Do I Need a Windows Registry Cleaner?

Do I need a Windows Registry Cleaner? With so many people asking us about Registry Cleaners, we have written this article to help out some of the confusion that surrounds this issue.

What is a Windows Registry Cleaner?

Registry Cleaners are designed to help remove invalid items in the Windows registry which point to a program or hardware which no longer exists on the computer. These items can include items such as Dynamic-Link Library inserts (DLLs), software programs (or “apps”), uninstalled programs, or system information that is out of date, which could have occurred due to the constant Windows updates that get downloaded and installed.

These references can be left behind when a program is not uninstalled properly, the uninstaller is poorly written, or the system has crashed in the past causing these invalid entries, which are more Operating System-related.

Although Registry Cleaners can make the Windows registry clean, the overall potential benefits are greatly outweighed by the potential harm they could cause. The problem is that these programs go about their work silently in most cases so the user (you) has no idea what they are doing or it gives you lists of issues, but which ones do you attend to? This is our issue with these programs. We therefore strongly suggest that users don’t install or use Windows registry cleaners on Windows computers, all versions included.

Can a Registry Cleaner cause more problems than it fixes?

In our opinion that is a YES. So, in our opinion, the answer to the question “Do I need a Windows Registry Cleaner?” is NO. Any registry cleaner that is poorly written and that removes or changes the registry incorrectly can cause issues with programs or worse still, the Windows Operating System. All of a sudden, after a reboot, Windows will not start up again or complains of problems.

The next question customers ask is what then can I do?

How to Help Resolve These Issues

There are several things that we suggest that can be done to help resolve computer issues before resorting to a registry cleaner. If your computer is experiencing issues, we suggest you try the below suggestions before installing and running a registry cleaner;

  1. If an error message comes up (usually on booting into Windows) then take a note of the error, either by taking a picture or writing the error down. Then do a Google search for that error which can assist you in what has gone wrong.
  2. Running through some basic Windows troubleshooting steps may assist in tracking down the problem (see our article on that).
  3. The problem could be a malware or virus issue so running a good anti-malware or anti-virus program, such as Malwarebytes and Adwcleaner, can assist here.
  4. In Control Panel – Programs and Features see if any software has been installed lately and did you install it?

Can the Windows Registry be fixed without a Registry Cleaner?

If you knew what you were trying to fix, then you could use Regedit and fix or delete the key manually. This is NOT a solution for the faint-hearted and if you have never used Regedit before then we would certainly suggest you get expert help here. This is a very powerful tool and in the wrong hands can be disastrous. If you do decide to use it and have done so before then you most certainly need to backup the Registry BEFORE using Regedit.

There is a better solution and that is use System Restore to restore the registry to an earlier date. System recovery is helpful if something was installed that caused problems in the registry.

As a last resort, you could reinstall Windows, which would fix any bad registry problems by completely reinstalling Windows. Be very careful as data, files, pictures, programs etc would likely be lost when you do this. This is where a backup of your data is essential.

What do Registry Cleaners reputably fix?

These programs have been written by someone to fix one or more of the below situations:

1. Entries left after a program has been uninstalled.
2. Files and shortcuts associated with uninstalled programs
3. Computer response times
4. Slower booting up times than “normal”
5. Messages on boot about a missing file or sometimes an error message

What Registry Cleaners don’t fix

1. A computer startup problem
2. Malfunctioning hardware
3. The dreaded “BSOD” Blue Screen Of Death
4. Your computer will not boot or run significantly faster or quicker
5. It will not “fix” Registry issues or software issues, it just cleans
6. An issue that Windows reports as an issue

Should a Registry Cleaner be run in Normal or Safe Mode?

Registry Cleaners should be deleting items that are no longer in use and therefore should not encounter issues if ran in Normal Mode. If running in Normal Mode is not possible, then using Safe Mode would be you’re only other alternative.

The Registry Cleaner found problems what do I do next?

You should be presented with a list of items that the Registry Cleaner has found to be problematic. To the uninitiated, this might as well be in Greek or Cyrillic. Even to an IT “expert”, this information would possibly take hours to work through and “decode”. Here is where you take the “leap of faith” and tick or untick each item that you want to remove or keep. The million-dollar question here is “which ones”. This article cannot possibly go into the billions of combinations and this is why we don’t recommend Registry Cleaners.

Something bad has happened after running a Registry Cleaner, what do I do now?

If you are encountering new problems after running a registry cleaner, boot the computer into Safe Mode if Normal Mode does not work and run the Registry Cleaner utility to restore the backup made before the “clean”.

If you did not make a backup of the registry, try using the Windows Restore feature mentioned above or by running Restrui.exe from Windows.

Affordable Computer Repairs and Service

If you are still asking “Do I need a Windows Registry Cleaner?” give us a call in Brisbane on 3397 1215 or 0409 974 707 and we will do our best to provide you with the answer you are seeking.

do i need a windows registry cleaner

Affordable Computer Repairs and Service Brisbane