Dropbox can't access your Windows Registry

Updated Oct 23, 2023

If you receive an error indicating that Dropbox can't access your registry, it means Dropbox is attempting to access vital account information using your Windows Registry, but is being denied permission.

In most cases, it's possible that access to the registry is protected by the account credentials of an old or out-of-date user account. Resetting your Windows password should fix this problem. Once your password is reset, try reinstalling Dropbox. The installation should work without error. 

If this doesn't fix the problem, see the next section of this article for more troubleshooting measures.

Not using Dropbox yet? See how Dropbox makes syncing files easy.

What to do if resetting your Windows password doesn’t work

If resetting your Windows password doesn't resolve the issue, then it's possible that some files in your folder have their permissions incorrectly set. You can fix that with the following steps:

Fix folder permissions on Windows

  1. Click the Dropbox icon in your taskbar.
  2. Click your avatar (profile picture or initials) in the top-right corner.
  3. Select Quit.
  4. Click the Start menu. Search for Command Prompt or select All Programs > Accessories > Command Prompt.
  5. Copy and paste the following lines exactly as they are, one at a time, into the Command Prompt.
    `cd %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Protect`
    `attrib -s -h -r credhist`
    `attrib +s +h credhist`
  6. Restart Dropbox.

Remove Dropbox information from the Windows Registry

If the above measures have not fixed this error, you can try manually removing the entry from the registry. You need an administrator's permission to edit your registry.

For background information, including complete and up-to-date steps on how to edit your Windows Registry, visit Microsoft's knowledge base.

warning icon

Warning: Due to the sensitivity of the information in your Windows Registry, only those comfortable editing the registry should attempt this. For background information, including complete and up-to-date steps on how to edit your Windows Registry, visit Microsoft's knowledge base.

To remove Dropbox information from the Windows Registry:

  1. Click the Start button. Type REGEDIT in the search box and press enter.
  2. In the Registry Editor, drill down until you find the ks key following this path:
  3. Right click ks and select Delete.
highlighter icon

Note: If you get an error that says "Can't delete ks key: error while deleting key” do the following:

  1. Right click the ks key.
  2. Select Permissions…
  3. If your Windows login doesn't appear under Group or user names press Add… to add your account.
  4. Select your login from the Group or user names.
  5. Click the check box under Allow next to the Full Control permission.

Add yourself as an owner

  1. Click the Advanced button.
  2. Select the Owner tab.
  3. Select your name from the list and check the box next to Replace owner on subcontainers and objects.

If you get an error message, it may be because some objects in the registry are unable to switch ownership. It is expected behavior and you should ignore the warning.

Was this article helpful?

We’re sorry to hear that.
Let us know how we can improve.

Thanks for your feedback!
Let us know how this article helped.

Thanks for your feedback!

Other ways to get help