I've read answers to the following:

Why is Windows registry needed?

However I am curious about how this might apply to the practice of storing software license keys. I've seen developers store license information in the Windows registry, such as keys used to keep the software activated over a period of time (until the license expires or something). I've also read:

Where can I store and manage application license information?

In my situation, I am not concerned with the obscurity aspect. At this point I am just creating a system to keep out the average user. So aside from hiding the information, is there any real reason to use the registry?

  • 2
    There's nothing special at all about the registry, other than it being an "official" data store recognized by the Windows operating system. See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Registry Jun 12, 2018 at 14:52
  • @RobertHarvey Yeah, that's kinda what I was thinking. I am trying to figure out whether to use a file or the registry for an app's license data. I am new to licensing software.
    – Snoop
    Jun 12, 2018 at 14:57
  • I'm not fond of storing information in the registry, for a number of reasons. But if you want to tie the software to a particular machine (e.g. re-installs don't require putting in the license key again, because it's already there), the registry is a good place to put it, because it doesn't depend on a specific file in a specific place on the hard drive. Otherwise, my feeling is that the more x-copy you can make your installation, the better. Jun 12, 2018 at 15:03
  • @RobertHarvey Well, I've made it to this point having never used the Windows registry...
    – Snoop
    Jun 12, 2018 at 15:04
  • 2
    Having said that, installations have been moving away from depending heavily on the registry for quite some time now. In older application models, dependency on the registry caused all manner of difficult problems. Jun 12, 2018 at 15:09


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