExpandValue", "No Value", 
        Console.WriteLine("Expanded: \"{0}\"", rk.GetValue("ExpandValue"));
    } //Main
} //Example

Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP SP2, Windows XP Media Center Edition, Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, Windows XP Starter Edition, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2000 SP4, Windows Millennium Edition, Windows 98

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

.NET Framework

Supported in: 3.5, 3.0, 2.0