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Ask the Readers: Have Registry Cleaners Helped Your Computer… Ever?

2011-03-27_133706

If you go searching online for ways to speed up your computer you’ll immediately run into a variety of registry cleaning applications. Is registry cleaning effective? Weigh in with your experiences.

Registry cleaners are a class of applications designed to remove unwanted and orphaned entries from the Windows Registry. Proponents of registry cleaning claim that it makes their computers run faster and more efficiently, opponents of registry cleaning claim that at best you’re just tidying up a tiny part of a massive database and at worst you’re risking the potential deletion of a critical registry key.

What say you? Do you use registry cleaners? If so, which one and what was the outcome? If it solved any problems on your computer or increased performance we want to hear about those problems as well as how you were able to measure the performance increase.

Sound off in the comments with your positive or negative experiences; make sure to check back in Friday for the What Your Said roundup where we highlight your registry cleaning successes and follies.

Jason Fitzpatrick is warranty-voiding DIYer and all around geek. When he's not documenting mods and hacks he's doing his best to make sure a generation of college students graduate knowing they should put their pants on one leg at a time and go on to greatness, just like Bruce Dickinson. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 03/30/11

Comments (303)

  1. tynen

    I used to use registry cleaners. But after breaking my computer so many times i stopped. I personally believe they’re completely useless. I’d rather re-build my computer.

  2. Allen

    I haven’t used one in years; and that is my commentary on how useful they are.

  3. Hatryst

    Never tried one. They aren’t safe to use at all. You never know what its going to do. As a matter of fact, the registry cleaner itself doesn’t know what it is going to clean…
    Just use CCleaner…

  4. Ashutosh

    I do occasionally use the registry cleaner available in CCleaner. I have noticed that it’s not as aggressive as some of the other registry cleaners out there, and so the chances of something important getting deleted is really less (there’s still a backup option, in case something happens).

    I have, of course, never seen any speed improvements. It’s just the cleaning of unwanted clutter that makes me a little happy every time I run it.

  5. dave

    Unless you understand what your messing with and can fix it, I recommend leaving it alone. I never make a blanket decision on what a given tool offers, only what I recognize. I know some of the newer uninstallers are incorporating removal of items from registry, but still us with caution (and a backup)

  6. The Neighbourhood Nerd

    I use both CCleaner portable for my customers and Tuneup Utilities at home. I don’t notice any particular speed changes when using registry cleans on newish computers, but anything 4+ years old and the difference is massive.

    I believe the success of registry cleaners depends on the speed of the machine and the amount of dead registry entries. But yes, they work.

    I wouldn’t touch any flashing advert that offers to perform a “free registry scan” however. Tools like that aren’t trustworthy enough for such a critical task.

  7. Charles

    The registry is a big mess out of the box, you’re not going to do much good with any kind of cleaner.

  8. temp

    It isn’t easier to see performance increase but at least you know your registry is clean. It is always good to use them after uninstalling sotfwares.
    I can also that now registry tools don’t mess your computer. I’m using Wise registry cleaner and ccleaner

  9. Deadly

    @Hatryst CCleaner has a registry cleaner

  10. Chas Duggan

    Have tried a few, Regcure, the paid one, at the time was having some stability problems, seemed to sort this out and generally keep things tidy. How much of this was wishful thinking, how much reality, is difficult to assess. Used it on a friend’s comp (Chip-stick load and my licence) to sort out similar problems and seemed to work but caused problems with camera driver. Used Ccleaner and Free Windows Registry Repair on assessment basis. Again very difficult to be definitive, no harm, seems to do the job, comp runs smoothly.
    After an installation of W7 and all drivers/programs etc on an old system, a run of ccleaner before defrag seemed to get rid of a lot of junk and smooth out performance – but again hard to be definitive.

  11. Ryan

    I’ve never used a registry cleaner other than the one built into CCleaner which I occasionally used to clean up after uninstalling a program; other than that I occasionally edit the registry when I want to customise something myself. As for the so called registry cleaners and speeding up your computer, it won’t make it go any faster and it’s more like to mess up your computer so what’s the point?

  12. CleanInstall

    I used them in the past but they didn’t really help much as far as overall performance.

    I’ve learned to setup windows on a separate partition as a clean install with all my basic setting and use primarily portable apps on a different partition. This allows me to lock windows down very tight to prevent any nasties happening and the OS is always “clean.” If something should go wrong a restore is about 10 minutes and I’m right back to where I was with a perfectly clean optimized install. Why on earth this isn’t the standard setup for computers I don’t know. It’s make maintaining a windows computer so much easier.

  13. Dave

    I’ve quit using them, they never made any noticeable difference and generally just break more than they fix. If you’re computer is slow, cleaning out the registry is probably the least of your worries. Try upgrading hardware or removing the junk software running in the background and on startup or scan for viruses and etc. Registry cleaning is the least of your worries and a general waste of time that can be better spent.

  14. goran

    I use CC and TuneUp daily,and YourUninstaller when uninstalling any piece of software. Never had any problem with my computer, and it’s as fast as it was when I bought it.

  15. ChrispyCritter

    One of them used to work pretty good on XP years ago but I think it was a registry repair not cleaner. Can’t remember the name but it used to be “Registry ___” Since Vista and Windows 7 I haven’t had many issues to worry about though. My computer dual boots of them but since installing 7 I haven’t looked back really :) I only know a couple of people that have had real bad issues with 7 but that’s because they use file sharing..I try to break them of that habit :)

  16. Ko0lHaNDLuKe

    Even CCleaner led me astray. I was really scared I might have to re-install Windows at the time…

  17. Thomas Clover

    The only time I ever use one is when I uninstall an application and I still see a lot of traces of it in the registry. That’s it. They are too dangerous IMHO. CCleaner is my preference.

  18. Alex B

    This is a really interesting question and personally, I run the registry cleaner that is inbuilt into CCleaner whenever I use the program as part of routine. I don’t thing that it has sped the computer up, nor have I noticed and bugs disappearing after running it. These days our computer is beginning to slow down despite my best efforts of de fragmenting, CCleaning, uninstalling software, clearing the start-up list and more. I think that I (and a ton of others) will just have to accept that slow-down is a natural part of using a windows machine. I love ubuntu/linux as It hasn’t slowed down the tiniest bit yet and if it does slow down, there are remedies that actually work to speed it up heaps.

  19. Brian

    CCleaner has been fine for cleaning out junk from uninstalled apps. But recently I found even this unnecessary as I now use Revo Uninstaller, which does a good job of removing the old app gunk.

  20. rainsky

    Yes. I use mine daily. It has saved my raggedy computer many times! lol

  21. Robert

    Used one once and it borked my system. Really see no use for them at all. Rather backup and reinstall if need be.

  22. C_3PO

    The excellent Windows live Safety Scanner does a pretty good job! I tend to use and “back up first” the built in option in CCleaner!

  23. Aj

    I use Linux most of the time but when I don’t I use ashampoo winoptimiser

  24. Seasider

    CCleaner yes. Sometimes use Auslogics but only to scan, I individually delete entries after exporting them. I have found some nasty looking items, and a lot Revo should have shifted, this way.

  25. Garaidh

    A registry cleaner is just like any other tool. It works fine if you know how to use it. That being said, the only one I use these days is the one built into CCleaner – it’s especially nice now that it gets rid of obsolete firewall rules. I don’t however just leave everything checked and say “uh, yeah delete that stuffs”. I run the things selectively and look through the results. Most of them are fluff that don’t really matter anyway – like unused file extensions but some things are nice and it’s more convenient than doing it manually (the obsolete firewall stuff for example). Cleaners are probably not necessary but they’re OK as long as you’re reasonably familiar with what they’re doing.

  26. Michael

    I’ve noticed that a number of viruses, more than used to be, are stealing registry entries, infecting rundll32 and the .exe entries, guaranteeing a reinfection every time a new program has started. Any registry repair i’ve tried to use has ended up, at best, deleting these entries, tho’ they usually miss them entirely. If anyone knows of a fast and convenient utility that will fix these hijacked entries, i’d love to hear about it. Currently, i find infected entries and replace them from a working system manually, which is really laborious as there are a ton of such entries.

  27. GirlGeek

    Used ccleaner recently on 3yearold Dell laptop…it helpted. I would; however, be prepared to reinstall the OS in case it all goes horribly wrong. I would never trust the online or TV ads to make my pc “faster”.

  28. F0ul

    Use to use one when they first came out, but, they are not much benefit these days because apps are better at uninstalling

  29. Groff

    I tried one once. It did absolutely nothing except waste a few MB on my hard drive from the install.

  30. Steve K

    Step 1, backup to an image copy (ghost or acronis or similar)
    Step 2, deactivate licenses for software that has a limit. You might wind up having to rebuild/reinstall
    Step 3. Make another backup, this time file by file so you can get to individual files
    Step 4, If you use EFS (Encrypting file system) backup your key and store it offline.The private key is stored in the registry and should be protected, but just in case….
    Step 5, try a trusted brand cleaner BUILT FOR YOUR OS. Registries can change with Win versions.
    Step 6. Test system thoroughly after cleaner is done. Reactivate licenses, Run major programs. If you start working and creating new data, then find that the cleaner made a mess that you have to cleanup, you’ll have bought into a headache.

    Note: Older systems in heavy use are more likely to have things that need cleaning.

  31. Bill

    I use Linux no need for a cleaner

  32. Mike

    I’ve used several of the “most recommended” registry cleaners over the past few years. I continue to use them regularly, particularly after uninstalling software. Knock on wood, but I have NEVER had a single issue with registry utilities. I don’t use them to “fix” anything, only as a maintenance routine along with CC and PerfectDisk defragger. Does it speed up my PC? I dunno. But it makes me feel better and that’s all that really matters! :-)

  33. def101

    i use the ccleaner one and on xp i use the advanced system care registry cleaner. Backup before using!!!

  34. Holiday Jim

    From what I’ve in these posts, impressions seem anecdotal, not measured in any way. Yes, Revo Uninstaller is great at getting the extraneous stuff out that built-in uninstallers leave behind. Very few have the accurate testing equipment to really judge the effectiveness of these. I use Glary Utilities and CCleaner frequently. I have never had a problem with the results. I have 6 computers (3 Win 7 and 3 XP) and use them on all with no issues. All 6 run a very fast levels for their configurations. My experience is that they work, but, again, I don’t have scientific proof.

  35. indianacarnie

    I still use one. I used one once, can’t remember which one, that totally trashed my system. To be fair.. it was a very advanced one and my experience was nil at the time. Had to reinstall which was, to my noob nerves a big deal! :)

    Then I read about how they don’t work and were dangerous too so no more for me! Didn’t use them for years.

    Lately , I tried another one. My “experience level” is much higher now so I wasn’t too worried even If I messed it up. Won’t say which one I used to avoid calls of “plant” haha, but used a shareware version of a respected names registry/cleaner/repair/compacter whatever. I do download,a lot of programs/app.s to try and end up keeping very few and have for a long time. When I ran this Shareware program it did whatever it did , haha , and my computer was noticeably snappier when it finished. I know….. they are not supposed to work, but I did see a speed/snap increase.

    Now I have the free edition of Glary Registry Repair and run it once every other month or so. Have had no problems, so far at least, and been running like this almost a year now I guess. Have once or twice used CCleaners , just for variety, but as much as I love my CCleaner I’m just a little leery of its Registry Cleaner. I use Revo Uninstaller now and between it and Glary I feel that my registry is fairly shipshape. I do backup every single time I use these programs and would advise the same to anyone.

  36. chuckbales

    I’ve seen some software that does not like to uninstall properly (I’m looking at you Symantec) that I’ve had to manually remove registry entries to clear out, CCleaner has worked for me when doing this.

  37. CheekyMonkey

    sometimes when you used”pirated software”it leaves behind reg files that block a new install of it…
    IE AnyDVD leaves behind files that know that you have a “Pirated” copy and uninstalled it…
    so once in awhile I say it’s Ok to use…

  38. Me

    This has been one of the best questions listed. I found all the comments interesting and useful.

  39. tencap

    CCleaner is awesome! Does a nice neat job of cleaning my computer every month or so!

  40. Howard

    I find CCleaner a very “conservative” registry cleaner which has helped me locate invalid paths and old software entries without the other confusing stuff which I am very suspicious of deleting.

    Whether it has actually speeded up my system, I don’t know.

    If I and going to use a more aggressive cleaner, I awlays reun ccleaner first.

  41. kevin

    Only when I’m working on older computers I see a big difference in speed but that’s about it.

  42. Dragonrose

    Tried one once. The result? Formating my computer.

  43. Carlos Ferrari

    I used to use every week when I was a XP user and only because I always saw on the net how great they were, but now that you mention it, I’ve never seen any real improvement after using any of the various I’ve used…

  44. Bilbo Baggins

    I used the one in CCleaner a few times, with very negative results. Reinstall windows a few times, the works. Now, I just use revo uninstaller for crap i don’t need anymore, if i ever use registry edits.

  45. Jon

    I have never once seen a registry “cleaner” do anything positive that would make any significant benefit…ever.

  46. MangaFalzy

    I used to use iolo System Mechanic… But it really screwed up my old laptop. I decided to not use a registry cleaner on my new desktop.

  47. Dude

    I have used System Mechanic (an utilities suite) for years and I swear by it. It is the first piece of software you should put on a new computer. This laptop is 1,5 years old and it boots up as fast as it did when it was new. System Mechanic was the first piece of software I put on it. Registry cleaners will help an old computer and recover quite a bit of speed, but it will never get it all the way back like new. Maybe 75-90% at best. Like I said; the best time to put a registry cleaner on a computer is when its new and run it once a week faithfully.

  48. Mark O'Connell

    Normally, I don’t post on forums like this, but the topic/article on this thread just begged for commentary.

    FWIW, I’m A+/MCTS certified and have been using registry cleaners for years with generally positive, if somewhat mixed results.

    That said, I’d never actually PAY for one, or any Windows software utility for that matter. You can get good tools for free (that actually work) if you look hard enough.

    I run the regcleaner in CCleaner about 1 time each month. I’m always amazed at what it picks up even when I don’t touch the setup (adding and/or removing applications) after awhile.

    The cleanup tool in CCleaner is its strength. I’ve seen it take dead-blown PCs and make them function well enough to stave off a full Windows reinstall until I could get replacement equipment to some of my better customers.

    My advice:

    a regcleaner is a tool that should be used carefully.

    Store any important data on a separate hard drive.

    Load programs where they need to be stored.

    Backup your data regularly.

    Use disk cleanup to remove temporary files every day…Using Windows Live Mail, Facebook, and any site that is flash or shockwave heavy is just asking for trouble… (this means FarmVille, Mafia Wars, etc.) CCleaner is good for this, too.

    Happy computing.

  49. vry

    i used tuneup utilities registry cleaner for a year but stopped, i’ve never encountered problems with it.. now im using “registry booster” & “ccleaner”, but when i uninstall a program, i manually look into my registry because programs tend to leave some traces all around including the registry. registry booster also backups the registry before proceeding to fix the problems the it found. so i can restore the registry when things are not good after the process.

  50. Woot

    I usually run CCleaner and that’s it. I don’t even do it that often because yeah, I do get some MBs back, but I don’t really know if it really makes my PC go faster. *shrugs*

  51. Cameo

    I’ve tried several different registry cleaners and stick with Eusing. At one time, my computer ran like it was stuck in second gear – just after I upgraded from XP to Vista. I had been using a highly touted, award wining registry cleaner that was doing no good. I decided to try Eusing and was prepared for the worst. First, I backed up my registry, then the Eusing program created a restore point. I had backed up my whole system to a separate drive. Eusing found over 1700 entries missed by the highly touted registry cleaner. I rebooted and my system ran like new again and it still does. If you are not sure what a particular registry entry does, don’t delete it. My system is now 5 yrs old (3.0 GHz dual core running Windows 7). It boots up in 20 secs and runs like a clock. I use CCleaner sometimes too and Revo Uninstaller which works well.

  52. Louis Payton

    I use CCleaner but I also use the AVG PC Tune UP 2011. I have noticed an improvement in start up time. It also has an undo function should it screw up. I got it on sale for $9.99 but it can be had for $29.99 routinely.

  53. Ryan

    I use CCleaner’s Reg Cleaner once a week. I think it definitely helps if you haven’t done one if a long time if ever.

  54. Josh

    I do use the CCleaner registry cleaner fairly frequently. The main reason to use a registry cleaner is to decrease boot time. The less registry keys the OS has to load, the better.

  55. Don

    First of all registry cleaners do not repair a registry in any way. They only remove obsolete entries. There are no available paid `registry repair’ or reg clean programs that I know of worth a plug nickel. IMHO those paid programs are a scam. Will you see system speed improve after cleaning the registry ? Doubtful unless the system is over 2 years old, and then the speed increase will be miniscule.
    When you turn your computer on the entire registry is copied into and resides in your random access chip(s) until you turn the computer off. Access to it is about as instantaneous as it gets. A registry would have to be horribly bloated with left over entries from deleted programs to notice any speed differential what so ever.
    So why clean it out ? Well, if you only have 1 gig of ram or less and you’re into internet gaming you need every bit of ram you can squeeze out at all times. If the registry is as compact as possible and you’re not running any extraneous programs, services or processes you get the most out of the available ram.
    For everybody else it’s an exercise in a new toy. That toy is probably as good as any in the free program CCleaner. Just make sure you have a system restore point that isn’t too old to fall back on. I use a free program called regseeker and have never had a problem with it. Then to make the registry as small as possible some suggest defragmenting it. Unnecessary. Just use ntregopt to compress and make the registry as small as possible.
    (Another very useful program is the free version of registrar registry manager, for slightly more advanced users.)
    Have fun and remember – system restore is your best friend. :)

  56. DUDESTER

    Yes….ccleaner and advanced system care they both have registry cleaner…they never messed up my pc or my customers…they work great when u r trying to clean an infected machine, they cleaned it and actually let u work better while u r trying to eliminate the virus

  57. wkmroch

    I have used CCleaner in the past but now use Glary Utilities. Have had no difficulties with either. I am not sure about any performance gain but if your installing and uninstalling programs over time a lot of useless entries accumulate in your registry, these cannot be advantageous. Glary Utilities has a registry defrag application that further tweaks the registry.

  58. Chris

    If my system starts acting “buggy”, I use a “cleaner” right away, and usually it helps. I use several of the recommended freebies like cc , eusing, advanced system care, and glary utilities. I also run a few in succession, because no one program will find everything in the registry that’s obsolete. As long as either
    you or the program creates a restore point, you’re safe, although I’ve only had to roll back some changes once.

    Most “cleaners” also bundle spyware killers and junk file removers…they’re handy to keep unknown programs and processes from installing and stealing resources, as well as keeping the available space
    to a maximum. I’ll keep using them, but there are quite a few good freebies out there, so I probably won’t pay for them.

  59. bassmanwa

    Hi I have registry cleaner WR have set it up so it has a restore point, don’t really know if it works as I am not hugely knowledgeable in this area, it seems to have speeded up the computer slightly, but I did have some issues a code 17002 think this was the erroe code could not connect to update server, after runnning the program it seems to have disappeared. Have been advised by some people not use as it can cause more problems that fixing problems, did find that after the cleanup when I ran it again a week later it did the scan and did not find any errors. Let me know if I should stop using

  60. AndreiD.

    Yes, they work. Of course, after trying some ,I have chosen only two or three of them and each one does its separate job. Never messed with entries I don’t understand , always looked up what I wanted to know.
    After all, using these programs , one is supposed to read some documentation , or you can end with a new Windows installation to do.

  61. phil400

    l go with the majority. CCleaner is good to tidy up.lt’s never caused a problem and it has a backup. Online Safety Scanner i figure must know what it’s doing. Anything that offers “try a a free download and and scan” is to be avoided as they do nothing except give CCleaner another load of rubbish to clean. l can’t say any improve performance. lt’s better to regularly defrag if you want better performance.

  62. KaiThu

    I like Eusing Registry Cleaner. Used it a lot on several computers and Windows versions. Never any problems. But for safety I also always use ERUNT which makes a backup of the Registry every day. It has saved me a couple of times but not from any cleaner messups.

  63. kikkeliskokkelis

    Registry cleaner are quite useless today. But many use them, maybe it is placebo effect?

  64. JFlo

    I use CCleaner on a daily basis I also run the Registry cleaner daily. I have notice a faster boot time and this also prevents your computer from having a corrupted software install especially if you are reinstalling it. I agree that CCleaner’s Registry Cleaner is a lot less aggressive and only removes the software that knows is no longer there.

  65. BrianA

    I had a bad experience with CCleaner and now use TweakNow every few weeks. It grades suggested changes with a traffic light system and sticking to the “green” has not caused any problems (Win7). I only delete “amber” entries if they refer to things I know I’ve uninstalled, and avoid any red entries completely.

  66. nerdalf

    i use ccleaner works ok esp for the part it backs up your registry before the cleaning process.
    however av not seen major speed improvement just a smoother running i think.

  67. Ann Onymous

    Do you mean CCLEANER?! Yes, I use that. And I love it!!! “All hail the powers of Piriform Ltd! (But screw them if they ever make us pay – emphasis on the word “make”.)” However, I only rarely use the registry cleaner function of CCleaner cause it just doesn’t make a difference as far as performance goes.

    I really only regularly use CCleaner as a cache cleaner – cause everyone knows “cache” is where it’s at! Most any knowledgeable geek will tell you that if you clean your cache(s) and occasionally perform a defrag you’ll almost never need to do anything else – assuming you don’t do stupid things like install/uninstall apps over and over, surf questionable webs/porn sites, etc.

    But even if you do like to experiment or just can’t stop the urge to open links that your dear cousin Earl told you about then may I suggest doing it “virtually”? It’s a whole lot easier copying one big honkin .vdi file when things go wrong than it is to totally reinstall your operating system! Therefore, I strongly urge anyone who is prone to (d)(br)icking their system to GET AND USE A VM CLIENT LIKE VBOX! I mean, if you screw it up then just copy your backup .vdi file over the previous one and you’ve basically reinstalled your entire operating system – in under 10 minutes! (Now, I would assume most everyone here knows how to copy/move a file somewhere…)

  68. miki

    yes TweakNow RegCleaner 2011 for approfondite clean…no problem at all.
    Also ccleaner works but is too simple
    I don’t use automatic speedup programs…they don’t work!

  69. wbrown

    I use them regularly on pc’s at work, especially after finding malware. I also use on my personal machines right after install of OS, and average of monthly afterwards. On older XP machines with users of the garden variety two finger typists that think IT can fix anything, it does substantially increase boot time, and to the users ‘its a miracle’.
    I formerly used tweaknow, but since discovering glary I use it exclusively. We currently have glary installed on +/- 200 pc’s.

  70. John Chorley

    It does help, but not as much as people say. However a little help is better than no help right? I find that keeping my registry clean is a good idea to stop it getting clogged up. I use CCleaner for it. You can also use Tune Up utilities if needed.

  71. lummy

    Only one I use is in revo that can clean the rubbish left by badly writen software

  72. Magued

    I use them and they are useless

  73. Ja5087

    Never

  74. parahumanoid

    Tried them. Pointless and dangerous. The best you can do is use a registry monitor to log your installation process, so that you can clean up after uninstall by checking the keys left behind.

  75. Antriksh

    I use CCleaner ad I really trust it. So whenever I’m doing the routine cleaning, I just clean the registry. I like to see everything that’s trash being thrown out. I’m not sure, but I do believe that you get a small performance bump on an old and slow system.

  76. ga4a

    I also use Ccleaner. After reinstalling those iTunes and Kies or browsers as well as other software there may be a lot of registry leftovers that you certainly don’t want to leave there. It’s because after some time the registry will become this crazy-all-kinds-of-leftover thing and tasks will take longer to perform since the pc would have to look not through 100′s of values but 1000′s of values that takes some extra time.

  77. Phil

    I use them. As some have already commented, I see the biggest improvement in older machines that have accumulated a lot of registry clutter. The biggest change seems to be faster boot time but the overall performance of the machine does improve.
    I have never experienced a system crash from cleaning the registry.
    I would never click on one of those flashing banner ads or respond to a ‘clean-my-pc’ TV ad. I use only reputable name-brand products. I’m partial to Norton but there are many others to choose from.

  78. Daymyen

    I sometimes use registry cleaner in ccleaner, ofcourse performing backup before i delete anything. When for uninstalation i use revo uninstaller in advanced mode so i don’t have much trash in my registry anyway.

  79. Bill Botzong

    Junk accumulates by programs that don’t clean up after themselves, or incomplete uninstall routines. WHY DOESN’T Microsoft FORSEE THIS AND DO IT AUTOMATICALLY FOR YOU? Or at least have a safe, reliable way to remove the detrius that accumulates over time. I agree with some of the earlier posters… I’d rather do a complete reload.

  80. Mark

    I always used the CCleaner registry cleaner and never backed up and it worked flawlessly. I recently switched to Ubuntu, so I guess it’s not a problem anymore. My wife got some nasty malware that required going into Regedit and doing a line-item removal. If you know what you’re looking for and aren’t intimidated by the whole thing, it’s not that difficult to make changes like that on your own. Have I ever noticed an increase in speed once everything is all said and done? Never.

  81. George

    I have never user a registry cleaner, I would rebuild the Win OS if it became unstable.

  82. KB Prez

    Wouldn’t go near a registry cleaner. They can do a lot of harm, but very little good.

  83. Ben

    Absolutely. There is one program in particular that I deal with. If it is uninstalled using the included uninstaller it leaves behind several registry entries. If you then try to reinstall the program – especially in a different location, the reinstall will fail because of those registry entries. The alternatives are to edit the registry manually. As I do most support over the internet with neophytes I don’t recommend this. The option I do recommend is ccleaner. With special instructions on what to do both before and after running it
    After running the program’s built in uninstaller, reboot. Then run ccleaner immediately. Then reboot again. I have lost count of the number of times I have recommended this – I have a very high success rate with it.

  84. G4bryel

    Registry cleaners are completely useless. On the other hand, the registry defragmenters help a lot if you have the Windows installed for more than a year.

    The best solution would be the portable aplications. They don’t mess with the registry. Or if you don’t find the portable version, when you uninstall the program use a good uninstaller.

  85. amego

    No,Never

  86. Stephen Edelstein

    CCCleaner is safest and best

  87. Shawn

    As for as performance increase goes, if there is one, it is negligible as I haven’t ever seen it. Thus, I only use them for technical issues e.g., where an application fails to remove it’s own entries properly (Adobe anyone?).

  88. mike

    I have just used my last one. I have a laptop with only two gig of memory so I had always tweaked my machine with registry cleaners I have paid for. After thrashing my 3rd machine I am done optimizing and defragmenting my registry!

  89. Des Boxall

    If you use something like CCleaner for the first time on a machine that you’ve used for some time there’s a noticeable improvement however I’d say regular use produces very little improvement. I wouldn’t use the flashing ‘scan now’ now guff found on a lot of websites which claims to find lots of errors than asks you to buy the software to remove them.

  90. vistamike

    This is a very interesting subject and pops up very often on our main forums. To be sure, the recommendation is never to use such ‘programs’. A quick google will show 1000′s of progs. 99.9% of them are either crap or just totally malicious.
    I use Ccleaner daily (quite a few times) and have it set to run on boot (see below re; downloading)
    The Registry cleaner supplied works to my satisfaction (on many pcs a week).

    But first and foremost is good housekeeping! Regular A/v scans and cleanups.

    If, like me, you tend to download software to test, always use Revo uninstaller to take them out. Windows uninstaller and the program uninstallers fall well below par when it comes to this.

    I repair quite a few systems on a regular basis and many of the problems encountered are these rogue programs

    Just my two bobs worth…..but NO, don’t use the others at all. Never.

    Mike

  91. Carolyn

    And what does the “How to Geek” recommend?

  92. Ken

    I use JV 16, regularly. It is very powerful, but if you know what you’re doing it’s great! I use it mostly for cleaning up garbage after an uninstall, but it has several other useful tools. I highly recommend it – but KNOW WHAT YOU’RE doing or don’t use ANY registry cleaner!

  93. Hisa

    I used one once. I saw zero improvement. I get better results by emptying my recycle bin and removing temp files. I do have a friend who lives by registry cleaners tho. With that said, since Jan 2011, I have had to reimage his system 4 times already. No viruses, crapware, spyware… Just missing or corrupt registry entries. If registry cleaners work, they don’t do anything immediately visible unless you are doing it all wrong.

  94. jr.

    In XP it’s good(maybe vista too), in 7 useless.

  95. Nitin

    with cleaning i hardly saw any performance improvements but yea after a registry defrag My desk seems bit faster i use tuneup utilities for cleaning and defragging

  96. hansv

    what is registry? :)

  97. gyffes

    Yes. After the registry cleaner borked my machine, it prompted me to make the move to installing Mint on it, and I’ve been happy ever since.

  98. Ben

    I use System Mechanic 10′s registry cleaner, it sped up my startup by a lot.
    And no, I’m not paid to say this.
    Just a warning for all you out there, Norton Utilities will screw up your computer, big time.
    I used Norton Utilities v14.5 that I bought two years ago, cleaned the registry, when i restarted it kept blue screening.
    Don’t let Norton Utilities touch your computer, try out System Mechanic.

  99. Stewart Redback

    The risk of it being crap or worse is high, the benefits low – best avoided.

  100. Richard

    I’ve used PC Tools Registry Mechanic on two older computers (desktop, 2003 and laptop, 2005) that both run on Windows XP. I have seen a definite improvement, particularly in booting up, and have never experienced any problems.

  101. David Ovens

    A complete waste of time and money, plus you run the risk of damaging the registry.

    Leave well alone, unless you are a real expert Windows OS Tech.

    Regards,

    Dave

  102. vita

    Registry clean is necessary if you are working with low RAM or your computer has no Anti Virus or If you often install/uninstall softwares. however I think registry cleaner is good for my grandpa’s computer. Anyway that is a another ugly part of STUPID OS.

  103. Srihari

    i have used one registry cleaner and got all my network drivers corrupt and had no access to the internet for more than 2 days until i re-install all drivers manually

  104. MJ

    My husband is NOT computer savvy, but he’s always looking for ways to make his laptop run faster. SO one day he decided to try a registry cleaner (can’t recall which one). Not knowing the difference between files that are essential and files that are useless, he went ahead and “cleaned” (removed) all the suggested/recommended files from the program. BIG MISTAKE. He called me frantically after the computer refused to reboot. Error messages stating “Missing xxx.dll files” would pop up. Reinstalling Windows didn’t work. I was able to copy required missing files just enough to give me access to the hard drive to save his files. I ended up pretty much wiping out the entire system and completely reinstalling Windows in order to get the laptop working again.

    He learned his lesson. No more registry cleaners here. You never know what 1 file you end up deleting that might be absolutely essential for running your computer.

  105. Roberto Lupini

    Of course I use them. Because I know what certain companies like to hide in your registry. Most of the security leaks come from the registry. And you’re always told about how careful you must be in the registry. Over-rated! Just do a back-up and you are safe. If you want a good one then download Glary Utilities – freeware at its best. There’s nothing like a good spring clean – gets rid of the filth…

  106. BS

    Whenever my XP systems get gummy I run CCleaner reg cleaner. It usually improves things.

  107. Cerveza

    CCleaner used daily on my end users machines.
    Great for cleaning up all the junk they end up getting into.

    I don’t have to run the reg clean portion in there very often.
    I have never had any issues with ccleaner corrupting the machine after cleaning it
    and the registery.

    I notice more of a speed boost after cleaning up all the web browser cache
    than the registery.

  108. Hiram

    I have used iobit and it actually soved many issues on my PC and others. I continue to use it with good results. But is a question of risk….

  109. joe

    I’m currently using the Linux platform with the OS Ubuntu. Bleach-Bit I guess is a form of registry cleaner which I use monthly. The first time I used it 90 megabytes where cleaned off of root as 30 megabytes where cleaned out of home after which I did notice an increase in responsiveness all around. Namely, Firefox, Flock and Nautilus. But it is a vary slow process which gives off a false low amount of space in hard drive until you check off the don’t mention disk space any longer message. As far as the Windows and Apple platforms I did not ever bother to use these registry cleaners before I went to only Linux platform based OS’s.

  110. brianzion

    in windows 7 new operating system you don’t need to *clean* the registry. they have built the hive larger now so you don’t have to worry about size of the registry. windows xp and vista was small and easy to get bloated after time, they learnt from this and improved windows 7 build. if you are still concerned then when you un-install a program no longer required install revo un-installer and use this. http://www.revouninstaller.com/

  111. Matt M

    I use MV Reg Clean and never had any problems. I use it mostly after uninstalling programs, just do a reg back up and all should be fine.

  112. Bob

    I’ve tried about 4 or 5 over the years always with the same result – format & reinstall. So now I just save time and reinstall Windows when needed. Or better yet, install Linux and Wine for my games.

  113. Bob

    I purchased and installed Registry Patrol, based on independent reviews. However, after using it twice and finding stuff missing, stuff that I did NOT want to erase, I think I’ll just let it sit. Not enough information is provided as to what is about to be deleted nor is there any warning about deletion of specific files that might best be retained.

  114. Brad

    I’ve never used them and never would. Reg cleaners would only have a benefit to a system that has been consistently used for and extended period of time (1 year +) and thats because it would be cleaning up the reg indexing. I re-format my system at least one a year, usually twice. You’re better off with doing a consistent system clean-up and defraging.

  115. Lampman

    I have used CCleaner and Glary and more recently Tweaknow Powerpack 2010. Neither has caused me any adverse affects. It is interesting that after running, say Glary, TweakNow always seems to find something else.

  116. Bob C

    Sorry, I noticed there is already a comment from a “Bob”. So, I’ll add an letter after mine. (This is in regard to my comment concerning Registry Patrol.)

  117. Gary

    I have tried at least 10 different reg cleaners and I have found that they all do mor harm than good, they all seem to improve computer speed but I find they all stop some installed software from working correctly all remove features from programs, and if used with windows 7 stops you from accessing devices and printers, I now just use the windows cleanup program built into windows.

  118. wsbn

    I have the Uniblue Registry Cleaner and really do not know how affective the registry cleaner may actually be. I have used the cleaner for years and update each year to the newer version. Allegedly, registry errors are detected and also are allegedly cleaned; however, I cannot discern the speed of the computer before or after treatment. One aspect I do perform, prior to any registry cleanup, is to back up my registry data just in case a problem arises after the task is completed. So far and for approximately five years of use, I have never experienced a registry failure after a cleanup. In summary, I just do not know the benefits of paying 30+ dollars for registry cleanup software. I leave that decision to the individual to determine how valuable a registry cleaner is or is not. Caution: the bulk of registry cleanup trial downloads will only advise the potential buyer of allegedly found registry errors. To fix the errors, the software must be purchased or only a limited number are permitted to be cleaned. In addition, during the trial run, more falsely noted errors may be indicated than actually exist. I have downloaded several registry cleaners just to discover what each cleaner finds. Results: All cleaners I tested varied in what registry errors were found. After the several trial runs, I removed all the registry cleaners and ran my Uniblue cleaner and Uniblue only indicated a few errors…so which one was correct and which ones were manipulating a purchase ploy?

    Note: I have used the Uniblue Registry Cleaner only on Windows XP and 7.

  119. Nell

    I have used, and paid for registry cleaners, big mistake. I use CC cleaner on a daily basis, and it works perfect for me, speeds up my computer. And this one is for free, computer runs perfect.

  120. Doug

    It is very interesting the different views on this. I will say that I used a reg cleaner frequently on older machines and it does improve the performance.

  121. Bob D

    CCleaner and Revo-Uninstaller have worked very well for XP and Vista. No opinion on Win7 yet.

  122. Bob C

    One more point: Not sure if it’s because of Registry Patrol or something MS has done with updates (I use Vista) but I can no longer run the games that are included with the program (solitaire, etc.) . They’re still there (the icons) but an error message tells me there is no associated program and I’ve been unable to fix that.

  123. Rick S

    It took me three days to fix my computer after using one of those things.
    I didn’t know how to use it properly. It did seem to help the first time I ran it but soon found out that more is not better. lol.

    If you don’t know what you are doing save your money and stay away from it.
    It’s been five years since I did that and I still have a very fast computer. I’m not going to make the same mistake twice. Don’t do it !!! Unless you know what you are doing.

  124. David Swinehart

    I have bought and used almost all Registry Cleaners on all types of computers and OS’s. With Windows XP they did not help, Windows Vista they helped a little, Windows 7 did not make any difference. I have even used the free ones like CCleaner; the cleaners look like they are doing something because they find a huge list of items and the programs are sophisticated looking. I have not noticed any increase in performance. The only THREE ways to increase performance: 1) remove unnecessary startup and background programs, 2) completely reinstall the entire operating system from scratch (not from a backup) and do this once per year, 3) Use a Linux operating system such as Ubuntu 10.10 (this is not a solution for everyone since Windows is the default OS for the world. If you are mostly using Cloud computing and Gmail, Ubuntu 10.10 works very well.)

  125. drfreud2

    Have used them but cannot tell that it has helped

  126. john3347

    I use the registry cleaner function in “Advanced System Care” on a regular basis (approximately once a week). I can neither prove nor disprove its effectiveness because I have no otherwise equal computer to use as a control item. With this application, however, I have never encountered any of the “horror stories” that I frequently hear about many other registry cleaners .

  127. Allan McLeod

    Registry cleaners are computer crack; you don’t need them, you don’t want them, but you always get one, and then curse the fact that you did. Then, withdrawal sets in and you suffer for a few weeks or months, but something pulls you back, and before you know it, you’ve downloaded another @%$&*@# registry cleaner. At least that has been my experience to date, and I’ve been hooked for a lot of years.

  128. Snert

    I don’t use a registry cleaner.
    I do my own registry cleaning via Start – Run – Regedit.
    I back it up before messing around in it, of a matter of course, and save the backup until I’m positive I didn’t
    confusticate my system..

  129. tom

    Of course they help. On a holder computer with many programs having been installed and uninstalled The performance may be noticeable. I firmly believe they work.

  130. Bob Patterson

    I used System Mechanic on my laptop which caused it to get stuck in a loop after booting. Their documentation and support site was no help. After several hours of frustration It turns out the registry cleaner left a bunch of crap in the registry.

    Buyer Beware.

  131. Jokerswild

    I have used them in the past but I see no benefit.

  132. MouseHelp

    Ccleaner had been the only registry tool I’d used for many years. Revo uninstaller has been added to my toolbox in the last year or so…. Ccleaner’s registry tool has resolved issues related to all manner of malfunction, not the least of which is HP printer installations, where there can be all kinds of leftover garbage related to earlier models. Cleaning the C out with Ccleaner allowed the installation to proceed. 5 years of Ccleaner use without a single problem – makes it the number one toolkit in my bag and the number one download on filehippo.com – all of my clients have this utility and if they take my advice, they are using it at least monthly to keep things clean.
    That’s my two cents.

  133. Shahrokh

    I used to use Registry Clean Expert while using XP. It never harmed my system, I seldom noticed a significant increase in performance though.
    However, I used the privacy feature in that app to wipe off the critical personal data.
    Since I’ve upgraded to Windows 7, I never felt need one.

  134. QuakeChick

    CCleaner is the way to go, it has everything I need in one install.

    I have not only used it on my machine a number of times, but when im out and about fixing other computers for friends, I use it there too. Of course I always tell them that something may happen, and should that happen, worse case scenario, I have to reinstall OS.

    They always let me use it. And I have yet to encounter any issues with it! I highly recommend it!

  135. quinty

    I recommend Piriform’s CCleaner which has a registry checking and correcting function built in.
    Having used this really neat programme (and its free but you will donate when you see how good it is)
    for more than two years, I have never yet had to revert my registry back to before the changes which CCleaner sorts out for me. I run it at least weekly to keep on top of the registry. It is really safe.

  136. Bondd

    Use ccleaner as a maintenance task on computers (defrag, ccleaner, etc.) Always backup registry before running on critical machines. Never had a problem with it. Does it run faster – can’t tell but it does declutter the registry. Worthwhile task to run several times a year IMO.

  137. Jack

    Registry cleaners … I am leary of them in general. I purchased a commercial one some years ago (2 or 3) and still have the registration information so I can download and use the latest one.

    I have found cleaning up ‘to much’ is like having your SO clean your workbench or desk. It may look orderly but you can’t find anything. So it is with registry cleaners.

    The ones I have used that have worked, took care of things like ‘missing files’ that registry entries pointed to and nothing was there, seemed to be the most help.

    I do like the ones that are not ‘on automatic’ but generate a list of what they have found, backup the registry for you, let you determine which ones go from the entries they found, thin will clean according to your direction.

    Buttons that say ‘clean my registry’ are like idiot lights on the car. They give a sense of security but seldom do only what you want (the lights only tell you after it is to late).

    But like anything, the tool, the vendor, the mission of what it is to accomplish, the user, and the expectations all roll into determining if a tool is right for you.

    For me, yes, it has sped up many a computer, and I will use it again if needed.

  138. Phil

    I’ve read most of the comments below and have come to the conclusion that the problem should be solved by Microsoft. They have created this monster called a registry file and they should come out with a program that can safely keep it in order. I have tried a number of these programs and they have done more harm than good. The only one that I use now is CCleaner which so far has done no damage that I am aware of. I run it when after I uninstall a program or install a new one. If you ask me if it speeds up my computer, my answer is the same as most comments above, I don’t know.

  139. James

    All of you BoZos Missed the best cleaner of them all for people running Windows, Microsoft has a free
    site called: Windows Live OneCare Safety Scanner. It takes along time once you load the controls
    and depending on how much stuff is on your system (At Least a couple of hours) but it will tell you all
    of the hidden goodies your looking for, GOOD Luck!

  140. Dusty Colvard

    I use CCleaner and though I have never seen a performance improvement per say I have seen it fix issues. The type of issue I usually will use it to fix is the occasional application error from a program that has been removed, but not very well. I only see these types of errors on programs that were meant to open at start up, but CCleaner seems to do a good job fixing it. Another way I use the program is if I am repairing an infected machine. I always run CCleaner after removing malware to remove any extra registry entries I might have missed. Also I would like to say I have never had problems using it. I never use it’s backup feature, but probably should.

  141. Eliot

    I echo exactly what Ashutosh said:
    I do occasionally use the registry cleaner available in CCleaner. I have noticed that it’s not as aggressive as some of the other registry cleaners out there, and so the chances of something important getting deleted is really less (there’s still a backup option, in case something happens).

    I have, of course, never seen any speed improvements. It’s just the cleaning of unwanted clutter that makes me a little happy every time I run it.

    Let me add I have never had a problem with Ccleaner n terms of having anything I had to restore.

  142. ganjiry

    i hav always used advance systemcare by 10bit. it seemed good. i also use ccleaner. untill recently i was told by somebody on seven forums that i shouldnt realy use ad syst care. on win7 as it will eventually cause a problem.

  143. imi

    I hate the way some of these applications say free scan and then leave unsuspecting users with the idea that their system is about to crash if it’s not dealt with immediately with their particular solution. That said I use (Uniblue “Regbooster”) and have done so so many years on XP and now on Win7 x64. It doesn’t make my system any quicker but it does get rid of little issues and deals with them so that I get to do what I like. Also defrags registry. I complained that the old prog. was not Win7 compatible and they allowed me to upgrade for free. Tried Reg Machanic and it did cause me problems and a restore to previous point so have stuck with RegBooster.

  144. Lee A.

    I use C-cleaner from time to time. It helps a little. Things would run better if I don’t put a bunch of junk in, but what fun is that?

  145. JonathonP

    I have used Glary Utilities PRO for a few years and not once have i ever had a problem with the default settings. Does it actually help a broken windows system?

    It has on a number of occasions but ultimately Microsoft Windows is doomed to fail at one point or another and that is why I run Linux Fedora as the host Operating system and Windows XP and 7 as the guest operating systems in VirtualBox. I think Windows XP and 7 run much faster in Virtualbox. Most importantly a snapshot can be reverted to within seconds. Virtualization software is the perfect tool for running Windows. No more headaches.

  146. transco

    I have used both CCleaner and JV16 , I find that the latter is the better one due to functionality and adjustable severity controls,.I have never had either of these put my systems down ( over 15 years). As to improved speed, If you have months and months of garbage regs out there, you will see a difference, but it will be some 10+ seconds improvement and not minutes, but again this this depends on the size ofthe PC. I am using 4 core/ win 7 and I am frankly less aware of speed increase.. Both these apps have other features to keep PC tidy and clean. For me I think they are worth using.

    transco

  147. Dennis

    I use JV 16 Power Tools, a very powerful suite of utilities, including a registry cleaner (you can set the level of safety/cleaning) and registry compactor. I have never had any trouble with any of my computers after using it. In any event, it automatically backs up the previous registry, in case you need to undo the cleaning. I’ve never had to do that. JV 16 is the one utility I would never want to be without. Very powerful utility for removing remnants of uninstalled programs, also.

  148. arr

    TRY GLARY
    I use them on a regular basis. We service computers for our company and some others.

    When a friend or client calls and complains about a slow computer the first thing we hit it with is
    GLARY. Glary has a complete package that is free to the home user. In that package is a registry cleaner.

    The record at this time is 574 errors found in the registry. Typically Glary improve shutdown time by as much as one minute, improves time to start up significantly especially in very slow systems and clears many hangups.
    Definetly recommend it – run it on default settings and it has not crashed a system yet!
    Advance System Optimizer is another program we have had great success with.

  149. Leonard

    I’ve been using PCTools Registry Mechanic for years & wouldn’t have a PC without it. It has saved my butt on numerous occasions. One time I uninstalled some Microsoft develompment packages in the wrong order & couldn’t get the last one off. I whacked the folders which generated more than 8000 errors in my registry. I could have done a system restore, but then I would be stuck with that garbage on my drive. It took about 10 minutes (I was sweating!) but RM handled it perfectly. There are many other system maintanence features included. Great tool.

  150. 1wrc

    I’ve used JV 16 power tools periodically for years, on numerous computers. Set in less agressive mode it consistently improves performance, cleans up program remains and provides a backup in case you have an error that needs reversing. Also many other useful tools included.

    Have found Uniblue useful, also. corrects some errors that others don’t.

  151. Steven Torrey

    I use Ccleaner on a fairly regular basis–every other day. But I also use other registry cleaners. And yes, they do set back the computer to a certain extent. Every time I use Ccleaner, I have to sign in to read my email. One of the reasons why I use a registry cleaner is to keep out viruses–for some reason, I have a notion that viruses, trojans,mal-ware, etc hang out in the registry and need to be cleaned out. Am I misinformed or what? I do have a paid for antivirus program and that has made a huge difference. With the XP program, cleaning the registry seemed to make a difference. Not so much with Windows 7. I have learned that too much of a good thing is not a good thing and best to leave well enough alone. Having had no really adverse affects with Ccleaner, I will continue with that.

  152. Ed

    Been using CCleaner for years now and it hasn’t done anything bad on my 5 yr old laptop.:). Recently tried ‘ PageDefrag ‘ FREE Registry Defragmenter from Microsoft and the first time i ran it, my WinXP ran faster than normal. I ran both twice a month now and it does help.

    Ed

  153. bbooomzzz

    I use CCleaner’s registry cleaner and Glary Utilities registry cleaner one after the other and have had no problems. As for if they help, they seem to although I can’t tell much of a difference. I constantly install and uninstall various programs. All I can say is they seem to help, but they also just be a mental placebo for me, but I have had no problems using these two, I’ve used them for both 6 years on different machines.

  154. richie

    I use a reg cleaner sometimes. they are very useful if you want to delete licenses from programs ive uninstalled. so its useful sometimes. otherwise i never see an improvement in performance. if my pc is slower i usually defrag and make sure there are no programs running in the background.

  155. Pete

    I have used a reg cleaners for a very long time and have found them a quick way to clean the registry but only if you know what you are doing. I never let them delete entries without first seeing what they are deleting.
    My present registry cleaner is Regcure that I run as part of a weekly cleanup on my XP machine. My weekly task after making a new restore point is to run, Uniblue/Speedup my PC, Regure, Windows Disk Cleanup (periodically deleting old restore points), and Defrag. This keeps my machine running at full speed. For the novice; forget reg cleaners and reg edit until you get more expericed. As others have said, I wish uninstalled programmes did their job correctly and not leave so much rubbish on the PC. It is good to have a clean registry but not a corrupted one.

  156. Zeph

    Not useful if you are re-installing OS every two months

  157. Richard

    I use Error Expert (paid for) about once a month, can’t actually mesure the improvement but seems better afterwards & has sorted out browser problems for me. It also includes several usefull other tools including “forced uninstall” which definately works for obstinate to get rid of programs and creates a restore point before changing anything

  158. Mollie Hall

    I used one once, years ago. Enough said. :-)

    Mollie

  159. sq

    After several hours of bashing in the badlands, ccleaner, window washer, then many avg, avast, malware bytes, spybot, and superantispyware scans.
    Next comes reg. mechanic, spotmau, auslogic,and finally disk md.
    Most of the time these old and tired pcs’ run with the big dogs. XP, Vista yes…7 no.
    In the past zone alarm has been affected, just removed and re-installed.
    This is just for old f–ts like me, with nothing else to do.
    sq

  160. Robbie

    I have being using Regvac regularly ever since 98 was released. Now using it on XP. Never had any problems. It has a safe mode so you cant really go wrong. Not sure if Regvac is still being marketed. I have no idea if it makes any difference since I have no idea how my computer would perform/or not if I didn’t use it.

  161. Terry

    I have used them in the past, but got tuneup utilities and do revo uninstaller and now do it myself once a week. Defraging and eleminataing old files and removing programs with revo in advanced gets all of the rubbish out of my system. I have everything saved to my nootbook and can rebuild the system myself if ir goes down. So I havent used them in a long while…

  162. Sharon

    CCleaner messed my system up so much I had to do a resinstall of Windows. Registry Commander, recommended by Cloudeight, made very noticeable improvements and I never have system errors anymore. I think if you are going to use a registry cleaner, make sure it is one recommended by someone you trust, and that someone should be actually testing it very thoroughly like Cloudeight does with their recommendations.

  163. Doug

    Registry cleaners have saved my butt on several occasions. Mostly with XP.
    Just switched to System 7.
    Over the years, I’ve used Norton, Advanced System Optimizer and Advanced System Mechanic.

  164. Jim

    I use CCleaner and IOBITS Advanced System Care (Pro on one machine and free addition on my others). I keep my system clean and defragged so I do not not notice a speed up because it NEVER slows down. That tells me my cleaners do the job. Never had a problem with my system after cleaning with these applications. I highly recommend both. I did work on a friends very slow computer and after removing some unneeded programs and cleaning/defragging with these tools their was a BIG difference in the speed of that computer. They work.

  165. Laura

    I have a pesky virus that redirects my internet browser and cannot get rid of the darn thing with any antivirus software I have tried. I tried to use a registry cleaner to assist but of course, after it ran its handy little scan and found all kinds of things that needed fixing…. it asked for my credit card so I uninstalled it.

  166. tvadakia

    To make my system faster?!? No. But when working on someones computer after they’ve received every virus and malware known to man… 1) remove all startup items and non-microsoft services using msconfig 2) uninstall their crappy antivirus software (with their permission of course) 3) install Microsoft Security Essentials and run the scan 4) install Spybot S&D and scan 5) install and run CCleaner (both file and registry scans) 6) handpick what startup items and services to be turned back on in msconfig

    CCleaner registry cleaner helps remove the final remnants of any virus or malware tamperings AND whatever was leftover from the previous antivirus software, along with whatever other junk was in there.

    I can’t attest to improvement in OS speed though.

  167. Meir

    I use Advanced SystemCare including registruy cleanup about every ten day’s. never had any problems. But the remark made by some guy before about installing W7 an a seperate partition is very, very smart indeed. Why didn’t I think about it?! I shall certainly do so the dirst oppertunity. Also old Windows RegClean has nev er caused any trouble. Do they help??? Don’t ask me, maybe HowtoGeek can make a lab test on this.

  168. bob

    I use one a few time per year (regclean & registry mechanic). The reason is because I’ve been testing a lot of software and I wanted to be sure the registry was cleaned up after running numerous uninstalls. Does it work? I honestly can’t say, but I didn’t spend $2k on a system just to have it bogged down from registry issues.

    I’ve never had problems caused from running a registry cleaner. The only software that has caused me issues is the one that retrieves and updates drivers for you system (driver detective).

    Having said all this, if I wasn’t testing software, I probably wouldn’t run a registry cleaner.

  169. Kevalin

    I use Glary’s reg cleaner on occasion, usually after I’ve removed a program and have reason to believe it’s left some of its trash behind. More often, though, I skip even that step. Instead, I go into regedit through command prompt, do a ” find/find next” on the specific program I’ve removed (because even decent uninstaller software can leave detrius behind), and remove only those reg keys that are specifically connected to the removed program by name. It takes a bit of time, but if I want to either reinstall the program at a later date or install a similar program, I’ve found taking that time saves me from the frustration of running into strange and various kinds of bugginess down the road.

    I NEVER use registry cleaners for the purpose of doing general clean up of the computer; my experience is that doing so is nothing but a great way to have to reload your OS earlier than you planned!

  170. GraveDigger27

    I’ve used a number of different registry cleaners on my Windows-based systems over the years. On my current Windows 7 box I’ve used CCleaner, Auslogics Registry Cleaner, Eusing Free Registry Cleaner, Glary Utilities and Ashampoo WinOptimizer 7 (both of which comes with registry cleaners). I keep a current image of my system and would recommend that ANYONE who uses a registry cleaner keep disk images of their configuration just in case their system goes south.

    Although I’ve had no issues with the programs I’ve named above, everyone should be careful – many registry cleaners are overly aggressive and will delete files that are needed by your system. In particular I would recommend CCleaner for most users and Glary Utilities for those who are a little more experienced. I think my systems ran faster after the registry cleaners were run, but always caution people NOT to overdue it.

    Be careful out there.

  171. Geoff Thomas

    I use CCCleaner it has never broken my PC but speed not affected but no junk in reg.

  172. Duncan

    Over the years I have used any number of reg cleaners both free (only from the Major Geeks site) or paid for. Always in the hopes of decreasing the time from turning on the computer to arriving at a functional work point. I have never seen any appreciable change either way. Also I’ve never encountered any problem. Clearly there is a lot of chaff left behind during the install and uninstall process that builds over time, and which is cleared with a drive format, OS reinstall, and program reload. For a while things fly. I may be wrong, but I suspect installing programs in virtual environments and isolating all of the program appendages in a location that can be fully deleted may be the better option. In using some reg cleaners I have found they discover errors even if you run the same program sequentially. It is hard to imagine that critical errors in the registry occur that quickly, and that they are really meaningful to the computer’s functionality. Seems a bit like self justification.

  173. Mike Kluczan

    Yes, I`ve used them although you don`t want one to aggressive but I`ve notice improvements from almost nothing to incredible. These wre by the way all on old to very old computers or computers that were almost topped out, ( 200 – 300 programs installed etc. ), they do make a difference if the computer doesn`t have much reserve but don`t get one to aggressive or it`ll clean up things you don`t want cleaned up.

  174. Dave

    I used CCleaner’s registry cleaner frequently on my computer and it runs just as well as the day I bought it…it’s now over 2 years old. At work, one of my first tools to use for blue screen problems is CCleaner as well. I bet about 90% of these issues are fixed by cleaning the registry. Most of these end users never complain about the same problem again.

    It seems like some people look at the registry as a simple not so relevant part of Windows. Well, most if not all programs on your computer, parse Windows registry for information. If that information is corrupt or missing you’ll run into some serious problems. Even tons of junky, outdated, entries slow the parsing process down. Registry cleaners clean this up speeding up the process.

  175. Dominic Todarello

    I have used Tune Up Utilities 2011 and I would not recommend this program to anyone who is using Windows 7. The program has removed items from programs that are necessary. I do not beleive these programs will help you. It has removed items and you will not know you have problems with a particular software until down the road. For example, the preview handler in the registry is removed, not allowing you to view PDF’s in Windows 7. Use any registry cleaners with caution. The best thing anyone can do is every 2 to 3 years is restore your computer back to its original “out of the box” state and that is it. I have contacted the company and their answer was do not delete these items if they are causing a problem. This company does not know what is necessary in the registry for each program to function. Windows 7′s registry is so large that this should not make that much of a difference. If your computer is slow, go out and purchase a new one. That simple. As for Windows XP, this program seems to be ok, but I still would not recommend it. Save your money. Your computer is slow for a reason. it is probably old. If your computer is anything older than a Pentium 4 with at least 2 Gigs of memory, then it is time to purchase a new computer.

  176. Tom

    I do sometimes use the registry cleaner in Jv16 Power Tools. Especially to clean up the mess after uninstalling a software package. This particular package lets you select what you want to clean up and allows you to back up the entries before you delete them as well. The few times I have ever tried out packages that don’t give you any choices…just press that CLEAN button to fix it all…I have had nothing but problems. I don’t think that cleaning the registry does a thing for you in terms of speeding up your PC.

    Even if cleaning the registry was an issue, per se, then it still wouldn’t work for most people because, if they had the choice on what to clean, they wouldn’t be able to figure out what choice to make…too technical. They would rather have the one-stop one-shop CLEAN button and not have to think about it.

  177. Ernie Feasel

    I have used CC Cleaner for 2-3 years and it is great/free utility for cleaning the registry and general clean-up. It helps system performance and Internet-related performance. CC settings are geared for the new user but you can make changes as you become nore proficient with the tool.

    I also backup my email and other key data every 1-2 days and use Malwarbytes and Norton for dailiy quick scans.

    I have tried other tools, over the years, but I have found these to be the best.

  178. cmo999

    CCleaner is the way to go. I believe there is an improvement in performance from keeping the registry clean, but my computer is fairly old and someone mentioned earlier that it won’t make a difference on newer computers.

  179. G

    I have used several free utilities for several years on several different OS (Win 7 64 & 32 and XP) and computers and am confident they do a good job, basically because my computers run smoothly and I seldom encounter any problems. Those are Glary Utilities, CCleaner, and Advanced System Care. Each seems to look for different things and one may catch something that the others miss. My wife is a teacher and surfs a lot of resource sites, Facebook, and encounters a lot of questionable ads, etc. along the way. I run these utilities almost daily and stopped backing up the registry changes years ago. Some will allow you to do a registry defrag on reboot and I do that maybe monthly. Glary has a module that allows you to deactivate items that boot-up that you may never need, but that slow down the system. I’m constantly installing and uninstalling programs to try out, and Revo does help remove remnants left behind. Defragging on a constant basis is a good thing, and since I have rarely had any major problems………..never had a hd go back………I will likely continue to do what I’m doing. I’ve built and re-built AMD and Intel chip computers over the years and have developed a basic “trust” in these ultilties due to a lack of experiencing problems along the way. My experience has been that most people’s computer problems are “configuration” issues not necessarily a hardware failure. I’ve used paid and free programs, and at the moment the “free” ones are doing a great job.

  180. Jeffrey Donner

    I’ve saved many a computer using 2 registry cleaners. The Best is Regcure, which CAN make a Significant increase in speed and cure many hesitations. I also Use Registryfix, which seems to fin “many” additional registry problems, but by itself, I notice almost no change in speed.
    BEWARE… occasionally a program or 2 may not operate properly, An Icon or 2 /folder or 2 may disappear… but for thre significant benefits I’ve found, well worth the Plus side, especially on VERY slow running Operating systems, or with a lot of hesitations.
    I am a high level Computer Technician, and these are 2 Staples for my business… Again there can be a downside, but You’ve got a Registry backup in each program to undo what you did if a problem arises…also Windows Restore ( always do Restore from “safe mode” to Significantly increase your chances of a successful backup… DO NOT even bother trying “any” of the other registry cleaner programs ( except CC Cleaner) or system speedup programs- As I’ve experimented with most and found disasters happen (ESPECIALLY Uniblue).. I run Regcure 3.0 the registryfix 8 (current versions) at least weekly, or even more often…

  181. Serhii

    CCleaner/registry cleaner have helped me, when my win7 after installing bunch of photo viewing programs stopped showing thumbnails.

  182. Terry

    I use Advanced System Care. Since I like to try new things, it helps me keep the registry clean. However I don’t notice any difference in speed. Usually I increase speed by doing other things.

  183. stg5708

    Since I am not a geek but a grandmother, I have found that using Registry Mechanic has helped keep the speed of my “elderly” computer up to par. It handles all the tasks that I could probably do myself but am too busy to learn. I will keep my subscription as long as they have this application available. I’ve not had any problems with it removing things that it shouldn’t. I also have been running Diskeeper for some years now and it keeps the hard drive defragged on a continual basis. I am running XP and have no plans to upgrade anytime soon since it does everything I need it to do for the applications I use on a daily basis. I’m sure that at some point I will be forced into an upgrade but until then, I’m a happy camper!

  184. tim

    I use Glary utilities reg cleaner. I used it before I lost speed, and my puter has not become slower.
    So it must do something and I have never had a problem with it’s deletions.

  185. W.D. Mahan

    I am a firm believer in registry tools, and have been using some form of Norton product to handle such task for over 10 years. I mean even if someone has the knowledge to take care of it on their own, who wants to reserve hours of their free time keeping things ship-shape. For all the nay sayers, give me a break.

  186. Akshay Bilolikar

    Back in the old days when I used Windows, yes, they (and by they, I mean CCleaner) helped a great deal. Of course, now I’m on Linux and OS X, which I don’t even know whether they have registries.

  187. Poughkeepsie Pro

    Okay, judging by all the entries here; most people do not understand the registry, and its functions. I use CCleaner, and recommended to all who listen.

    The registry is an “index” to whats on your computer. It stores values for all your programs (there are exceptions) and the Operating System. In reality, its a database, with sub databases. Adding and removing entry’s over time can and will cause problems.

    Removing the “dead” entries, saves time; because the registry is read once when the system starts, and then reread “locally” when an application starts.

    While ccleaner removes the “dead” or “broken” entries – it leaves “holes” in the registry file(s). Think of it like a fragmented hard drive.

    While ccleaner can remove the entries, it doesn’t “defrag” the registry database.

    Now there is another “wrinkle.” As computers get faster, the underlying operating problems sort of get hidden. A highly fragmented computer (15 – 25% plus) , a bloated registry , and a bloated “RESTORE” file system goes unnoticed until something happens.

    The high speed computer becomes a slow speed computer.

    Back to registry, the registry needs to be cleaned and “defragmented. ” . How do you defragment (actually re-compact) the registry. Well there is a program that does it –

    http://download.cnet.com/Free-Registry-Defrag/3000-2094_4-10553700.html

    and it free.

    CAUTION: BEFORE TRYING THIS PROGRAM, PLEASE SET A RESTORE POINT!!

    It is recommended that you run CCleaner first and then the Registry defragmention.

    Now, once everything has been done, Then address the Restore Problem.

    Like the registry, the Restore problem should be addressed, however this is not the place to post the procedure.

    If the information listed here is confusing, try Googling an answer.

    Registry info link:

    http://www.programmerworld.net/win/registry.htm

  188. mick

    I use both CCleaner and AWC (Advanced Windows Care). Both programs create a backup file before running the cleaners, so if there’s any problem afterwards you just restore the backup. In the years I’ve been using them, there have been no problems at all. Do they help? They probably help keep the registry from becoming enormous by keeping the junk files pared down. Other than that, they may do some other good that I don’t realize; I do know that I don’t have issues with my various computers like in the old days.

  189. EXPERT

    I used so many….all are waste ….

  190. Christian Kinnaman

    I use Ccleaner all the time, i use the registry part of Ccleaner to get rid of keys made by rouge Anti Virus’s and other rouge programs. I use the other part of Ccleaner on a daily basis to clean up my temp folders and other garbage.

    Looking at some of these responses i want to let everyone know that Ccleaner IS a regestry cleaner, i saw a few people say “Never tried one. They aren’t safe to use at all. You never know what its going to do. As a matter of fact, the registry cleaner itself doesn’t know what it is going to clean…
    Just use CCleaner” Youve used Ccleaner yet youve never used a Registry cleaner? Ccleaner IS a registry cleaner. Registry cleaners do not speed up your computer unless you wait years to use one and install and uninstall programs all the time. Most of the time their useless unless your getting rid of a key from a malicious program. I fix computers so i use them alot.

    The registry part of Ccleaner most likely will not speed up your computer, but the part that erases your garbage files definitely will.

    “Back in the old days when I used Windows, yes, they (and by they, I mean CCleaner) helped a great deal. Of course, now I’m on Linux and OS X, which I don’t even know whether they have registries.”
    You use Linux and your not sure if they have a registry or not? Do you know anything about Linux? I use Linux (Mainly Ubuntu) And i would like to let you know that they DO NOT have a registry.

  191. Christian Kinnaman

    Plus, i feel that you should not run a registry cleaner unless you are able to read the keys and say where they come from. If you cant do that then you can harm your computer.

    Learn before you use

  192. leon antoniadis

    Registry mechanic ruined twice my computer requiring clean install. But I did not learn my lesson and wanted to try CCleaner and was caught again. Now I use XP only for my bank which accepts IE only
    and this through virtual box in Ubuntu, while the remaining 4 computers are Ubuntu and everybody at home is happy.

  193. Christian Kinnaman

    “Since I am not a geek but a grandmother, I have found that using Registry Mechanic has helped keep the speed of my “elderly” computer up to par. It handles all the tasks that I could probably do myself but am too busy to learn. I will keep my subscription as long as they have this application available. I’ve not had any problems with it removing things that it shouldn’t. I also have been running Diskeeper for some years now and it keeps the hard drive defragged on a continual basis. I am running XP and have no plans to upgrade anytime soon since it does everything I need it to do for the applications I use on a daily basis. I’m sure that at some point I will be forced into an upgrade but until then, I’m a happy camper!”

    Registry Mechanic is garbage. It does more harm then good. Ive had to fix to many computers because of that sad excuse of a program. I suggest getting rid of it as soon as possible, in my mind it might as well be rouge.

  194. A

    I use Advanced System Care for a registry defrag, cleaner, fixer… It works very well and does help my computer. Though i noticed that if ASC is always running and boots at startup it does have a tendency to actually slow my computer down.

  195. MJ

    I just use CCleaner’s Registry Cleaner sometimes when uninstalling software, in order to get rid of it completely.

  196. RJ Goodhouse

    I have found that most registry cleaners are just filling someones pocket with fear Money. The Very Best way to clean your Registry is to Re-install your Application. I do use JV16 Powertools to cleanup my registry a few times a Year but Better yet, I have turned to using Acronis True Image Home. I get everything Installed and up-to-date, then I create and image. My Data is redirected to a data Drive, so it’s nice and safe and on the 2nd Tuesday each month, I update my system, Images it and restore the Original and Update the Image. I use 10K drives, so it rarely takes that long to do any of this work, so My Humble Opinion is, Most registry Cleaners are just plain Crap and a waste of someone’s Money.

  197. cactusdr

    I use the Registry cleaner associated with Glary Utilities when I’m doing some other task like changing the Start-up menu or editing the items in the Context Menus. Then I’ll run the registry cleaner because it’s right there and it gets rid of entries that point to nothing or are broken. Does it speed up the system? Absolutely not! It’s just something I’ve done for 5 or 6 years and now it’s a habit. Because I do this about 3 or 4 times a year it does make me wonder if left alone for years would that many bad entries have an effect? I don’t know, but I doubt it given the size of drives these days. If registry cleaning did anything harmful, then I’d quit.

  198. Henry

    I use TuneUp Utilities 2008 and have never run into any problems. It’s set to run automatically 1X week and periodically I run a Registry defrag in TuneUp utilities. I also find their StartUp manager useful. Their defrag however is slower than the XP defrag. Running the registry cleaner, registry defrag and windows defrag keep my computer running almost as fast as new.

  199. ALAN

    I have Norton 360 v5 installed as my security suite, it has an optimizer and as yet i have had no problems, touch wood !

  200. RJ Goodhouse

    One Additional thought,I do use Your Uninstaller Pro to uninstall Applications. It makes a restore Point before removing anything, It use’s the Applications Uninstaller first than it goes through and cleans up what the Uninstaller forgot to remove, then scans and cleans up the Registry for the application just removed. So I guess that is a Registry Cleaner also.

  201. Myztic

    I have used registry cleaners. they work well if your and advanced user but in terms of speeding up the pc and processes that isnt enough.
    if a unauthorized registry is entered and cannot be removed i rather just format my pc

  202. Rajneesh Gadge

    Hi All!!

    I’m also using CCleaner from last two years I guess and I feel it speeds up the computer.

    I also use Tune Up Utilities occasionally.

  203. Yo

    You don’t even know what they are cleaning. So don’t use them.

  204. david

    i use both ccleaner and the comodo system cleaner. both work well and i do notice a speed difference, but will all things i backup the registry first. dad used the comodo one on his computer that he had for 6 years, and he swears it boots twice as fast now.

  205. John

    I use RegSeeker for some tweeks and for cleaning purposes but the full blown cleaners have a way with really messing up windows. You have to know what you’re looking at in the registry before you go deleting entries all willy nilly. With RegSeeker I can search for a particular entry that corresponds to a virus or other harmful entries and delete them. It organizes the entries much better than regedit.

  206. Troy

    I use CCleaner of a fairly regular basis. I have never had it break any apps or windows. I mainly use it for cleaning up temp files and taking out the trash. I run the reg cleaning tool about once a month or so. and no I have never noticed any performance gain for doing it.

  207. CanadianMoose

    I used Glary Cleaner to resolve an issue that a neighbor had while trying to open a document. It stated that the user did not have the privileges , please see your system administrator.. (Vista)

  208. rMatey180

    I use CCleaner and Glary Utilities. Revo for uninstalls. But my failsafe is Clonezilla, just in case I need a brand-spanking new reinstall of just the way it was before I added anything.

  209. Eslabon

    I use the registry cleaner in CCleaner. It has certainly never caused problems, but I can’t say that I’ve noticed any speed increase or anything like that either. I feel a bit cleaner after using it though…

  210. Luis

    I used tuneup in an old computer, and it made all the difference like day to night it’s because i used it that my sister is using it know

  211. Tom Walker

    I have used a myiad of registry cleaners and have witnessed a steady improvment in their effectiveness over the years. Uniblue Registry Cleaner, PC Tools Performance Toolkit, Glary Utilities, ccleaner and RegCure seem to be the best of them. A manual clean-up of the Windows registry is the most effective way to clean the registry. However it is very time consuming and it must be done with great care (reg backup, system restore point etc.).
    Depending on the amount of clutter, a cleaning of the registry will improve speed. This speed difference could appear as barely noticable all the way to blazing fast. The main improvement of an uncluttered and corrected registry is a dramatic decrease in Windows’ error messages. Do I recommend the use of those I mentioned? Yes!

  212. John Pryor

    Depends how often you update your operating system & what you do, if install & delete stuff regulary like demos can make a huge diffrence. I always run after any system changes & nealry always finds stuff esp on uninstalls lots of uninstalls leave stuff everywhere. Use & run regulary is my suggestion backing up reg before you do just in case. If run & not used for a while run several times each pass reveals new entries as old removed. Does it make a diffrence a year or so back ran on a freinds slugish old laptop got it back upto speed & deleted over 3K of entries. yes hes a muppet computer savy he is not.

  213. Matt

    I use RegSeeker v1.55 weekly for years on every computer I come in contact with. Never had a problem. Sometimes it goes on and on with those S-1-5 entries. I usually stop it when it reaches 4,000. I think they self generate on boot up anyway. Back in the P-II & III days i think I really noticed the difference but todays are so fast I don’t really see any speed. But it’s nice anyway to clean up the dead stuff no matter.

  214. Edmar61

    Like Tom, I have used many of these “cleaners”. Like Uniblue Ccleaner, Comodo, RegCleaner, and RegCure, have proven fair results. They don’t seem to speed things up, but they have improved stabiltiy, and increased the abiltiy of my anti virus/malware apps to work more effectivly. I use these tools to speed up “bench time” searching through registries. It’s a trade-off for me. I also used Combofix to great effect.
    Ccleaner seems to the least amount of damage for the average user, with good results.
    ***Just because you can use a tool, doesn’t mean you know what you are messing with.***

  215. Viper

    I have used registry cleaners for years with no problems, Where I believe most people run into trouble is when they launch a cleaner and then when the program is finished it comes up with a list of entries it believes should be removed. Some of the less experienced people see this list and simply hit the remove tab, BIG MISTAKE! Those programs are simply reading 1′s and 0′s and removing what it thinks are inactive or corrupt programs.
    For a registry cleaner to be effective we as the operator of that computer must LQQK through the entire list of what the program has picked up as an error or what it thinks is an error and UNCHECK what we know is a valid and current program. But as far as improving performance I have alwys noticed an improvement when getting rid of invalid registry entries because the computer is no longer looking for entries that no longer apply to anything running on the computer. Once my cleaner picked up just over 3,000 invalid entries, how they got there I don’t know, too much surfing I guess on some questionable sites But after going through the entire list keeping what I was sure were valid entries and getting rid of the junk my problems were cured I also performed a defrag after getting rid of the junk, My computer was like new again Hope this helps.

  216. Bruce PMToolsThatWork.com

    I use to try them out on a regular basis. The first one I used were built into PC Tools and later Norton Utilities. Never saw any noticeable improvement and I don’t ever recall that they fixed anything that was broken. I do recall researching problem reports (e.g., dead links, etc.) and finding references that they were not really missing and to delete them was causing folks problems.

    I repair and tune-up PC for customers. I can get the PC back to “almost new performance” by defragging (defraggler), removing programs from startup and from running in the background (ccleaner, process explorer), and finally by updating the OS, bios, firmware, drivers and software applications (Secundia PSI). To get a boost in performance it is almost always first more memory, then a new graphics card and then a faster hard disk (and even sometimes, a faster ISP plan).

    I always first create a image backup of the PC (ShadowProtect, WHS or Macrium Reflect). This way I can be as aggressive as possible in speeding up the PC (including, in the past, using a registry cleaner). On many occasions I would tune up the PC several times, resetting back to the original image copy between each tuneup, until I’ve got the maximum speedup (measure by WEI/PC Wizard) with the minimum of changes (to minimize any impact to the customer).

  217. Baggins

    I’ve never had a negative experience with CCleaner, but I’ve never had a dramatic improvement, either. The last time I saw a registry cleaner take a doggedly slow, unstable system and turn it into a blazing fast, solid machine was back in the Win98 days.

    These days, I don’t bother unless a system is unstable and I’ve tried everything else. The reg cleaner is the last resort before a system wipe/hardware replacement. Like defrag, the benefits simply aren’t as dramatic with newer systems.

  218. BobJam

    I operate Linux, but have a Windows XP VM (Sun/Oracle VMBox) guest within my Linux.

    I use that VM to test registry cleaners . . . see: http://www.mywot.com/wiki/Forum_discussions#Software_evaluation

    My conclusion: I have not noticed any performance enhancements using these things.

    By-and-large they are “scareware”, prying cold cash from the hands of novices that see things like “Warning; you have 800 critical registry errors”.

    Geeezzzz . . . if you had that many “critical” errors in your registry, you likely wouldn’t even be able to boot!

    Someone asked what HTG thinks . . . this is what I got off the HTG site:

    “The Windows registry is a massive database of almost every setting imaginable for every application on your system. It only makes sense that cleaning it out would improve performance, right? Sadly it’s just a marketing gimmick designed to sell registry cleaner products, as the reality is quite different… registry cleaners only remove a very small number of unused keys, which won’t help performance when you consider the hundreds of thousands of keys in the registry.”

    The whole registry cleaning lie is based on the false idea that Windows has to search through all those blank entries to find something. That is not the way it works.

    Say you go to a restaurant and your table is on the opposite side from the door. It will make absolutely no difference (provided that all are seated and don’t stop you to chat) how many of the other tables are filled–the speed that you go to get to your table is the same. The other guests are irrelevant.

    If you have a registry problem, a registry editor is the only thing that should be used. You don’t use shotguns to kill flies–you might just hit things you don’t want to.

    So what do registry “cleaners” do?
    They try to incorporate some of your start up config, temp files, etc., as “registry problems” and an excuse to charge $$$ for what you can do for free without any software utility, or you can do with freeware that is non-intrusive to the registry.

    PC Wizard: to view your current specs – free
    WinPatrol: to manage startup tasks as well as alarming when setting changes occur – free / pay
    CCcleaner: the lazy man’s cleaning utility with restricted registry maintenance. – free / pay

    If you look at the registry as being like a parking lot the size of Montana, then a registry cleaner at best might clean out a few parking spaces.

    For a few megabytes of space, and maybe a performance enhancement of a few seconds (though I haven’t see any AT ALL . . . but some others here . . . a few . . . say they have and I’m NOT calling them liars), why take what I consider a high risk to gain a few seconds?

  219. Mike

    i work in a computer repair shop and we stay well clear of any program with the name registry in it,, they do not help at all, if anything some of them make it far worse

  220. OHS

    I’ve used jv16 on a few occasions that fixed real problems for me. Like folders opening after logging into Windows. I had no idea why they opened, couldn’t find anything in startup or with SysInternal’s Autoruns. But jv16 fixed it with the registry tool. Unfortunately later versions of jv16 2010-2011 have a tendency to crash on occasions when using the registry tool. So I can’t really recommend it anymore.

  221. Jamie Issac

    I have been using a Registry Cleaner ever since I had a BSOD on my laptop. My opinion on Registry Cleaners is that I haven’t seen any improvement in my computers performance, it is as same as it was. However some registry cleaners come with options of deleting internet history, permanently deleting files so that its unrecoverable, find duplicate files, defrag the registry, recover accidently deleted files and not forgetting fixing registry issues. For me registry cleaners > make computer faster > didn’t feel any change but for other features, then yes.

  222. Mike

    Yes, and no. I have had registry cleaners get a non-booting machine back on its feet and I have had a registry cleaner trash a system. The skill is really in knowing what to dig out and what to leave in the system and that comes from being too familiar with the registry in general and in your registry in particular.

  223. abdullah

    I have tried a lot, only comodo system cleaner actually helped me getting rid of annoying stuff, honestly I don’t see these kind of tools a necessity but, they won’t hurt anyway.

  224. Jim

    I have been using registry cleaners for several years, and never had a problem. I have been using
    Registry First Aid, written by Rose Software, for several years. I trust it completely, and delete
    without fear. I used the freeware version for 2 years before finally buying it. I also trust Advanced System Care, which offers additional system tweaks.
    Registry First Aid has repaired damaged files on 2 occasions.

    There are many I would not trust, especially those that offer you a ‘Free scan’

    I run both of these about every 2-3 days, and after deleting any files from my hard drive.

  225. fred

    Never saw any difference. Don’t bother with them anymore.

  226. Jeffxc

    1 Disk cleanup, 2 Auslogics Disk Defrag, 3 Auslogics Registry Cleaner, 4 Free registry Defrag. And you are done, All for free. It does not get any better than that.

  227. Amar

    Yes I use one and only one: CCleaner. it’s the best at fixing registry errors. I run it once every three months. in my case, cleaning the registry does help. it may be different for every case but that’s one of the things I do (besides deleting cookies and clearing the cache), and I find it helpful.

  228. Olde Geeke

    After trying several, over several years– the best I can say is if you want your computer trashed use cleaners. If not, back it up so you can restore the registry, which amounts to my advice, don’t use them. Frequent backups of the registry are what works for me. I can roll back to any point because i always backup the registry to a thumb drive before installing, or making ANY changes to my laptop.

    My full tower Dell runs Peppermint Ice, so I don’t worry about that computer.

  229. Nathan Glotfelty

    Every computer I work on I install CCleaner(Piriform Ltd) and use twice aweek on my own 5 desktops and new laptop. I do see a increase in speed and it does a awsome job on the registry. I suggest to everyone I talk to in using it.

  230. ironstine1946

    I agree with Hatryst and LouisPaton.It took along time to do nothing,then stated what I already knew.computer no faster!

  231. RickO

    I use registry cleaners on all 6 PC’s I have and use. In addition, one of the functions of the software (I actually use 2 – winutilities and uniblue registry booster) is a registry defrag. Using both along with registry defrag makes a real difference. I usually clean 3 times a week, especially after updates, and defrag once a week or every other one. I find that this makes a big difference in performance and the risk is minor (never had one problem in many years). Along with this another key is to defrag your disk removing fragmentations which have a positive effect. The last thing is to run task manager and delete unwanted processes or change priorities. For this, I recommend you proceed with caution unless you really understand the executions and priority impacts, Never bump priorities to system level as this can have some real impact on your computer use.

  232. MIke Liesveld

    I bought them and I don’t notice the difference. I have bought them for specific things they told me they could cure and they never cured one of the problems they said they could. I find them a large waste of time and money.

  233. bye-cycle

    Yep, I use them all the time. It even got my brother-in-laws printer working again when nothing else did. I work in friends computers, if they are running slow, I run anti-virus, anti-malware, defrag and finally a registry cleaner. I also leave the software installed (it’s all freeware) I get money, they get a working system again.

  234. Harris

    i think for the majority of people a registry cleaner is unnecessary. by majority, i mean users who are not always trying out new programs and after trying them finding that you don’t like the program and uninstall it. as an example, today i installed a free version magix photo manager 10 i decided i didn’t like it so i first used revo uninstaller in advanced mode and uninstalled it. after the programs uninstaller finished revo then found 56 registry items and two folders that weren’t removed. it also left 2 other programs, a shareware link and a sql server that weren’t removed. after that i went to everything (search program) and typed in magix…that found about a half dozen folders that were left. after that i went to jv16 power tools and did a search for magix….that found 68 more registry entries that were left. for those who essentially use the programs that come with the computer i don’t think a registry cleaner is very necessary but when one is always trying something new i feel they are necessary.

    i feel that many software developers write crappy code in regards to their uninstall as they seem to think that once installed nobody would want to remove it….anyways, always read through what the reg cleaner wants to remove and do a system restore before removing….

  235. Aln

    I find that using both CCleaner and Revo Uninstaller eliminates the need for a registry cleaner. I find that after telling all my clients about them, they don’t need a registry cleaner. I suggest to them to NEVER us a registry cleaner. They generally create more problems than they cure.

    I have been professionally in the Computer and Internet business since 1989 and therefore have had plenty of experience trying about every “cure” anyone has ever said was the best. In most cases, I don’t know what other ways they have used to compare it to, must have been real crap!

    I have been using CCleaner since around 2002 or 2003 and have installed it on many computers and have never had a problem. I started using Revo Uninstaller in the mid to late 2000′s. Again, never a problem.

    As a note: In today’s hacker world, it is getting easier than ever to have you stuff get hacked. I use about 4 different levels of security. A hacker went to eBay and found my wife’s account. He figured out her user name and password. Surprise Surprise, she used the same passwords for both. Next thing I knew, he was into just about every email service we had, sent for password resets and all of a sudder, I cannot get into almost any of my accounts. And then, guess what? He had charged about $1000 of stuff to my accounts. Fortunately, he had done this at 5am and I caught it later that afternoon. I then spent two weeks of about half days straightening everything out.

    So, I researched further security measures. I recommend the following security measures:

    CryptArchiver Lite at http://www.winencrypt.com/products/winencrypt-cryptarchiver-lite.htm

    LastPass at https://lastpass.com/

    Trusteer Rapport at http://www.trusteer.com/learn

    Good Luck and I hope you never get hacked!

    I have been using CCleaner since 2007 or 2008

  236. ed

    Save my butt? Absolutely. Speed up the system? I don’t know, I have no way of actually measuring it. I was just an occasional user of CCleaner with my old computer running XP, but the new Sony Vaio running Win7 that I’m using seems to be more finicky with system settings. I don’t know if it’s Sony’s installation or Microsoft’s, but several times (not just three or four times) when I removed a program (especially the crapware) the system locked up on rebooting.

    The first time it happened I absolutely panicked. Win7 hung on the “Welcome” screen. After restarting twice I booted up to Safe Mode and ran the registry cleaner of CCleaner from there. That’s been my procedure ever since, when the system hangs. It never fails. The cleanup just makes everything run fine again.

  237. delukze

    I’ve never used any, i don’t trust them.

  238. BAP

    I have not used one on Win 7…yet.
    JV-16 by macecraft? never let me down on several XP machines.
    The only troubles were my fault, I deleted something I should not have deleted.
    On mine and troubleshooting others I noticed a distinct speed-up.
    Running JV-16 and deleting most cookies is what I credit for Never having to re-install XP.

  239. TroubleMaker

    Registry cleaners are over rated and probably nothing bad would happen if one never used one. Prior to install of a program one thinks they might not want, back up the system state. Then if you don’t want the program, restore the system state instead of uninstall. Everything goes back the way it was. This method only works as long as you don’t make other changes you want to keep.

    Registry *repair* is a minfield and after a misadventure some 10 years ago with a registry repair program, I will never try it again. The only utility that has helped and not made things worse is the MS utility “System File Checker.” I’m surprised it is not more publicized. It can circumvent a complete reinstall.

    Come to think of it, I havent had any serious problems since using Win7. It seems very resistant to damage, it could care less it its registry is clean or not, and is better than the much loved xp. I haven’t had to reinstall at all, whereas xp seemed to need it at least once a year.

  240. Eagle3x8

    They do more harm than good. If you want to try one, back up your OS drive first.

  241. Danny

    I’ve found that registry cleaning on an older system does help speed up the system.

    You’ll need to be cautious, because some cleaners are to drastic and will give you more problems than solutions.
    I’ve tried several through the years and ended up op Piriforms Crap Cleaner. Just last month I tried the ‘new and improved’ version from Comodo. This resulted in a re install of the system as the cleaner was to drastic towards self build software and older windows drivers.

    In brand new systems it not usefull, but it can help resolve registry problems.

  242. Danny

    @BAP

    I have used several on Win7.
    In the beginning this was an absolute NO-GO, as most systems still ran on Vista drivers. These got removed by the cleaner as the ‘driver is not compatible’ with Windows 7.

    Right now CCleaner runs fine for Win7, but the systems it runs on are so fast, you won’t see/feel the difference.

  243. harold

    Use CCleaner. Not to increase performance but to help keep my system from slowing down over time.We all know that pc slow down over time due to clutter.Using cc is my attempt to keep it somewhat uncluttered.

  244. Brendan

    I have a full version of Registry Booster which I use every now and again.
    From my experience, using the reg cleaner and defrag have both made significant improvements to a slow system. Particularly when used after cleaning up a heap of crap and dud programs that leave registry entries behind. Improvements are not as noticeable if running on a reasonably healthy machine regularly.

    I use CCleaner too which works well, but I get better resultd from Registry Booster, and better again when used with CCleaner.

  245. Zagreus

    I used Ccleaner twice to clean my registry, and then had problems with my sound being scratchy and distorted. Still not sure if it was a coincidence.

  246. mertonn

    Ok. Many years ago a Microsoft engineer told me that I should rebuild my PC at least once a year. That way the Registry is kept clean. So what I do now when I build a new PC is that I do a good backup, and then restore the machine at least once a year with that image.

    I have used registry cleaners, but most are viruses and others don’t seem to make much difference, in fact they normally crash the PC on restart. I think there are a few that work. I would like to have one that works like “Disk clean-up” but I haven’t found it yet.

  247. Jerry

    My luck with all register cleaners has been terrible. My last experience was in August 2010. I purchased three (3) copies of Adware Pro to clean my registers. As a result of using this software, I had to purchased updated copies of Microsoft 7 software and performed new software and programs on my three computers. With the cost associated with this action I could have purchased a new computer.

    Never again will II used a register cleaner! Adware Pro has never responded to my inquiry.

  248. Matt

    I use a legacy Microsoft Regclean application and run it occasionally. I don’t think if it has made any noticeable difference to my PC but the good thing about it is that it saves a copy of what your registry was before you run the clean, in case the new version of your registry gives adverse and unknown effects.

  249. survivor

    Always First-ERUNT. I use it on manual with every change/add/remove/major update. It lets me delete all, but most recent restore point, and I can go back to any time I pick. It comes with NTREGOPT, which has same results as, Registry Life’s Optimizer, but Registry Life, may or may not remove fragments, but I trust it. In sequence-CCleaner on a second hand drive,Free Windows Registry Repair, Registry Life and optimize, Glary Utilities_slim(daily) after that. Revo-Uninstaller always. Puran defrag, or MyDefrag if I want to consolidate for faster operation(on a damaged or fried drive), then Puran defrag, till it wanders. Even Windows defrag, once in a while, after Disclean/Restore Point Removal. XP+Pro is all I know. Registry Life Organizer, if you can get it free, is a good verifier for a look-see, but not for the amateur, which I am. Everything can be found at (www.) majorgeeks.com, or filehippo.com, or downloads.com (CNET).

  250. survivor

    P.S. My previous comment is not an April Fools joke.

  251. CHARLES G

    After using 2 different downloads and losing all my data and most of my apps (on one of them), I believe that they are completely useless. When they are marketed (and they “scan” my computer), they always seem to find hundreds of potential fixes. However, they can only be fixed if I buy their program.

  252. JonathonP

    “Save your money. Your computer is slow for a reason. it is probably old. If your computer is anything older than a Pentium 4 with at least 2 Gigs of memory, then it is time to purchase a new computer.”

    I don’t believe that for 1 second. With old hardware a Linux distribution such as Fedora and Ubuntu will do the job nicely and it may even out perform newer systems with Windows 7 if the appropriate desktop is installed. Checkout LXD desktop http://lubuntu.net/about and also bare in mind the different light weight windows managers available in the repositories as well. In my opinion new hardware is more important for video and audio encoding and other highly intensive CPU work something which the average computer user does not need. What they really need is an old system running an appropriate Linux Desktop so they keep their money in their pocket. Have u seen Chrome running on LXDE Desktop in an old pentium 3?? It absolutely rips. U get my point.

  253. joel m

    i am using registry cleaner since i bought my computer….. its been 2 years now…
    i have downloaded so many registry cleaner,,,, yeah- it helped me a lot,,,specially cleaning internet junks,.,.,but i discovered that different cleaner has its own way of cleaning the computers registry. for example, i installed CCleaner then i run it, then it clened my registry,, then i uninstalled it and installed another registry cleaner software, it still cleans the files my ccleaner cleaned,,,. well, im not against ccleaner, all of them works,,,,its just ILL BETTER STICK NOW WITH THE ONE WINDOWS USED,,,DISK CLEAN -UP…

  254. Mike K

    I use the one in CCleaner when ever I remove any software, and I usually finds left over references.
    At one time I used one of the commercial products but that was way back in Windows 98.

  255. 2seekthetruth

    I’ve used really only one registry cleaner RegSupremePro which is no longer available you now get a program called jv16 Power Tools by Macecraft. The unique thing about RegSupreme is that it checks my hard drive to see if program is on the system if not safely removed registry entries. Now I don’t recommend other registry cleaning tools because most have templates that they use to determine what gets removed …BAD… but RegSupreme allows u to fix a problem if your going to remove or delete a registry item do an export of your registry first. This is just good technical advice you can surely mess up the system since I consider the registry to be the nervous system of any system…

  256. ChuckTheGeek

    I use Iobit’s Advanced System Care package. The registry cleaner in there works very nicely. I let it make its own backup of the registry, but I also make one for myself before I start; suspenders and belt, so to speak.

  257. mike b

    Registry cleaners are the most important tool besides antivirus,antispyware you can use on a windows PC. I always use them when I work on peoples computers and they always run better after. Registry mechanic is awesome but costs money , auslogics registry cleaner is free and very powerful and simple to use. If you’re worried about using a registry cleaner do a registry backup before every cleaning , which the software will ask you to do before you’ve started. I’ve never had to restore my registry and I’ve been using these programs for ten years! If you’re computer is running slow, use a cleaner and I guarantee it will run faster,especially if you’re outer is older.i used the auslogics registry cleaner after I installed programs on a brand new laptop with windows 7 and it fixed dozens of problems!

  258. raith

    no

  259. BallyIrish

    When I first used registry cleaners about 14 years ago, after my retirement, I used free ones, and had to reinstall quite a few times. Boy, did nthey mess my PC up! Eventually I learned through bitter experience that only a few really do any good. You think Revo Uninstaller free) works seriously? Just install RegSeeker (free), open the “Find in Registry” facility and type in the exact name of what you uninstalled. You’ll be surprised what Revo Uninstaller missed. On the whole Registry Cleaners are dangerous and only geeks should use them, if at all. RegSeeker has an auto-cleaner which is the only one I trust and which has never given me trouble, but whether it has contributed to the well-being of my PC, how do I measure that? My advise is use RegSeeker to find left-overs after an uninstall, use the auto-clean only, and that seldom. There is no proof that registry cleaners do any good – but plenty of proof that they can cause you to reinstall your OS.

  260. 4PCTech

    Been using Wise Registry for a while. Never had a problem with it. I notice a difference with systems that do not have regular maintenance done to them. I have had problems with the free online scans.

  261. Howie

    I use regvac, it removes reg errors. does not remove saved passwords or history.
    have used it for many years, now on 7 ult sp1.
    i do notice a faster boot,maybe speed.

  262. gary

    Best freeware reg cleaner Regseeker very configurable auto backup plus ton of options. That said if you run revouninstaller not much is left behind. Does it help…yes,if you have someone on your system who does facebook games or a male teen who hits those sites he cannot resist, you will end up with tons of unwanted reg entries. All said it comes down to simply doing regular cleanup. On another note..Never pay for these programs, there are more than you need for free (Thankyou to all you Good People out there)

  263. Peteyboy

    I used to use WinDoctor with the Norton suite back in the day. Up til about 2006, 2007 or so (when Norton System Works became a bad resource hog). On Win98 there was alot of garbage that Add-Remove would leave behind. The PC ran alot quicker after running WinDoctor on 98 for sure. On XP it *seemed* to have worked great. Maybe not much speed or boot time enhancements, but I’ve been running the same install of XP for 5-6 yrs with no trouble (BOOOYAAAA!)(Wait, /knocks on wood).
    I haven’t used WinDoctor then DiskDoctor and Norton Defrag in a couple of yrs, so who’s to say if it helped with XP when I was using it from the time I started using XP.
    Temp and cache cleaners do help give XP some room to breathe and can increase speed. As well as a defrag if the Analyze tells you to.

  264. natara

    TuneUp Utilities it actually helps deleting a lot of back-up useless files and that’s about it.

  265. Steve Silverwood

    I’ve used registry cleaners, and they work, but they don’t speed things up just by themselves. It also requires the use of a registry defragmenter. Once both have been done, THEN some speed improvement results (but not much).

  266. Johnny

    I use Regcure for some years now. For me it works great, for XP and for Win7 aswell. It boost up the speed a lot.

  267. Jim

    What’s a registry??? I use Ubuntu/Linux – - just kinding. When I have to use a MS OS, I have found registry cleaners only good for sucking up admin time.

  268. mike michael

    i use a 10 yr old dell with win xp home. it crashed, i loaded linux, then reinstalled xp runs fine. as far as reg cleaners go i would recomend staying away from any free trial crap, especially Reg Cure, it was hell getting it of my ststem. i use Wise reg cleaner, and Advance System Care and on my dino of of a laptop it seems to help.

  269. Colliedog

    My PC Desktop (IBM) with XP PROFESSIONAL has 1 gb memory and 160 gb hdd along with a 160 gb external hdd (where l always download softwares and files). The PC is two years old and l use ccleaner in default mode regularly, Norton internet/anti-virus program for scans and tune-up maintenance, and, XP has a secret built in do it yourself Windows/PC repair: go to START > MY COMPUTER > right-click on DRIVE C > PROPERTIES > TOOLS > click on CHECK NOW > tick box of AUTOMATICIALLY FIX FILE SYSTEM ERRORS as well as click START in same little window > a new window will appear, click YES > another window appears, click OK. Now restart your PC. I use and do all of the above but use secret Windows/PC repair around once a month because too much frequent use of this particular in-built program can damage your PC so ONCE a month is safe. I had a PC running good for eight years with all of the above (except Norton in which l had paid AVG anti-virus/internet). Use Norton update/scans and ccleaner (on default mode) more regularly.

  270. Colliedog

    On another note, wipe free space by ticking the WIPE FREE SPACE box at the bottom of the WINDOWS section in ccleaner. It takes up to 3 hours depending on the size of your HDDs for it to clean through but is effective. Once it finishes, unclick the same box in said WINDOWS section of ccleaner. With this and my earlier post you’ll find yourself having years of healthiness for your PC..

  271. Peter

    Have for YEARS , ALWAYS used , PC Tools Registry Mechanic on 3 computers – NEVER a problem …
    Whilst not noticing much system performance increase after a scan , one may notice over time less
    system & program anomalies . Kind of like NOT putting oil in your car because it doesn’t make it go faster … :)

  272. Kagnew

    I have used the cleaners in the past such as PC Clean and Desktop Mechanic. These both worked well when used judiciously. I found out later that a better program for this was CCleaner as it did not remove entry/files willy nilly. I also don’t use any of these unless there is a problem with my system that I can not get rid of. I have often found that remnants of removed programs can cause problems that a good cleaner used with caution can solve.

  273. Boidd

    In addition to Revo Uninstaller, the Smart Uninstaller utility in WinXP Manager deletes only the registry entries associated with the programs being uninstalled.

  274. tagagt

    Ashutosh wrote;

    “I have, of course, never seen any speed improvements. It’s just the cleaning of unwanted clutter that makes me a little happy every time I run it.”

    This is what is important.

  275. Larry

    I read somewhere once, when researching the benefits of registry cleaners, that windows automatically checks and cleans the registry on every startup.

  276. Charley

    Every few months I use the free version of RegCure. I scan one category at a time and then manually lookup/remove the useless stuff. Afterwards, my programs run faster. I also regularly run malware/virus scans and use my defrag. My ex has a laptop with Vista Home Premium. My old desktop is 6 years old with XP. Mine runs circles around hers. Of course when I first bought this Compaq Presario, I bought and installed an extra gig of RAM. I’m always researching and asking questions. I do all kinds of things to protect my privacy and enhance the performance of my machine. I reckon I started a bit late. I didn’t have a computer until 1999 and it was an old AST running Win 3.1. It had a 66MhZ processor and 12 megs of RAM with a 512 MB hard drive. When last used it, I was running 98 SE with AVG and AdAware. That left me with 106 mb of free space. I once had a major corporation hire a computer service which used an IP filter against me. This was after I overloaded their server (revenge). I quit that sort of nonsense while I was ahead and before the guys in dark shades and polyester suits came knocking on my door.

  277. Brad

    This is like using software to prepare your PC for y2k. (remember that?) It was all about how, on 1/1/00 your pc would suddenly sprout robot arms and legs, walk thru your house, throw the dishes onto the floor, open your wallet and rip up all your money, then join a robot pc army of destructive battle machines angry at something, bent on causing chaos, attacking people, turning off utilities, shutting off the flow of water; people would be running in circles, confused forming packs like wild animals so you better stock up on food and supplies and ammo. This is what they said WOULD HAPPEN back in 1999. Anything with a chip would go crazy, microwaves, refrig, washing machine, etc

    A Registry cleaner? maybe for win95 or win98 that was useful, and if memory serves that was because of mismatched applications and dependencies that would cause programs not to work, also called “dll hell”. But Microsoft came up with a very good solution, and now in windows 7 ? it seems to be the most stable os, most easy to setup and crash proof of any os in the past 100 or so years.

  278. BigJohnL

    I use CCleaner frequently, and RegVac about once a week, with no identified problems. Have done this for years on nine Win XP and 7 systems. RegVac often seems to speed up the machines. Sometimes a problem (such as apps not closing) will go away after using RegVac.

  279. Tom Walker

    OMG! After reading as many posts as my intestinal fortitude could bare, I have gleaned one very clear and somewhat terrifying insight: A very high percentage of the responders to these “Ask the readers” posts are delusional and actually believe that they know “stuff”.

    Delusional: a persistent false psychotic belief regarding the self or persons or objects outside the self that is maintained despite indisputable evidence to the contrary; also: the abnormal state marked by such beliefs.

  280. Curt

    I use them all the time and NEVER have had a problem with them. I use three at least once a week. My computers have been running for years with no problems.

  281. Brad

    If a registry cleaner worked with antivirus software, THEN it would be useful; or if youre loading unknown, unsigned, unapproved applications that hack the registry, it could be a useful tool perhaps. Initially i was thinking about only using and loading high quality stuff from regular vendors and a registry cleaner isnt needed; but using unknown software or ones that dont have high standards, perhaps.

  282. Al

    Totally useless

  283. olad

    Well, for every action, there is an equal and opposite… There was this friend who had installed Orbit Downloader on (logical) Drive D:, and then when space became limiting on Drive C, he decided to scrap the D: partition. He could not, despite uninstalling Orbit using Revo Uninstaller. Somewhere, lodged in Windows memory was the fact that Orbit Downloader was installed in Drive D. Until we used a Registry cleaner to remove (nearly) all references to ‘Orbit’, it was impossible to reinstall Orbit downloader. We didn’t fancy doing this reference by reference.

  284. Peter

    I’ve used several registry cleaners CCleaner, RegCleaner etc. in recent years.
    I also used them sparingly.
    But eventually they end up corrupting the operating system and I have to do a reinstall.
    I don’t blame the software companys, I think that the registry is just too complicated.

  285. JAACK

    Cleaners are either SCAM products scaring people or come-ons to buy other CRAPWARE. Be very careful with these little .log files that hang around. Many developers use them for un-installation rather than writing good code and creating an un-install file.
    I used Reg Cleaner etc and wound up re-installing WINDOWS!

    even 1 bug in a Reg cleaner and you are toast and out the $

  286. HellScream

    I manually clean my registry (xp)… sometimes i use autoruns just to double check if the entries are orphaned. :D

  287. theMan

    I normally every couple of months use IObit Toolbox, a free PORTABLE software that pretty much can do any number of things to help clean your computer, although you have to be careful of what you clean. You might be surprised at the cleaning job this program can offer. The only other cleaners I have used in the past were CCleaner & IObit registry cleaner which of course does what you allow it to do.

  288. Land Locked Puddle Pirate

    Registry Cleaners aren’t the answer. Each company/developer writes the app to run in a certain way to clean. Many PC’s I have worked on got corrupted by a registry cleaner removing a wrong empty entry. Been there, done that myself.

    So, my opinion from personal and professional experience…No to registry cleaners.

    Do you want to clean up or even speed up your PC? Use a system file cleaner. Clean or delete old log files, temp files, etc….
    If you are willing to pay for a commercial product, there are several good registry repair apps available. There is an order that needs to be followed in repairing and cleaning a registry. Pay the money and get a commercial app.

    CCleaner, IOBit and others provide fine free apps to remove temp files and defrag drives and even registries, but don’t clean a registry with a free app!

  289. Samantha

    I have used registry cleaners many many times intending to improve PC performance. But never I have observed any visible improvement. Instead I got my systems slow down or getting errors.
    Better not to expect any improvement form Registry Cleaners.

  290. Joel

    @The Neighbourhood Nerd

    I totally agree. I have the exact same experience.

    Quote:
    “I use both CCleaner portable for my customers and Tuneup Utilities at home. I don’t notice any particular speed changes when using registry cleans on newish computers, but anything 4+ years old and the difference is massive.

    I believe the success of registry cleaners depends on the speed of the machine and the amount of dead registry entries. But yes, they work.

    I wouldn’t touch any flashing advert that offers to perform a “free registry scan” however. Tools like that aren’t trustworthy enough for such a critical task”

  291. Mapi77

    I totally agree with most of the comments. I dare to say that Registry Cleaners aren’t useful at all.
    I experienced many of them, no one is using the same algorithm to clean up the registry. For instance one of them will only find out 3 or 4 bad keys and another one 100 or more. Wich is the better ?.
    Personnaly I’m running from time to time the less agressive of them i.e Ccleaner with Win 7 64, Vista 32 and XP Sp3. I never had to face some trouble…

  292. Dave-pl

    I’ve used Ccleaner for years on many computers. (I use the parts that clean Windows system and registry.) Never saw any harm done by it. And you can see the clutter it removes, certainly can’t be helping the system, so why keep it there. The registry cleaner is great for detecting viruses – if there is a registry key that keeps coming back after it’s deleted – that can indicate a root kit or something that needs more serious attention.

  293. Bret Erwin

    I just switched from an XP mach that lasted 10 yrs; I think I let a registry problem cause me to try too many things too fast & finally I probably let electromagnetic discharge destroy it by tearing parts on it apart. Now a cheap new WIN 7 mach is allowing me to do it the right way, and after reading all these comments which were helpful, I think a clean boot and using ms.config after learning what entries in a registry belong or not looks to be safer. Over on another tech forum are examples of apps to give one an idea of potentially unnecessary startup entries; I’ve just begun the journey of looking at this stuff, and wouldn’t want to suggest going anywhere to anyone unless you’re willing to look at what the “Trusted Advisor” for a Microsoft forum called Tech Support Guy Forum says under the topic title: Which start up programs can I eliminate? I’m sure you can Google & be linked to the discussion.

  294. L30N4KU

    i only trust ccleaner. Other softwares are too aggressive, the little they do is just not worth the risk.

  295. abetageek

    I build, restore, tweak computers.
    since 1986 no one has ever asked for their money back,
    tho I give a 100% unconditional satisfaction guaranteed or your money back.
    I use temp cleaner, ecleaner, eusing, ccleaner, auslogics, perfectdisc, defraggler. ncleaner
    do a backup first

  296. dogman514

    i have been using PC Analyzer for the passed 2 years now and my computer has never run better,it is all done automatically just set it and forget it this came with my AVG security suite.if you have not tried it i highly recommend it.

  297. Ahmad

    Never!

  298. farooq2010

    I use Glary Utilities and CCleaner. Before I used Glary Utilities, my lenovo laptop had become a bit slow. after I scanned with Glary Utilities, fast as before.

  299. iNB

    I use AthTek RegistryCleaner and 360safeguard, they worked well!

  300. Smiling Carcass

    I first used a registry cleaner years ago- JV16 powertools, the original free version when the author was a graduate trying to get recognised. That’s why it was free back then.

    I noticed a massive performance boost and have used registry cleaners ever since. In all honesty, I cannot say that I am improving or staving off performance issues since I use them regularly. I am careful about what I let them remove and make backups before cleaning. I am also careful about which ones I use.

  301. al

    I tried Regzooka ( To my regret ) It made my system inoperable. I was able to remove the program,but still have speed and lockup issues.

    My recommendation; avoid Regzooka like the plague

  302. Jack

    I use AML rege Cleaner (free). Thats really fine for me. I am happy with it. never messed up anything.

  303. Incubusbaral

    Heck :{} I lost all the built in windows supports (like windows update, help and support, media player………………….) after i cleaned registry with free registry cleaners. Instead of problem solver it turrned out a problem creater. I personally do not suggest to use it on a daily basis. Once in a month is cool though

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