The Windows registry is a key component for efficient of the Windows operating system. In this post we take a look at what the Windows Registry is, the need for cleaning up the registry, and the software solutions that are available to users to help them in the clean up process.
What is the Windows Registry?
The registry is how the Windows operating system stores and organizes information about all of the software and hardware on your computer. Whenever a new element is added or removed from your computer, entries inside the registry are adjusted to reflect the change. This makes it possible for your computer to easily access information about what programs and devices are installed on your computer and where they’re located.
Why Clean Windows Registry?
Just like your hard drive, whenever Windows adds or removes an entry, errors and fragmentation begin to occur. With everyday computer use your system slowly accumulates a vast quantity of useless, incorrect, or even corrupt data entries which can ultimately ensnare the speed of your system as it struggles to compensate for the resulting confusion.
Even something as simple as installing or uninstalling software can swiftly produce duplicate or empty registry entries that Windows never attempts to resolve or clean up on its own. And since the registry is so crucial to how your computer communicates between the multitudes of its parts, errors in the registry can cause just about any type of problem you can think of.
How do you Clean Windows Registry?
The Windows registry isn’t designed for individuals to fix by themselves. Apart from containing tens of thousands of largely unlabeled entries, even a single mistake made inside the registry can cause catastrophic problems for your system. Even the most experienced computer user knows that manual changes to the registry are time consuming, tedious, and virtually impossible to do on any large scale. Even if you knew precisely what you were looking for, fixing a few errors inside the registry manually would take more than doing a full reinstallation of your entire system.
This is where registry cleaning software comes in. Registry cleaning software knows exactly how to detect and resolve registry errors in only a few seconds. Several registry cleaners are also able to target and remove entries for malware programs like spyware, adware, and Trojans.
Some registry cleaning software is even capable of actively monitoring the registry and alerting you whenever a program wants to make a change, giving you a preemptive defense against malicious processes before they’re even allowed to take root on your machine.
Since the Windows registry never attempts to clean itself, if you want a registry that’s clean and free of errors, the only alternative to third party software is a complete system reinstallation. Fortunately, there are a wide variety of free registry cleaners available online. One of the most highly regarded and widely used is CClean, which also contains tools to clean up disk space and improve the performance of your browsers.
It’s also important to keep in mind that when it comes to registry cleaning software, reputation counts. The internet is full of malware posing as free registry cleaners, and even legitimate registry cleaners that have been put together by second rate studios may be dangerous to let loose on your system given the fragile nature of the Windows registry.
Whenever selecting software to clean your registry, you should keep in mind that altering your Windows registry is never risk free. While the risk can be heavily mitigated by selecting reputable software, it’s important to choose a software suite that can save backup data for you prior to any cleaning. This will allow you to restore your registry to its previous state should anything unexpected occur before or after cleaning.