Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Best Registry Cleaner

There are lots of programs out there that want to convince you that their program will make your computer run faster by cleaning up your computer registry. Unfortunately, I have yet to run across one that works consistently like they say they will. So the Best One? None.

The claim the majority make is that there are orphaned registry keys in your computer registry that are slowing your computer down. Make sense? Probably not to a lot of you. Let's have a brief computer lesson.

When you turn your computer on, it shows all your stuff. If someone shares your computer and they turn it on, it shows all their stuff. How does the computer know? It accesses the registry to look for information. The registry is (in very simple terms) a large database with lots of values. Thousands of thousands of values. Those values are in computer-ese and let the computer know what it is supposed to do.

All the programs on your computer have an entry, or two, or a hundred, to assist your computer in running that program. Quite often, the way a value is stored in the registry is changed, or corrupted and a new entry is created. The old one is still there and not used. These are called orphan keys.

Sometimes you install a program and then decide you don't want it anymore and uninstall it. There may be registry entries that are left behind that are not deleted when you uninstalled it. More orphan keys. Sometimes you try a program using a trial version. After the trial ends, you can no longer use the program or download the trial again. How does it know? By leaving a registry key. (That's only fair right?)

The PC/Registry cleaners say these orphaned registry keys slow your computer down. My personal opinion? No. These keys use very little space on your computer and without a program using them, they are like the blank pages in a paperback (or ad pages)~ they add nothing to or take anything away from the story!

The computer registry on your computer is not a place that anyone should be changing without having a lot of computer knowledge and a lot of experience. Many of these keys will not cause any problems if deleted or changed. But some will prevent your computer from working and there will be no way of knowing which one was changed. And with the vast amounts of keys in the registry, I can't say I trust a program to look through the registry and remove these orphaned keys.

All that being said, there are programs that can remove problematic registry keys, but they should be used by someone who understands and has experience with the registry. How do you know you have a problematic registry key? You will have a program that is not running properly. Does that automatically mean it is a registry key? No. In this case, you need to seek support from the program manufacturer.

Generally, when your computer is running slow, it is because you have extra programs using resources in the background, or extra programs running in your browser. Not surprisingly, there are lots of programs out there that claim to help you clean up, or optimize, your computer. There is no need to buy or download one of these either. You will be paying for a program that will be doing what your computer already has the tools to accomplish. You just need to make sure they are running and watch them. (I will get to those tools in a future post.)

Until next time,
Keep the BugOff!

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