Best Registry Cleaner for Windows 7

Category: Windows-7

After upgrading to Windows 7, you may be looking for a registry cleaner that takes full advantage of the latest Microsoft operating system's capabilities. Here are my recommendations for registry cleaners that are certified to work with Windows 7 computers...

Windows 7 Registry Cleaners

The Windows registry is a set of databases that contain thousands of records of settings, file locations, and other information that Windows uses. When you start your computer, the registry tells Windows what programs should be automatically started. When a program is installed or un-installed, a registry setting is created or altered. The locations and names of recent documents and Web URLs are stored in the registry. Hardly a second passes without some alteration of the registry. It's a very busy place!

Over time, the registry becomes cluttered with entries that are no longer valid; for example, a program's entry may not be deleted when the program is uninstalled. Performance may suffer as Windows tries to load programs or files from locations where they no longer exist. In the worst case, an invalid or corrupted registry setting can prevent Windows from loading at all. Hence, the need to clean your registry periodically.

A registry cleaner (sometimes called a registry booster) scans every entry in the registry to see if it is valid. If a bad registry entry is found, the cleaner attempts to fix it. If the entry cannot be fixed the cleaner may simply delete the entry or flag it for your attention. You then have to decide whether to delete the entry or leave it alone. Deleting the wrong registry entry can cripple your system.
Registry Cleaner Windows 7

The best registry cleaner for Windows 7, or any other operating system, takes a conservative approach to deleting registry entries. If in doubt, leave it alone. The best registry cleaners even make a backup copy of your registry before tampering with it, so you can restore the working registry if anything goes wrong. Because a full scan of the registry can take a long time, a good registry cleaner can run in the background, scanning only during moments when the system is otherwise idle.

Undoubtedly you will encounter people who say registry cleaners are useless, harmful, or downright evil. You'll find experts on both sides of this issue. But based on my personal experience, and reports I've heard from many other users, I believe they can be beneficial.

My Recommended Registry Cleaners for Windows 7

The functions of a registry cleaner are rather limited, so most registry cleaners also do other necessary computer maintenance tasks to remain competitive. Below are some of the best registry cleaners for your Windows 7 system. I've selected these because they have been well-respected for many years, and except for one, they're all free.

  • Wise Registry Cleaner backs up and restores your registry; by default, it does not scan areas of the registry where it is difficult to determine whether an entry is needed (you can change that but scans will take longer). Freeware, no registration fee.
  • Advanced System Care Free is a popular all-in-one system maintenance suite that includes registry cleaning among its many functions. It also fine-tunes registry settings for home, business, and gaming use; tweaks Internet settings to increase speed; eradicates spyware; and cleans up junk files.
  • CCleaner is a free full-featured registry cleaner that also does system optimization, privacy and hard disk cleaning tasks. CCleaner will get rid of old, unused and unnecessary files from your hard drive, freeing up disk space, and speeding up your system. It will also wipe your Internet browsing history, cookies, and web forms.
  • Uniblue Registry Booster does a deep scan to fix registry errors; tweaks registry settings to improve your PC's performance; and automatically backs up your registry settings. It's the only one on my list that's not free (US$29.95) but Uniblue is also the only registry cleaner vendor I know of that is a Microsoft Gold partner, which means they are "certified for outstanding levels of skill and expertise with Microsoft technology." That has to count for something when mucking around in the registry.

Do you have a favorite Windows 7 registry cleaner that I haven't mentioned? Post your comment or question below...

 
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Most recent comments on "Best Registry Cleaner for Windows 7"

(See all 22 comments for this article.)

Posted by:

JKCB
16 Mar 2011

Glary Utilities ahs a suite of maintenance programs that includes a registry cleaner. It usually finds items it says should be "fixed" and I've never had a problem from it yet.


Posted by:

Ian
16 Mar 2011

I'm not sure whether to hope that you haven't used Uniblue (which would make your review suspect), or to hope that you HAVE used Uniblue (which would make your judgement suspect). All readers should do themselves a favor and google "uniblue scam" before installing - even before the "free" registry check. The amount of horror stories about this company are so enormous that nothing I could say here could add to it. My virus checker even warned me to stop when I attempted to download their "free" check, and that's when I remembered the crazy issues I had with them a few years ago when I tried them previously. Mr. Rankin, for the sake of your reputation and integrity, you should amend your recommendation.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Ian, My integrity is not based on your opinion of me or of Uniblue. For the record, I have used the Uniblue Registry Booster, and found that it worked well. But I'm not alone in that assessment. CNET gives it 4 stars, Kim Komando recommends it, and PC World's Simcha Gralla wrote "if you're looking for absolute top-of-the-line cleaning, RegistryBooster is worth it." It's also worth noting what TopTenReviews says: "Uniblue RegistryBooster has greatly improved in the last few years and we are pleased to relate that they have corrected some glitches that reviewers and users complained about a few years ago."

You can find horror stories about any popular piece of software, but when you throw naive users with massively broken/infected computers into the mix, you are likely to get even more. It's also human nature to complain when you're upset with a product, but people rarely speak out when they're happy. I think it's safe to say that the vast majority of those who use Uniblue products are very satisfied. I'll stand by my recommendation for Uniblue Registry Booster.


Posted by:

Rick O'Keefe
16 Mar 2011

Two recommendations: This one from our IT tech, who swears by it: http://www.pctools.com/registry-mechanic/ ; and the one I use regularly, PC Pitstop's PCMatic: http://www.pcpitstop.com/store/pcmatic.asp which is a suite. There are free scans on their Web site.


Posted by:

Tom
17 Mar 2011

What do you think of "TweakNow RegCleaner 2011"?
It's free and seems to do no harm. It also cleans junk and optimizes.


Posted by:

Charles
17 Mar 2011

I have used JV16 Power tools from Macecraft for several years now and in addition to cleaning the registry there are registry finder, registry find and replace, (I really like that feature), compactor, information, monitor and Manager. It is not free, it is the same price as Uniblue but is a onetime lifetime fee.

Other features that I have not tried are File Tools, System Tools, Privacy Tools, Backups, Settings, PC health and Registry health graphs.

I first use CCleaner then JV16 on monthly backups


Posted by:

Paul Kruijer
17 Mar 2011

Dear Bob,
As a reg. cleaner and it does a lot more, I use since a long time PCMatic from PCPitstop. It does a marvelous job.
Before shutting down, I use CCleaner every time. PCMatic every three or four weeks.
I like your advice.

KInd regards,
Paulus Kruijer


Posted by:

Bob Milligan
17 Mar 2011

I noticed you did not list Registry Mechanic. Is it not as good?


Posted by:

Prem
17 Mar 2011

Hii Bob

What about registry mechanic? I have been using that for years. Not sure though if there is a version for win 7. There


is a regular update I am not sure what the updates are for. This is not free.

Thanks

Prem


Posted by:

Dan
17 Mar 2011

I assume these 4 cleaners are ok to use with XP and Vista?


Posted by:

Dale Markel
17 Mar 2011

CCleaner works great. I allso use Glary Utility's weekly.They both seem to do an exelent job keeping both of my systems clean.
Glary Utility's is allso free.


Posted by:

Jim
17 Mar 2011

I use Ace Utility at http://www.acelogix.com/
Several years ago their software found the registry errors left over from an HP printer uninstall/reinstall that even HP's scrubber program didn't locate. After using Ace Utility all was well, and I continue to use it. btw, if you use ccleaner, and subsequently use ace utility you will see what I mean. Also be sure to select 'thorough' clean in option settings.


Posted by:

kaka
18 Mar 2011

there are two programs i like the most "Glary Utilities" & "Windows Doctor".........
Windows doctor is good for windows 7 but better for windows xp


Posted by:

Russell Coover
23 Mar 2011

I've been using Eusing Free Registry Cleaner for years. No problems.


Posted by:

JD
23 Mar 2011

Bob,

CCleaner is an excellent product, but another superb and reliable product is Auslogics Register Cleaner. Also, for what it's worth, Auslogics has an excellent Disk Defrag.

http://www.auslogics.com/en/software/

Thanks


Posted by:

paul
23 Mar 2011

hi bob Windows Live OneCare safety scanner is a free


Posted by:

Harold Wilson
23 Mar 2011

My favorite registry cleaner is http://www.ubuntu.com

EDITOR'S NOTE: I take it you wouldn't be running a dual boot system? :-)


Posted by:

Jacques
28 Mar 2011

I have a few comments on what I've just read here,
IMHO,
1- I've found AML to do the best Job of all free regcleaners as far as removing useless files without making the PC useless after. and I now have it installed on xp 32, xp pro 64,and win 7 64, works great on all, if installed "RUN as ADMIN."

2- Somehow, I'm a little skeptical of these high priced reg cleaners like PARITO regclean which promised to fix just about everything.(which I tried & was horrible) and uniblue!!??hmmm!.(30$yearly is quite expensive for a registry cleaner, I'll bet it sings and dances too at that price.I'm no programmer but,
Bob, aren't registry cleaners fairly unsophisticated software not requiring much updating wich do a fairly simple job albeit automatically...this would account for all the free ones out there...OH! I almost forgot, MS always blames free software for having corrupted their OS so it seems they would have to live up to this argument by charging you for simplest things that they should be handing out freely, especially when it is about the mess that their OS leaves behind after doing a little bit of work.
And I agree with Harold, Ubuntu cleans Windows off a drive real nice, and it leaves no traces of any newer version of windows, should you later want to re-install an older windows. Hint!
It will also sometimes format HDD when windows refuses due to encrypted spots, and after doing that, Windows will be able to format the drive to NTFS again...funny isn't it?
But getting back to REGstry cleaners, How can they justify re-selling you the same product every year!... the gall!
Now that I use mostly free software on all my PC's ,they just never break down!, whereas before it cost me a fortune in software and was always in the shop. Go figure!
IMO, Uniblue is for the gulible, who believe the more you pay the better the product. IMO
I use: Avira, mbam,SAS,AMLregcleaner, My defrag,
ERUNT(for recovery)KMPlayer(wow!)IZarc,Foxit,Firefox,Tixati, COMODO firewall.Open Office3.3,networx...etc...never a glitch or virus anymore.
BTW, I deleted Malicious software removal tool last week from /system 32, (MRT.exe)after re-reading the EULA... it's the best thing I have ever done.
Since then internet usage status numbers now stand still for hours on all my windows PC's whenever I'm connected but not browsing anywhere.
With MRT.exe in the PC, there was alway a very mysterious trickle in and out (up to 25 mb a day sometimes ). I think I may be on to something HERE!
What do you think BOB?
I know, it's a different subject, but I felt obliged to throw it in now, while I'm thinking about it.
Love your columns Bob,
Jack


Posted by:

Rakibuzzaman Ashik
07 Jul 2011

I have used RegSeeker for a long time. It is free and can detect more registries than any of the registry cleaner mentioned by you. It also creates a backup copy of the registry before doing anything to it. It runs well on windows 7 and in all other windows operating systems.


Posted by:

Michael
11 May 2012

No-one mentions that excellent outfit in Australia: Auslogics. Download the freebie and try it! There are so many options available it is best to see for yourself rather than try to catalogue them here. Michael


Posted by:

Lincoln
23 Sep 2013

Greetings Bob I concur that Uniblue Registry Booster is an excellent registry software I've been using this for years (5 years)I had an Internet Kaffe. I encourage folks to use this software.


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