An area within the Microsoft Windows operating system software that keeps such information as how computer memory is set up, what programs are to be started when the operating system is booted, what hardware is attached, and what system options have been selected. The Windows Registry is a replacement for the less complex INI (initialization) and configuration files used in older (DOS-based) Windows systems. In current versions of Microsoft Windows, INI files continue to be supported to maintain compatibility with the 16-bit software written for the older Windows versions. The Windows Registry is one of the prime targets of crackers because a significant part of a Windows system’s behavior is determined through entries in the Registry. TechTarget. Windows Registry Defined. [Online, February 25, 2004.] TechTarget Website. http://searchwin2000.techtarget.com/originalContent/0,289142,sid1_ gci952350,00.html.