CNET Editors' review
Mark Jacob's MJ Registry Watcher is a very simple yet effective tool for automatically monitoring your Windows Registry for changes (especially unauthorized changes) and alerting you to the change, and even preventing it from happening. It polls your registry and files every few seconds, looking for changes to your startup files, registry keys and values, and other places that Trojans and rootkits target. RegWatcher also hooks the registry, which means it intercepts commands and blocks those that pose a threat, simultaneously issuing an audible alert.
RegWatcher is portable freeware that needs no installation. The download includes a lot of sound clips for the program's alerts, everything from gongs and klaxons to Star Trek Beep and Alert (we expected nothing less). The program itself is very lightweight and uses few resources. Most of the time, it resides in the system tray and automatically scans the registry at an interval you can set from zero to 600 seconds; the default is 30 seconds. The program's user interface is very simple, too, with registry keys displayed in the upper panel and Alerts in the lower panel, with a larger central pane for displaying specific subkeys. We could change Alerts from the default choice, Prompt, to Accept or Reject, based on how comfortable we felt with the program's actions. RegWatcher's Options include Registry Backup, Quarantine, and Exempt Keys, Values, and Filespecs settings as well as sound, startup, and other housekeeping. An Engine Tuning menu configures RegWatcher's performance and resources. We could also open RegEdit and a log file from the program's toolbar.
RegWatcher automatically began polling our registry as soon as it opened, displaying the details in the bottom edge of the window. By default, it uses the Custom Key Set for polling, but the "Brief Help Screen" lists command-line arguments and actually offers more useful information than many so-called full Help files. MJ Registry Watcher is a unique and useful program.
From Mark Jacob:
MJ Registry Watcher is a simple registry hooker or poller and file poller that safeguard the most important startup files, registry keys and values, and other more exotic registry locations commonly attacked by Trojans. It has very low resource usage, and is set to poll every 10 seconds by default, although you can adjust this to anywhere between 0 and 600.
A configuration file stores all your settings for future use. MJRW not only polls the registry, but it also hooks it, so that most changes to keys are undone and reported instantaneously.
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All versions:5.0 stars
out of 2 votes
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"always liked it"
Version: MJ Registry Watcher 184.108.40.206
great program. works extremely well
good to see it updated for win 7.
portable so doesn't mess up registry
interface can be a little confusing
excellent addition to your protection
"Don't be mislead - this product is now FREE - v220.127.116.11"
Version: MJ Registry Watcher 18.104.22.168
An excellent FREEWARE alternative to full-blown anti-virus, which uses far less resources and doesn't need signature updates every few hours. Constantly maintained at
User interface could be improved, although it has its appeal in its simplicity and functionality.
There are plenty of positive comments about this product atDunno what's wrong with cnet but they won't update the details for this product. As such, their download is over a year out of date, and is for a paid-for version which does not exist any more! Anyway, better to get the absolutely free and bang up-to-date version (currently 22.214.171.124) at http://www.jacobsm.com/mjsoft.htm#rgwtchr
This product has saved my bacon on numerous occasions, even on zero-day viruses where other anti-virus products are usually defenceless. If ANYTHING tries to interfere with your Windows system, the changes are instantly undone, and you will be alerted as to whether to allow the changes or not (Accept or Reject). MJ Registry Watcher allows you to configure what you want to protect (files, directories, registry locations and values). You can use wildcarded specifications (???) to protect multiple items in one line. You can use it straight out of the box at default settings, or get your hands dirty and tweak it to your heart's content. You can choose the level of protection from Light through 5 levels to Highest. The default settings are what I have always used and that gives me the protection level which doesn't cause too many alerts, but gives good protection. The alerts can be automatically emailed anywhere you like, and you can quarantine files, directories, and registry keys. The alert sound can be changed to any WAV file you like and there is a free download of Optional Extra Sounds for the Alarms (720K zip file of 33 wavs to set as the alert sound) at
MJRW works under ALL versions of Windows including Vista. To side-step UAC prompts or elevation prompts under Vista, you can use the task scheduler to launch MJRW with administrator rights and set it to run at log on.
Updated on Mar 26, 2009
Updated on May 27, 2009Latest version is now 126.96.36.199 with facilities for combatting viruses like Brontok. Go to http://www.jacobsm.com/mjsoft.htm#rgwtchr to download latest free version.
I still cannot understand why CNET refuse to update this page, but there you go....
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