Category Archives: Windows Registry

7 Things You Should Know About Registry Cleaners

Is your computer slowing down? Do you get error messages you don’t know what to do about? Have you tried everything short of installing a fresh operating system on your PC? Anybody who has gone through reformatting a system will tell you how tedious and time consuming that is – you need to back up your files, download a new set of drivers, and install a fresh copy of your OS. The easier way to take care of your Windows Registry is to get a registry cleaner. In case you’re on the fence about getting a registry cleaner, or just aren’t too knowledgeable about it, then read up on these facts about registry cleaners.

What is a registry cleaner?

To fully understand the importance of registry cleaners, you have to understand the importance of your Windows Registry. The Registry is a database where your Windows operating system puts system settings, device driver information, user profile information, and program information, among other important things. The Registry is accessed at start up and all throughout the computer’s operation. Entries are scanned, read, written, and deleted within the course of an hour, and this fast-paced and repetitive writing and deleting can lead to redundant entries on your Registry. Installing and uninstalling programs can also lead to unused, obsolete, and invalid entries.

Manually removing these entries is not recommended, since trying to find the errors is a monumental task in itself. Also, if you accidentally delete or alter an important entry, your system may become unstable, and in some cases, it won’t even boot properly (if at all).

A registry cleaner is basically software that scans your Windows Registry for redundant, unused and corrupted entries. The cleaner discerns the severity of each error and takes care of each accordingly. The regular use of a registry cleaner prevents your Registry from getting too cluttered, thus optimizing and protecting your system from error messages, slow boot times, and a build up of corrupted registry entries. A registry cleaner is a safer, more expedient way of getting your Registry in order.

Not all registry cleaners are made equal.

While registry cleaners are designed with good intentions – or at least with the intention of helping you perform housekeeping on your Windows registry, they are not created equal. There are a lot of registry cleaners out there, some from reputable software companies and others from start-up companies. There is some debate as to which is better, as established companies have more experience in making these types of programs. On the other hand, start-up companies, while lacking in the experience department, release their registry cleaners for free and tweak them according to user suggestions and comments.

Whether the registry cleaner came from a big software maker or small start-up company (or an individual programmer) may be an important factor when choosing a registry cleaner, though you should remember that efficacy doesn’t come with a big brand name. Remember too, that free programs aren’t always effective either. Do your research, and if possible, try out different registry cleaners to find one that works for you.

Dangers of poorly designed registry cleaners.

Registry cleaners can be well-made or poorly made. You can probably imagine the sort of problems that can be caused by a poorly made registry cleaner, as they can wreak all sorts of havoc in your system. Some registry cleaners aren’t really able to discern which entries are redundant and can’t gauge the severity of the errors. Needless to say, they may haphazardly remove entries that are essential to your system’s stability. This can prove to be problematic, not only because it’s counterproductive, but also because it can cause more harm than good to your PC.

Because of this underlying danger of using a registry cleaner (or specifically a poorly made one), you should be particularly careful when choosing a registry cleaner to ensure that you get a safe and reliable one.

Rogue software and scareware 101.

While we’re on the subject of bad registry cleaners, rogue software and scareware are the next things you should know about. Rogue software (sometimes referred to as rogueware) misleads and scares users into downloading and paying for a security program. In the case of registry cleaners, a website may display a pop up saying that your computer needs a scan. Clicking on the popup will lead you to another site that will perform an online scan on your computer. The online scan will then display several errors – most of which are false positives. The website will then suggest that you download and pay for their registry cleaner to clean out the errors the online scan found.

You know where this is going, yes? If you’re inexperienced with registry cleaners, you’d be concerned to see all the errors and may be concerned enough to shell out money for the cleaner the site suggested. Other than these scare tactics, rogue software can even just bypass you completely and install itself into your system. All things considered, you have to be wary of these kinds of things. You will need to do some legwork when looking for a registry cleaner, like check out reviews from users in websites and forums.

Corrupt registry recovery and backing up.

We’ve covered much about what bad registry cleaners can do to your system, but you might be asking how you can possibly recover from a corrupted Windows Registry. The first thing you should remember is to back up your Registry before you scan using a registry cleaner. You should actually make a back up before installing a program and before making changes to your Registry.

It’s pretty easy to make a back up of your Windows Registry. All you have to do is set up a system restore point and you’ll be able to go back to a previous state in case something goes wrong after a registry scan. Needless to say, knowing how to back up your Registry is a prerequisite to using a registry cleaner. Of course, some registry cleaners will automatically create a back up for you; this is definitely more expedient but to be safe, you need to do create your own back up.

One function vs. all-in-one bundles.

As mentioned above, registry cleaners are not made equal. Some registry cleaners are made with a single function, that is, to scan and clean your Registry. Others, on the other hand, offer other features like a defragmenter, an optimizer and a security scanner, on top of the scanning and cleaning. Again, there is some debate about this. Some say that standalone registry cleaners are better made since they are made to do one thing. Others, on the other hand, say that all-in-one programs offer more value for one’s money since they have all the things you need in one neat package.

Choosing between the two is really your call. Many reputable software companies offer registry cleaners in PC maintenance software bundles, while many start-up companies offer their software for free. Again, you will need to do your research about your choices.

Free trials are free for a reason.

You’ve probably seen a good number of free registry cleaners available online, and you’ve probably seen tons of free trial versions of paid ones. Free software is free for a reason. It can be that its makers are trying to make a name for themselves (like aforementioned start-up companies and individual programmers) or are trying to develop a product they can later sell. This may be a good or bad thing, as you may get software that’s safe and reliable without paying for a subscription or license. Free trial versions, on the other hand, are released so you can try out a program before shelling out money for it. The thing with registry cleaner free trials is, they will scan your PC Registry, display errors, and then fix only a number of the errors they find. If you want anything done beyond the limit, then you will need to pay for the software.

There you have it. Seven of the most essential things you will need to know about registry cleaners. In conclusion, you need to understand that a good registry cleaner is safe to use, you will need to make sure that you get your software from a reliable source. Also, don’t forget to back your Registry up. Your back up is your safety net, and you must always remember to have one before you walk the tightrope that is registry maintenance.

What is a registry optimizer?

If you like keeping your computer running at its full capacity, then you’ve probably realized that the usual slew of PC maintenance programs don’t quite make the cut. Registry cleaner programs and others like it that clean up and defrag the registry are available to tune up your computer further and keep it running at optimal speeds. We’ll check out what they do and how they can help, so read on.

Registry Optimizer

You’ve probably heard of a registry cleaner, a program that basically cleans out the errors, old and unused data in your Windows registry. So what is a registry optimizer? This program is similar to a registry cleaner, though it is made specifically to defrag your computer’s registry. Why would the registry need defragging?

Your registry is the database wherein Windows keeps information about installed programs, hardware and other devices, drivers, settings, and user profile preferences. Due to the amount of data it keeps, this can grow rather large and it tends to become cluttered over time. Programs and Windows itself read, write, and delete entries from the registry automatically, and this causes your registry to be defragmented. Since the entries aren’t in order, Windows will take more time to search for the information it needs, causing your computer to slow down.

A registry optimizer basically takes all the information in your registry, puts it in order, and creates and installs the new and organized registry.

Is it safe to use?

Like all other programs that fiddle with the registry, caution is required when using a registry optimizer. Most registry optimizers make backups of your Windows registry before proceeding with modifying it, so you can restore your previous settings in case anything goes wrong. You have to exercise caution in choosing a registry optimizer to use as well, since like registry cleaners, some optimizers come with malicious software that can harm your computer. That said, you’ll have to check out feedback and reviews about them before downloading and using any registry optimizer. Another thing you can do is to purchase one from a reputable company.

There you have it. If you want to optimize your registry, it’s recommended to use a registry cleaner first, then a registry optimizer for the best possible results.

What is a Registry?

A registry is the database for Windows operating systems, and it is basically where your computer’s important information is stored. Among the things stored in the Windows registry are individual user profile information, system hardware, device drivers, and installed programs and settings.

What does it do?

The Windows registry keeps information about what hardware you have on your computer, what your system preferences are (on a shared computer, individual user profile preferences), what applications are fired up at start up, and how your computer’s memory is set up. Windows consults this database regularly, so errors in the registry can be pretty disastrous for your computer.

You can make changes to your computer’s registry files indirectly via Control Panel tools, though most applications do the changes for you. When you install an application, a registry entry is made automatically. When you uninstall, updating the registry is done for you as well. Manually changing the entries on your computer’s registry is not advisable since as mentioned, the registry is updated automatically. In the event that you get a corrupt file in the registry, you may need to edit it manually, though of course, you’d need to back up your registry first in case something goes wrong.

How do I take care of my registry?

Over time, the registry can become cluttered with outdated data, and this can cause your computer to slow down. Corrupt information can cause more problems as those can cause your PC to freeze or crash completely. Registry cleaners are available that are made specifically to keep your registry in tiptop shape, and optimizing your PC’s performance in the process. When choosing a reputable registry cleaner though, you will need to find one from sources you can trust. Checking out cleaners from trusted websites and vendors should keep you away from getting malicious software.

Some registry cleaners come as a standalone program, while others come bundled in with other PC optimizing tools in a utility suite. Choosing between the two depends on your preferences, of course, but either way, getting a registry cleaner and using it regularly should keep your computer running at its optimal performance.

How do I defrag my registry?

The Windows registry is a giant database where your computer keeps vital information about the programs it should run at start up, user settings and profiles, and hardware and software installed, among other things. Its entries are read, written, and deleted hundreds of times an hour, and this constant changing of data can defragment the registry. Empty registry keys, entries left behind by uninstalled programs and other old or erroneous information bloats up the registry. This can cause your computer to boot up and operate slower.

Defragmenting your Windows registry should keep it fresh, or at least manage the data bulge that happens to the registry over time to acceptable levels. Which brings us to your question, “How do I defrag my registry?” The quick answer is to use a registry cleaner or optimizer.

Using a registry cleaner

Unfortunately, there is no tool built in Windows to clean up the registry, but there are several third party programs out there that helps address the fragmented registry problem. You should be vigilant when trying to find a trustworthy registry cleaner as some contain malware and other undesirable software. You can check out reputable review sites to see which registry cleaner and optimizer software are effective and which are not. Reading forums to gauge how happy other users are is also a good way to gauge a registry cleaner’s trustworthiness.

It is recommended to get a registry cleaner and a registry defragmenter or optimizer for maximum results. A registry cleaner will remove the unused and empty registry entries, while a registry optimizer will put the entries in order.

Things to remember: How do I back up a registry?

After finding a registry cleaner, you should then back up your registry before using it. Some registry cleaner, optimizer, and defragmenter programs back up the registry automatically, though it is still recommended to do this manually. Backing up your Windows registry is easy: just create a System Restore point and you’re all set. After backing up your registry, you can install the registry optimizer and it will do the defragmenting for you.

Overall, registry maintenance tools are easy and safe to use, as long as you are confident about the program you’re using. Even so, backing up your registry before doing anything is an important first step to avoid any problems.

How do I back up a registry?

Backing up your registry regularly is a good practice are you can restore your registry to a previous state before installing a program, making any changes in your computer settings, or running a registry cleaner, among other things. This ensures that you are prepared in case something goes wrong, and you won’t have to reinstall your entire system because of a registry error.

If you’re using a registry cleaner to tidy up your registry, most of them incorporate a back up function. One click and you have a back up that can be restored just as easily. For the sake of safety though, you’d still need to know how to do a manual back up in case your registry cleaner doesn’t have the function. So how do I back up a registry? There are three ways to do this.

System Restore

This is probably the easiest way to do this. Creating a System Restore point gives you a snapshot of your registry, your computer settings, and other information so you don’t lose any of them. In case something goes wrong, you can just revert to a restore point to undo any changes you may have done since then. If you’re using Windows XP, this is the main method to do it.

First you have to click Start, click Run, type in %SystemRoot%\system32\restore\rstrui.exe, and click OK. This opens up the user interface for creating a System Restore point. In case you have System Restore turned off, just open the System Properties and un-tic the Turn off System Restore box.

Once you have a restore point, you can safely use a registry cleaner. You can undo errors that occur while cleaning, defragging or making changes to your registry by reverting back to the said restore point.

RegEdit

If you’re using Windows Vista or 7, you can open the Registry Editor by clicking Start, clicking Run, and typing regedit. With the Registry Editor, you can export a specific part or parts of your registry into text files. Just select the registry key or subkey you want to back up, click the File menu, click Export, and save the backup copy.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Before using a registry cleaner or making any changes to your Windows registry, you need to create a backup in case an error crops up. This way, you have all your bases covered.