Dropbox can't access your Windows Registry

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In most cases, it's possible that access to the registry is protected by the account credentials of an old or out-of-date user account.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.

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

Resetting your Windows password

  1. Click Control Panel from your Windows Start menu.
  2. Open User Accounts.
  3. Click your account and press Change my password.
  4. Enter your new password twice, and press Change Password.

For the most up-to-date information on changing your account password, please consult Windows help page.

Once your password is reset, try reinstalling Dropbox. The installation should work without error. If this 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. Quit the Dropbox application from the Dropbox menu.
  2. Click the Start menu. Search for Command Prompt or select All Programs > Accessories > Command Prompt.
  3. Copy and paste the following lines exactly as they are, one at a time, into the Command Prompt. To paste into the command prompt field, right click and select Paste.
    • cd %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Protect
    • attrib -s -h -r credhist
    • attrib +s +h credhist
  4. Restart Dropbox.

If the above measures have not fixed this error, you can try manually removing the entry from the registry. Due to the sensitivity of the information in your Windows Registry, only those comfortable editing the registry should attempt this.

Resetting your Windows password

  1. Click Control Panel from your Windows Start menu.
  2. Open User Accounts.
  3. Click your account and press Change my password.
  4. Enter your new password twice, and press Change Password.

For the most up-to-date information on changing your account password, please consult Windows help page.

Learn more

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

Removing Dropbox information from the Windows Registry

You need administrator's permission to edit your 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:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Dropbox\ks
  3. Right click ks and select delete.

Repairing keystore permissions

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.

It's possible you may get an error. There are some objects in the registry that are impossible to change ownership. As mentioned in this Microsoft forum, it is expected behavior and you should ignore the warning.

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