Originally published at: http://www.howtogeek.com/171633/why-using-a-registry-cleaner-wont-speed-up-your-pc-or-fix-crashes/
We’ve said it again and again: Registry cleaners don’t speed up your PC. At best, they’re a waste of time — and often money. At worst, they can cause problems by removing registry entries they shouldn’t.
I do agree that registry cleaners are overused an often not really necessary. However, there are programs that leave behind registry entries when uninstalled. And if you were to later reinstall, the installer sees the old entries and may not replace them with a new one - this is fine if each and every part is reinstalled into the exact same location - which may or may not be the case - especially if you uninstalled to put the program in a new location - such as a different folder or hard drive.
This is one place I do recommend using a registry cleaner - but to use it properly, you MUST do the full uninstall, then reboot the computer before running the cleaner to allow it to flag those left over entries as orphans - or they will not be removed.
One example of this is with most (if not all) Bethesda Softworks games using their version of the Gambrio engine - the built in uninstaller leaves several entries behind that WILL cause problems if you reinstall in a new location without cleaning the old entries out first.
OK, then the money I spend on Revo Uninstaller is wasted? But I like the way it cleans up left behind stuff!
PC tools works for me and it does help. Much more useful that PC Image Repair that you peddled in your emails. I paid the $100 for it and it never did me a bit of good. I had to restore to factory settings in every case. Maybe you have an agenda going on?
You don't have to buy Revo Uninstaller, it's free.
Thank you for writing this article!
As a technical analyst I go round and round with customers on the dangers of using a registry cleaner every week. Unless you take the time to review the stuff it is going to delete and you know what you are looking for, then my general suggestion is to avoid them.
Registry keys left behind by uninstallers that cause conflict or problems with other software are the product of poor software engineering and should be reported to the developer.
I have encountered more problems caused by registry cleaners "Cleaning" registry entries that affect everything from the personal preferences in an existing program to the registration information for a program.
The common misconception I find is that people think that their computer is "dirty" and needs to be cleaned.
There is nothing "dirty" about data.
I highly agree with CCleaner as an alternative. I don't personally use it's registry cleaning features. I just use it to delete temporary files, and clear cached files which does actually help improve the stability of many programs.
I also, use Comodo Programs Manager to monitor what changes a program makes to the system and then use that to remove the program completely. This is the safest way to cut down on bloat as it only deletes keys and files created during installation, rather than guessing at which ones are no longer needed. And it's free.
I plan on using this article to back my typical argument that registry cleaners are generally not useful or healthy for the system.
OK, in the interest of accuracy, I use Revo Uninstaller Pro. Seems like the 'free' version was a 30 day trial.
The only reason I bother with a registry cleaner is it's a part of the free Glary Utilities One Click Maintenance. I've found its registry cleaner to be harmless and it satisfies my anal desire to keep my computer clean of unneeded files. I use WOT and it does leave a huge number of registry entries behind that point nowhere so I feel better knowing they will go away every week when I run Glary. Is it necessary? Probably not but it's also harmless.
I agree with this one and I'm glad they mentioned CCleaner I use it all the time to solve alot of problems with clients computers. One just needs to take the time in deleting registry entries to be assured nothing vital to the system is deleted. CCleaner is the ONLY one I trust.
But the free version of Revo only works on 32 bit programs!
About CCLEANER. Not on a Mac. It will really ruin your day!
So what speeds a PC up?
My list includes:
Making sure your PC HD is defragged (non-SSD)
Boost the memory, resize the page file to a fixed size appropriate to your new memory size
Run a chkdsk /f
Check NIC settings. Don't just trust Auto.
Run the built-in disk cleaner (cleanmgr)
Remove unnecessary startup programs. Jqs.exe, jucheck.exe are on my list, as some legacy software needs java 6.22.
Turn off unneeded services.
Create a restore point before you begin
If you really must clean your registry, use the registry cleaner built into CCleaner... it’s the least unlikely to break your computer and won’t run up your credit card bill.
I think you meant to write that it's the "least likely" to break your computer"!
I've used registry cleaners for years...even dabbled a little in registry defragmentation. Let me be clear (to quote a political knucklehead), I have never had a single negative incident by using them...ever! And while I don't have any numbers to give you, my OS always felt crisper, faster and seemed to boot a lot quicker. Maybe it's my imagination. But as long as my imagination is happy, I'm happy. Happy, happy, happy!!
Registry clean won’t give you a massive performance boost, but it is essential to guarantee your pc performs well
The is on big exception to the advice offered by the author:
This key can have a large effect on a computer, with relatively few entries: computer degradation sets in after a few hundred values
This key keeps a log for every storage device that is plugged into a Windows computer, which means every USB thumb drive, hard drive, phone, mp3 player... inserted is stored.
When key holds over 1,000 values, boot times will be 10 to 20 minutes on a Windows 7 machine.
This won't effect the vast majority of users, but I run a print shop and over 40 - 50 thumb drives are connected to a machine daily.
Deleting values from this key should be taken with care.
I have never deleted the boot or system values, but I have read that if they are deleted the computer is bricked.
"faster and seemed to boot a lot quicker"
So even though removing entries won't change what programs/services boot at startup you actually believe that?
This is another legacy issue. Again Registry cleaners ae banking on what people remember about their old systems. Now today Regiustry cleaners not really worth it but circa Windows 3.1 and windows 98 they were actually useful and did do what they claimed.
Could be. I didn't know, thanks for enlightening.
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