How do I clean my PC with a registry cleaner?

Computers are more important to our lives now than ever before, and of course, it’s imperative for every PC owner to know how to properly maintain his system. One part of your computer that can be easily overlooked until problems like slow boot up times and program errors crop up is the Windows Registry. Personally, I use a cleaner to clean my PC registry. Registry cleaner programs are made specifically to take care of this Windows component.

What is a registry?

Simply put, the registry is where pertinent details about the hardware, computer memory, application programs, and system options can be found. User profiles as well as the configuration of drivers installed in the OS are also relegated here. In a way, the registry is an upgraded version of the INI (initialization) and configuration files that were dominant in the old-school DOS-based systems. In fact, when it first came, the registry’s initial purpose was also to amplify the said INI files.  It is set up in a hierarchical tree structure, partitioned by sections and subsections.

So why do I clean my PC with a registry cleaner? Because of the amount of data contained in the registry and the number of times programs and Windows access it, it is prone to errors – hence the need to use a registry cleaner.

So how do I clean my PC registry?

For those who are just getting to know this OS component, it would do well to remember that you don’t want to randomly tweak the registry. If you’re not careful enough, you might end up damaging your OS. Before you go ahead and edit it, therefore, always make sure that you create a backup first for the section or subsection that you’ll be tweaking. Also, note that if your computer uses Windows XP, do not replace its registry with a different version at all. Practice caution when adjusting your registry settings, because although there are only very small differences in the registry set-up spanning the many Windows version, there still remains the danger that your OS may be damaged.

That said, you should practice the same caution when using a registry cleaner. Most registry maintenance tools automatically create a backup of your registry, scan it for errors, and repair the errors it finds. A registry cleaner provides other services like defragmentation and optimization, among other things so you can be sure that your bases are covered when cleaning your PC registry. Most registry cleaners are easy to use, though you should note that you will need to practice caution when choosing which to use as well. All things said, a registry cleaner should be your friend, though you should choose this friend pretty carefully.

Quick Facts about the Registry Mechanic

We’ve covered a lot of things about the Registry Mechanic from PC Tools, but you may still want to have a few questions answered before trying it out for yourself. Here are a few things that may help you decide whether you want to download the said Registry cleaner or not.

Developer. As we’ve mentioned, the Registry Mechanic is developed by PC Tools, a software company based in Australia. They have been around since 2003 and are quite known for making anti-malware and other system utilities software, including Spyware Doctor, Browser Defender, Internet Security, and others. The company was later acquired by another big software company, Symantec, though they did manage to maintain independent operations. PC Tools’ first ever software release was the Registry Mechanic, the most recent version of which is 11, released last October 31, 2011.

Features. As you may have guessed, this Registry cleaner enjoys regular updates. Since its first release, it has been improved for better scanning and detection and with new features added for more functionality. Registry Mechanic offers several features for cleaning your system including the System Optimizer, Deep Scan, Backup and Restore, Ignore List, and Startup Scan.

Other Features. There are two very useful additional features in the Registry Mechanic: the Startup Manager and the Registry Compactor. The startup manager allows you to choose which applications are started when you fire up your computer. This feature will certainly help if you’re particularly annoyed with a slow boot. The compactor feature, on the other hand, allows you to defrag your Registry entries after cleanup. Some experts say that this makes a negligible difference in a computer’s performance but if you want to be especially thorough then you’d appreciate this feature.

Known Issues. Registry Mechanic is a pretty good choice, though it does have its issues. Some users have noted that this Registry cleaner gobbles up a rather large chunk of system and memory resources. Older and slower systems may freeze during a scan, so it can get pretty annoying.

Overall, the Registry Mechanic is an effective cleaner from a reputable company. It has a free trial version so feel free to give it a test run if you’re interested.

Things to do before downloading, installing, and using a Registry cleaner

You have to remember that you have to be careful when using a Registry cleaner, since it would be tweaking one of the most important components of your computer. To avoid any problems, you should remember a few things before downloading, installing, and using a Registry cleaner.

Before Downloading

Research is the important first step when choosing a Registry cleaner, so you should check out trustworthy sites and forums for info. You can read up on reviews to see how each cleaner performs and how effectively it can optimize your system. Checking out forums and user reviews should also give you an idea of which Registry cleaners to stay away from and which ones you can trust.

You can also get an idea of what features a Registry cleaner has to offer or if there are any known issues about a program.

Before Installing

After doing all of that research, you’ve most probably found a trustworthy and reliable Registry cleaner from a reputable site. Before you install it, however, you’re going to have to take a few precautions. You have to create a backup of your Windows Registry so you can revert to a previous version in case something goes awry during a scan or clean up.

Before Using

If it’s possible, you can test the cleaner on a sandbox or a clean system to see if it reports any unusual errors. Rogue software or scareware may inflate the number of errors to scare you into purchasing a cleaner. Some of these rogues may even plant the errors into your Registry, hence the need to be wary. Some tech sites test the Registry cleaners to see if they report errors on a clean system so you should check out what they have to say.

Lastly, if you’re planning to purchase a Registry cleaner, be sure to check out the program’s free trial first. With the free version, you can test drive the cleaner, see how it performs, and check if there are any improvements to your system afterward. At any rate, you need to be wary before downloading, installing, using, and purchasing a Registry cleaner.

A Closer Look at the Registry Reviver

As you may have learned from our previous articles, maintaining your Windows Registry is not an easy task. Thankfully, there are tools that make this an easier, hassle-free process and the Registry Reviver is one of those tools. In this article, we’ve compiled notable information we’ve gathered from the Internet about the said program to help you see if it’s the right one for you.

Developer. The Registry Reviver is from RiverSoft, a software company known for developing PC maintenance and optimization tools. The company has been around since 2004 and its two other products include the Driver Reviver and the Battery Optimizer. The Registry Reviver was first released in 2008 and several versions have been released in the years it’s been around.

User Interface. This Registry cleaner features a simple interface, with tabs for Home, Scan for Errors, Reverse Repair, Settings, and Startup Manager. The interface is intuitive and fairly easy to use and understand so both tech-savvy and not-so-tech-savvy people can use it. Quite literally, the Registry  allows for one-click Registry maintenance.

Free Trial and Guarantee. Like most cleaners, the Registry Reviver comes with a free trial version so you can see what the program can do before purchasing it. Unfortunately, the trial is very limited so don’t expect full use of the cleaner’s features. It will scan your Registry for errors and give you a report, but will only fix 25 errors.

RiverSoft is pretty confident about their software, and they’re offering a 30-day guarantee. Yes, you can get your money back if you aren’t satisfied in any way with the Registry Reviver’s performance.

Startup Manager. You won’t see this feature on a lot of Registry cleaners, though it’s fairly useful especially in improving boot times. You can choose which programs are launched during system start up so your system boots faster.

Automatic Restore. The Registry Reviver offers an automatic backup feature, which basically creates an image of your Registry before a repair. In case your system becomes unstable or you don’t like the changes the cleaner made, you can simply revert<link>Registry Revivier - Free Scan</link> back to the last stable version of your Registry.

There you have it. All things considered, the Registry Reviver certainly makes cleaning your Registry simpler and more convenient. If you’re still on the fence about this Registry cleaner, we suggest you check out the trial version or do more research to see if it’s the right tool for you.

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 Cleaner?

A registry cleaner is a software program that helps with maintaining your Windows registry. Windows operating systems use the registry’s database to keep information like your device drivers, software and hardware information, and your system settings. Over time, your registry can become bogged down with old information. This can lead to your system slowing down. Regular use of a good registry cleaner should prevent this slow down from happening and keep your system fully optimized.

What does a registry cleaner do?

Windows checks the registry regularly, and if your registry is cluttered with corrupt or outdated data, the system will take more time to access the information it needs, considerably slowing down your computer. Malicious software and viruses can also corrupt your registry and cause your computer to freeze, hang, crash, or stop working altogether. A registry cleaner, as mentioned, tidies up your registry by getting rid of old, corrupt, and unused data, making your system run more efficiently and smoothly.

There are several registry cleaners available, though you should be careful when choosing among the many available online. Some registry cleaners may hide malicious software (viruses, Trojans and spyware) and cause your computer more harm than good.

How do I choose a reputable and reliable registry cleaner?

The simple answer to this question is: do your research and check out reviews from reputable sites. You’ll have to do some legwork when looking for a good registry cleaner, as you need to check out reviews, user comments, and even forum feedback so you’re sure you’re getting something legitimate and safe.

Another thing of which to take note is that you can get a registry cleaner as standalone software or as part of a utility suite. Utility suites are basically software bundles with PC programs designed to maintain your PC’s performance. Choosing between the standalone and the suite depends on your preferences.

At any rate, getting a registry cleaner and using it regularly is good practice for maintaining your PC’s health. Running it alongside other maintenance programs like your anti-virus, anti-spyware, and disk defragmenter, among other programs should keep your PC optimized.

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.


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.

Are registry cleaners safe?

The simple answer is yes, some registry cleaners are safe to use. The other registry cleaners out there though, are not. Confusing? Let’s dissect this further, shall we?

The Unsafe Registry Cleaner

You’ve probably done a quick internet search on “Are registry cleaners safe?” and you’ve seen the mixed results. Some people will tell you that they are safe, while others will vehemently tell you that a registry cleaner will mess up your computer. Both answers are true; the question you should really be asking is, “Which registry cleaner is safe to use?”

There’s loads of registry cleaner software on the Internet, and most of them are free to use. Some of these programs have malicious software in them, like Trojans, viruses, malware, and keyloggers. They may appear to do a scan, give you a report, and fix your registry, but in the background, they are installing other software that can be harmful for you and your computer. Those aren’t the only kind of bad registry cleaner software, if you aren’t cautious, you can also get one that is poorly written. Poorly written software can damage your registry and render your computer useless until you reinstall your Windows operating system.

So how do you find a good registry cleaner?

A good registry cleaner is safe to use and should take care of the build up of erroneous data on your registry. If you’re looking to use a free registry cleaner, then you will need to do some legwork when trying to find a reliable one. You need to check out the popular registry cleaners out there and read up on reviews about the software. You can also visit forums to see what users have to say about the registry cleaner you’re looking into. Another thing you can do is to invest on a PC utility suite that has a registry cleaner bundled in. A PC utility suite generally contains tools that would help you maintain your computer and keep it running smoothly. In the long run, you may find this investment to give you good value for your money.

Lastly, you can get a standalone registry cleaner from a reputable company. Like the PC suite, you would need to make an investment on the software.