Why Clean the Windows Registry?

by Steven Chavez | 2009-12-16

On your PC within Windows is an area called the Registry, which acts as a warehouse for computer options and settings. The types of settings and information files stored in the Registry include user settings (for a computer used by a single or multiple users), operating and non-operating system software, the ports being used and hardware settings. Any information that may need to be retrieved later is stored in the Registry.

Files that are stored in the Registry may become useless and invalid; an application may be removed without using the remove tools built into Windows or there was a software update and the files in the Registry changed and are no longer valid. The Registry is accessed so frequently that if can become very large and congested to the point that basic computer operations, including start-up and shutdown, can cause even a fast computer to be frustratingly slow. If left unattended, your computer could eventually suffer error messages, the blue screen of death and even system shutdowns. Some people mistakenly believe their computer has a virus or some type of malware when in fact, it is the registry that needs to be cleaned.

There are two ways to clean the Windows Registry, manually or with a Registry cleaner software program. If a person knows what they are doing manually cleaning the Registry is not a bad way to go. The problem with the manual clean is the shear volume of files in the Registry and knowing which files to delete and which files should remain. Because so many different programs us the Registry this can be a tricky proposition for all but the most savvy and experienced computer techs. I would suggest the manual approach only to the most knowledgeable. For the rest of us a Registry cleaner software program is the way to go. Although there is a charge – usually under $50 – they are worth every penny. (I would not trust my computer to a free Registry cleaner software program.) There are several good products on the market to choose from some of which offer other tools such as a start-up manager, Registry defrag, and automated/scheduled cleaning. Most will clean the Registry within a few minutes and they can be used over and over again to ensure your Registry is always in top shape. Whatever you decide to do remember the Windows Registry is a very intricate and complicated place.

A clean Windows Registry keeps your computer safe and tuned-up. More often than not, it speeds up your slow computer as well. I know people who, after using a Windows Registry cleaner, swear their computer is as fast as it was when they took it out of the box. I'm not sure that's true but usually a clean Registry means a faster, more responsive PC.

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