Why you should not use Registry Cleaners and Optimization Tools
There are numerous programs which purport to improve system performance, make repairs and tune up a computer. Many of them include such features as a registry cleaner, registry optimizer, disk optimizer, etc. Some of these programs even incorporate optimization and registry cleaning features alongside anti-malware capabilities. These registry cleaners and optimizers claim to speed up your computer by finding and removing orphaned and corrupt registry entries that are responsible for slowing down system performance. There is no statistical evidence
to back such claims. Advertisements to do so are borderline scams intended to goad users into using an unnecessary and potential dangerous product.Bleeping Computer DOES NOT recommend the use of registry cleaners/optimizers for several reasons:
:step1: Registry cleaners are extremely powerful applications that can damage the registry by using aggressive cleaning routines and cause your computer to become unbootable.
The Windows registry
is a central repository (database) for storing configuration data, user settings and machine-dependent settings, and options for the operating system. It contains information and settings for all hardware, software, users, and preferences. Whenever a user makes changes to settings, file associations, system policies, or installed software, the changes are reflected and stored in this repository. The registry is a crucial component
because it is where Windows "remembers" all this information, how it works together, how Windows boots the system and what files it uses when it does. The registry is also a vulnerable subsystem, in that relatively small changes done incorrectly can render the system inoperable. For a more detailed explanation, read Understanding the Registry
.:step2: Not all registry cleaners are created equal.
There are a number of them available but they do not all work entirely the same way. Each vendor uses different criteria as to what constitutes a "bad entry". One cleaner may find entries on your system that will not cause problems when removed, another may not find the same entries, and still another may want to remove entries required for a program to work. Further, some vendors who offer registry cleaners use deceptive advertisements
and claims which are borderline scams
. They may alert you to finding thousands of registry errors which can only be fixed to improve performance if you use or buy their product.:step3: Not all registry cleaners create a backup of the registry before making changes.
If the changes prevent the system from booting up, then there is no backup available to restore it in order to regain functionality. A backup of the registry is essential BEFORE making any changes to the registry.:step4: Improperly removing registry entries can hamper malware disinfection
and make the removal process more difficult if your computer becomes infected. For example, removing malware related registry entries before the infection is properly identified can contribute to system instability and even make the malware undetectable to removal tools.:step5: The usefulness of cleaning the registry is highly overrated and can be dangerous.
In most cases, using a cleaner to remove obsolete, invalid, and erroneous entries does not affect system performance but it can result in "unpredictable results".Microsoft support policy for the use of registry cleaning utilities
...Windows continually references the registry in the background and it is not designed to be accessed or edited. Some products such as registry cleaning utilities suggest that the registry needs regular maintenance or cleaning. However, serious issues can occur when you modify the registry incorrectly using these types of utilities. These issues might require users to reinstall the operating system due to instability. Microsoft cannot guarantee that these problems can be solved without a reinstallation of the Operating System as the extent of the changes made by registry cleaning utilities varies from application to application...Microsoft does not support the use of registry cleaners...
Unless you have a particular problem that requires a specific registry edit to correct it, I would suggest you leave the registry alone. Using registry cleaning tools unnecessarily or incorrectly is dangerous
and could lead to disastrous effects
on your operating system such as preventing it from ever starting again. For routine use, the benefits to your computer are negligible while the potential risks are great
. The major source of orphaned registry entries is poorly uninstalled programs so using a good uninstaller program is a much better way to keep the registry clean.Ed Bott's Webog: Why I don't use registry cleanersAre Registry Cleaners Safe to Use? Registry Cleaners and System Tweaking Tools If you want to improve computer performance, please read: Slow Computer/Browser? Check here first; it may not be malware- Your experts from Bleeping Computer