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AsmSource : Assembly Language Programming

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The RegQueryValueEx function retrieves the type and data for a specified value name associated with an open registry key.

LONG RegQueryValueEx(
  HKEY hKey,            // handle to key
  LPCTSTR lpValueName,  // value name
  LPDWORD lpReserved,   // reserved
  LPDWORD lpType,       // type buffer
  LPBYTE lpData,        // data buffer
  LPDWORD lpcbData      // size of data buffer


[in] Handle to a currently open key or any of the following predefined reserved handle values:

Windows NT/2000:
Windows 95/98: HKEY_DYN_DATA

[in] Pointer to a null-terminated string containing the name of the value to query.

If lpValueName is NULL or an empty string, "", the function retrieves the type and data for the key's unnamed or default value, if any.

Windows 95/98: Every key has a default value that initially does not contain data. On Windows 95, the default value type is always REG_SZ. On Windows 98, the type of a key's default value is initially REG_SZ, but RegSetValueEx can specify a default value with a different type.

Windows NT/2000: Keys do not automatically have an unnamed or default value. Unnamed values can be of any type.

Reserved; must be NULL.
[out] Pointer to a variable that receives a code indicating the type of data stored in the specified value. For a list of the possible type codes, see Registry Value Types. The lpType parameter can be NULL if the type code is not required.
[in, out] Pointer to a buffer that receives the value's data. This parameter can be NULL if the data is not required.
[in/out] Pointer to a variable that specifies the size, in bytes, of the buffer pointed to by the lpData parameter. When the function returns, this variable contains the size of the data copied to lpData.

If the data has the REG_SZ, REG_MULTI_SZ or REG_EXPAND_SZ type, then lpcbData will also include the size of the terminating null character.

The lpcbData parameter can be NULL only if lpData is NULL.

If the buffer specified by lpData parameter is not large enough to hold the data, the function returns the value ERROR_MORE_DATA, and stores the required buffer size, in bytes, into the variable pointed to by lpcbData. In this case, the contents of the lpValue buffer are undefined.

If lpData is NULL, and lpcbData is non-NULL, the function returns ERROR_SUCCESS, and stores the size of the data, in bytes, in the variable pointed to by lpcbData. This lets an application determine the best way to allocate a buffer for the value's data.

Window NT: If hKey specifies HKEY_PERFORMANCE_DATA and the lpData buffer is too small, RegQueryValueEx returns ERROR_MORE_DATA but lpcbData does not return the required buffer size. This is because the size of the performance data can change from one call to the next. In this case, you must increase the buffer size and call RegQueryValueEx again passing the updated buffer size in the lpcbData parameter. Repeat this until the function succeeds. You need to maintain a separate variable to keep track of the buffer size, because the value returned by lpcbData is unpredictable.

Return Values

If the function succeeds, the return value is ERROR_SUCCESS.

If the function fails, the return value is a nonzero error code defined in Winerror.h. You can use the FormatMessage function with the FORMAT_MESSAGE_FROM_SYSTEM flag to get a generic description of the error.


The key identified by hKey must have been opened with KEY_QUERY_VALUE access. To open the key, use the RegCreateKeyEx or RegOpenKeyEx function.

If the value data has the REG_SZ, REG_MULTI_SZ or REG_EXPAND_SZ type, and the ANSI version of this function is used (either by explicitly calling RegQueryValueExA or by not defining UNICODE before including the Windows.h file), this function converts the stored Unicode string to an ANSI string before copying it to the buffer pointed to by lpData.

Window NT/2000: When calling the RegQueryValueEx function with hKey set to the HKEY_PERFORMANCE_DATA handle and a value string of a specified object, the returned data structure sometimes has unrequested objects. Don't be surprised; this is normal behavior. When calling the RegQueryValueEx function, you should always expect to walk the returned data structure to look for the requested object.

Windows 95/98: No registry subkey or value name may exceed 255 characters.


  Windows NT/2000: Requires Windows NT 3.1 or later.
  Windows 95/98: Requires Windows 95 or later.
  Header: Declared in Winreg.h; include Windows.h.
  Library: Use Advapi32.lib.
  Unicode: Implemented as Unicode and ANSI versions on Windows NT/2000.

See Also

Registry Overview, Registry Functions, ExpandEnvironmentStrings, RegCreateKeyEx, RegEnumKey, RegEnumKeyEx, RegEnumValue, RegOpenKeyEx, RegQueryInfoKey, RegQueryValue