How to Edit the Registry to Remove the Trial Version

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Many of the more useful and powerful programs available for purchase offer trial periods. Instead of forcing a potential user to purchase a license immediately, developers offer a pared-down trial version or a time-limited version of the full software. When the trial period for the program ends, often after a week or 30 days, these programs cease to function and often leave a marker in your system registry to prevent you from reinstalling the program to gain access to a second trial. You can bypass the trial period limit by editing the Windows Registry, but this should not be attempted on a whim.

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Explore Alternative Options

Editing the Registry can be an effective way to solve problems with programs and customize your system. However, it also carries the risk of breaking a number of critical system processes and should only be attempted by experienced users. As a result, you should explore possible alternatives before attempting to use the registry to reinstall the trial version of software again. If you need your Acrobat XI trial reset or want to renew your AutoCAD trial, it may be easier and safer to download a cracked version of either program, although you should install effective antivirus software before searching for cracked files or cracking software.

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If you have the means to do so, it is better to purchase the program whose trial has expired. This minimizes the risk of system damage, exposure to viruses, malware or spyware, and supports the development of the software you're using. If this is not an option and you must attempt a Registry edit, you need to take adequate safety precautions before you proceed.

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Registry Safety Precautions

Because edits to the Registry can cause major system problems when performed incorrectly, take steps before you attempt to edit it to ensure that your system can be restored to working order in the event of a mistake or problem. The easiest way to do this is to create a system restore point. System state backups allow you to revert your computer to a previous system configuration to undo any problems caused by new applications, settings changes, or hazardous edits to the system registry.

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You can create a restore point by searching for "Create a restore point" in either the Start Menu search window or the Search field of the Windows taskbar. Select the result at the top of the list. In the System Properties window that appears, select the "Create" button at the bottom of the "System Protection" tab. Proceed through the steps and allow the restore point creation process to complete before proceeding. After you create a system restore point, you can open RegEdit by searching "regedit" in the same Search menu you used to open the System Properties window.

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You should not attempt to edit the Registry just yet. Instead, create a backup copy of the current Registry state by selecting "Computer" from the left side panel, and clicking "File" and "Export." Name the registry backup file and select "All" as the export range. Save the backup to a secure location such as an external drive or cloud folder and then click "Save." Then, proceed to edit the Registry.

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Bypass a Trial Period With RegEdit

From the same window used to create the registry backup, you can edit the registry to bypass a program's trial period. In the left pane, search for "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE Software" and select it to display a list. Search for the name of the software whose trial period you want to bypass, taking note of any possible abbreviations or alternative program names. When you find the appropriate entry, select it and press the "Delete" key to remove it. Locate the "HKEY_CURRENT_USER Software" entry in the left pane and repeat the procedure in its list. Close the Registry Editor window and open a File Explorer window. Navigate to "%temp%" and delete all temporary files in the folder; then go to your "C:\User\App Data" folder. Search the "Local," "Local Low" and "Roaming" folders for anything relating to the software whose trial you want to bypass and delete any related files. Restart the computer, and you should be able to reinstall the trial software. If any problems arise, import the registry backup or roll back to the system restore point to solve them.

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