Here's what happens when you change every registry value in Windows 10 to zero — technically, the OS still boots up

Windows 10 with all registry values set to 0...can no longer run .exe files, among other oddities.
Windows 10 with all registry values set to 0...can no longer run .exe files, among other oddities. (Image credit: Come on Windows on YouTube)

Ever wonder what would happen if you set every registry value in Windows 10 to 0? YouTuber Come on Windows had that question and posted a video showcasing the process to their YouTube channel three days ago. The video has no narration but text subtitles and a soundtrack of questionable taste if you'd like to watch it for yourself.

So, what did Come on Windows discover about Windows 10 once all of its registry values are set to 0? Well, most things don't function properly anymore, or if they do, they show highly inaccurate readings or other oddities. It shouldn't surprise those familiar with the Registry used by all Windows operating systems. Registry tweaks are generally considered for enthusiast tweaking and diagnostic fixes only since they're much more involved than a more straightforward settings change elsewhere in Windows.

To be more specific, let's start with the most significant flaw introduced by setting every Registry value to 0. Windows is no longer capable of running .exe files, or indeed most applications by extension, even most built-in UWP applications. Even Safe Mode Without Networking has more functionality than doing this.

What if you set every registry values to 0 in Windows 10? - YouTube What if you set every registry values to 0 in Windows 10? - YouTube
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In addition to not being able to run anything, Windows components that do things like share system specifications with you also no longer work properly. Ever wanted to use a 00th Gen Intel CPU? Well, the Intel Core i7-00800H isn't available anywhere on the market yet—and we would know—but if you're willing to change the right registry values, you, too, can have an impossible CPU. It just won't run anything you want it to.

Technically, it's not all doom and gloom with everything set to 0 on Windows 10. For example, Paint and WordPad still seem to work! Microsoft Edge even launches for its opening tutorial but crashes before any actual web pages can be opened.

Honestly, I'm just surprised Windows 10 can boot or operate under these conditions at all. Forget "the indomitable human spirit"— we need to discuss the indomitable Windows 10 OS. Not even Windows 11 can beat it! Yet, anyway.

Christopher Harper
Contributing Writer

Christopher Harper has been a successful freelance tech writer specializing in PC hardware and gaming since 2015, and ghostwrote for various B2B clients in High School before that. Outside of work, Christopher is best known to friends and rivals as an active competitive player in various eSports (particularly fighting games and arena shooters) and a purveyor of music ranging from Jimi Hendrix to Killer Mike to the Sonic Adventure 2 soundtrack.

  • Math Geek
    i wonder if this guy has the time to slowly change back one thing at a time to get needed stuff working. it's an interesting thought experiment anyway.

    so what needs to be on for exe files to run? then what might need to be turned on for a browser to work and so on. just for the fun of it, it could be an interesting time waster.

    never thought of this myself, but it is a rather interesting idea to explore.
  • milleron
    Well, that's a basically useless article, but I've gotta say that it was very entertaining and interesting nevertheless. I might even like to see more like it:tearsofjoy:
  • Kondamin
    Pretty pointless, but I have watched pointless things on YouTube before so that’s a thing that could be monetised.

    Would have been more interesting if he had learned about everything the important ones did and made a series of well tagged YouTube shorts explaining them
  • Dementoss
    If you have a spare PC, what's wrong with trying things, just because you can?

    Many things we take for granted these days, wouldn't exist if someone hadn't thought, I wonder what will happen if I try this and, then went and tried it.