Do I Need a Registry Cleaner? - Comments Page 1

Category: Windows

(Read the article: Do I Need a Registry Cleaner?)

All Comments on: "Do I Need a Registry Cleaner?"

Comment Page: 1 |  2  |  3 

Posted by:

30 May 2008

Be very careful using RegSeeker. If you don't know what you are doing, don't use it. I used it to clean my registry and had to reinstall my OS. CCleaner can kill your OS, too. Just be careful and you "should" be OK.

EDITOR'S NOTE: If you set a System Restore point prior to the cleaning, then a System Restore should undo any damage done.

Posted by:

Tom Bullock
02 Jun 2008

Bob, I have been reading you comments re registry clearners and the need for them for many months. I downloaded RegSeeker and found they also recommended not using their product unless knowing what you are doing. That leads me to ask: 'Can you recommend a solid reference book that explains in understandable language the basic structure of the registry?' RegSeeker clearly shows what is not used, but I don't know if it is safe to delete not used items. So people like me are in a kind of catch-22 -- can't move forward and can't get out of the 'icky goo' you talk about. TIA for your recommendation.

EDITOR'S NOTE: I have not read any books on the Windows registry, but a Google search for "windows registry books: turned up a few that seem interesting. As mentioned earlier, System Restore can undo any changes you make to the registry.

Posted by:

04 Jun 2008

Bob - I have been using Wise Registry Cleaner and Wise Disk Cleaner from Both of these programs are FREE and have done a quick and easy job of it, for me at least. Plus they are ad free and spyware/malware free.

I had read about their programs on one of my computer newsletters and tried them out. Since, this is not something that I do daily, but only about once a month or so, they work fine. Now, if, I were to do a LOT of Internet downloading and beta-ing (sp?), I would use both more frequently.

I still find one of the best 'boost' for PC speed-ups is Defragmentation, cleaning out uselss folders and programs that you no longer use and when it really gets bad, re-format your hard drive or purchase another hard drive.

Several family members and friends now use the large capacity External Hard Drives. Just doing this really saves them time and energy, plus gives them a speed boost. I am looking for one, for my own use.

Posted by:

05 Jun 2008

ToniArts "EasyCleaner". Much more sophisticated than CC.

Posted by:

05 Jun 2008

Hi Bob --- what about Vista??? Registry cleaner needed... if so, which recommended?

EDITOR'S NOTE: I don't think the registry is changed (structurally) in Vista. RegSeeker and CCleaner both say they work with Vista.

Posted by:

Dr. Larry
05 Jun 2008

As a long-time Tourbus rider (more than 10 years) I've come to trust your advice. So I installed and used RegSeeker to clean my registry. I figured I know enough about the registry (I've done hacks). RegSeeker came back with more than 700 registry entries to be deleted, and I checked 3-4 to verify that they were legit. I had it delete everything it listed, but immediately found my default settings messed up, and Adobe very upset about not being able to access one of its keys.

So I went to restore the backup I had (of course!) made, and discovered (1) there is no obvious way to do a restore, and (2) there is no Help in RegSeeker. Rooting around online, I found this entry from a moderator in the Piriform forum:

Andavari: is there a particular reason you stopped using RegSeeker?

Yes. I have better things to do than track down every so-called "invalid" reference it finds which has turned into a very unappealing chore, especially when much of the stuff found wasn't even invalid to begin with so it was a waste of time, thus the bore compliment I made several posts up from this one. ...

Although it seems the customized exclude.ini file is a tidbit more popular than I could have imagined as a Google search turned up multiple pages it's mentioned in, and one person surprisingly stated it made RegSeeker 10x safer to use, wow. Anyways I just hope the developer of the program takes charge in making it even at least 20x safer because with the default exclude.ini it's dangerous especially if people delete everything it lists. (

I'm afraid this has undermined my trust in the Tourbus - wish you guys would do a little background work before recommending software!

EDITOR'S NOTE: RegSeeker does make backups of deleted registry entries, if you select the "Backup before deletion" checkbox. I just downloaded a fresh copy, and the box is checked by default. Just double-click on a .REG file in Windows Explorer and it will undo the action.

You can also undo everything with a System Restore. But I thank you for the research into potential RegSeeker problems. I will update the article with your findings.

Posted by:

Claude bedell
05 Jun 2008

I've used many registry cleaners. RegCure seems to be one of the best, but last week I found the best and it's free Ccleaner. So far, I've had enough confidence (or stupidity) to just let it do it's thing. It cleans out all the junk files as well as the registry. Using any of the others, my computer has always gained a little speed, but since using Ccleaner, it is running just as fast as when it was new.

Posted by:

Butch Grey
06 Jun 2008

Bob: I too have used TOURBUS for over 10 years and tend to see you guys as 'the bible' on computer stuff...imagine my disappointment upon trying to accept your recommendation of CCleaner. You failed to mention that u cannot install this software without also accepting Yahoo Toolbar along with it. While I realize the makers of CCleaner have to live and eat, I wasn't happy with being forced to accept another thing I definitely DON'T want, so I didn't accept/install CCleaner and am back at square one looking for a free, well constructed, user friendly registry cleaner.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Butch, the Yahoo Toolbar is OPTIONAL when you install CCleaner. I noted in the license agreement that it is specified as an optional component, but even if you missed that, the next screen gives you a list of items to check/uncheck for the install. Uncheck the Yahoo Toolbar, and you have CCleaner free and clear.

Posted by:

06 Jun 2008

There is NO evidence that using a registry cleaner does anything to improve performance. The ONLY place you will find this type of "evidence" is on web sites that are trying to get you to buy their product. The PC does NOT get slow due to the registry getting larger, or because there are keys present that are no longer used. Any technician worth their salt, will NOT recommend the use of a registry cleaner and will sway people away from them. This is a good read on the dangers of using one:

EDITOR'S NOTE: As my science teacher used to say, the proof is in the pudding, or rather the eating thereof. I've experienced significant startup and performance gains after registry cleaning, and quite a few people have written to me saying the same thing. It makes sense... if your registry is telling Windows to load a file, and it has to search various paths to find that it doesn't exist, you will see a slowdown. Even Ed Bott (who I've always respected) is not quite so down on registry cleaners. In the article you reference, he includes a quote from George Ou who says that CCleaner "does make the system a little more responsive. You don’t get as many unexplained pauses."

Posted by:

07 Jun 2008

Please note that the quote from George Ou on CCleaner is NOT about using the Registry Cleaning portion. I think it would be impossible to run a Registry Cleaner and remove 1 GB of junk. You have taken the quote out of context to support running a cleaner. Not completely kosher!

EDITOR'S NOTE: I don't want to have a public argument with you, but does it seem reasonable that George Ou would run CCleaner and NOT use the registry cleaner that's built in to it? I don't think so. The bottom line is this: many people DO benefit by running a registry cleaner. And for the record, I don't make a penny if people download RegSeeker or CCleaner. I just recommend them because I and many others have found them beneficial.

Posted by:

09 Jun 2008

The only point that I am trying to impress is that these programs are dangerous and should not be generally recommended, without HUGE caveats. General maintenance such as deleting temp files, running a scandisk and defrag will work on all machines with no ill effects. This is not true with a registry cleaner. Just a last final word from Mark Russinovich.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Interestingly, the website above is an article from November 2007 which quotes Mark Russinovich and his opinion on registry cleaners. But Blair, the author of that post, wrote a followup a month later which was a GLOWING review of Uniblue Registry Booster, showing that it reduces both bootup time and app launch time. Of further interest, the Uniblue website shows that Uniblue is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner.

So yes, point taken. I will add some additional caveats to my writeup on registry cleaners. But it seems undeniable that they can be a significant help.

Posted by:

14 Jun 2008

One last try. The author in that link, was in fact Blair, BUT the entire post is a quote from Bill Castner who in turn quotes Mark Russinovich for most of his points. So, Blair can review and rave about Uniblue's product, but I think I will place substantially more faith in Mr Castner and Russinovich who have more credentials that whoever this Blair is.

Secondly,note that when he ran Registry Booster, he ALSO ran the defrag option. There is no question that running a defrag application on the registry will result in performance gains, particularly at boot time. But, he did not do any performance testing after just doing the cleaning option. Thus, using the test to validate speedup claims as a result of cleaning the registry is not valid.

I have no qualms in recommending in running a Defrag/Compaction app periodically, but I have still seen no evidence that Registry Cleaners are 100% safe and foolproof, or do anything productive for the majority of PC users.

Posted by:

29 Jun 2008

You should see how adamantly the anti-cleaner group speaks against registry cleaners; or perhaps you've already seen this for yourself. That always makes me curious: just what is so delicate on their systems that is so imperilled by registry cleaners?

I've set up hundreds of XPs, and I also work with Vista and, some years ago, Windows ME. My systems are often elaborately customized, so that they are very pretty for the user (needlessly, but nice) and are based on some fairly complex modifications.

And yet, you would laugh (or recoil in horror) at my use of RegSeeker. I use it on Auto, with either 2 or 4 scans, no registry backups. In other words, I say, "Go to it." That is the least cautious way the thing can be used.

Does it wreck my systems? Nope. Yet these are complex systems, often using, say, 300 small and large apps. Shouldn't things fall apart? Well, I feel it depends on the way things are set up. It must, because so many people report registry cleaners causing them all sorts of problems.

On a typical run on a "good" system, I expect RegSeeker to find about a dozen things it doesn't like. On a clogged system that is running very slowly, I've seen RegSeeker identify over 3,000 problems--which (gasp!) I've let it simply delete. If it is a client's computer, I let it do the backups, which I delete after I'm satisfied all is well.

I'm not suggesting anyone follow my reckless technique. But I am saying that I sure have to wonder about people who seem to run into trouble SO easily.

One comment about CCleaner. I use it and I like it, but I uncheck the Microsoft Office squares. MS Office has a peculiarity, in which, if you change some seemingly trivial registry settings that should cause no damage it all, Office will reset a lot of its tweaked settings to Default. I think it is intended as a protective measure. CCleaner showed up as an extremely suspicious (but unproven) cause for (especially) Word 2000 to revert to its defaults.

Thanks for the article, Bob. (And, for anyone who disagrees wholesale with my take on cleaners, I'd suggest TuneUp Utilities 2008 with its 1-Click Maintenance might be more to your liking. That's a very nice program, too. 30-day trialware; worth the $50 or so pricetag after a month.)

Posted by:

31 Jul 2008

I'm very fond of jv16 PowerTools 2008. Fred Langa, two or three years ago, rated the then current version as the best of the bunch; some older techies may remember RegCleaner, which was the first product by the same author. I can't agree with the "cleaners aren't necessary" comments above: they shouldn't be necessary, I agree, but not all software uninstalls cleanly, not everyone's PC runs clean all the time, and not everyone is able to avoid the sort of problems that a good registry cleaner can clean up after. (Maybe if we all used only Microsoft software, made restore points before doing anything new and only used our computers for writing letters, he might have a better point, but I've been managing PCs since the mid-1980s and I don't use or recommend things that don't do anything useful! Often... ;) )

Posted by:

dave wolfe
24 Sep 2008

Windows Registry Pro is the best there is in taking care of any problem you have with the registry,I swear by it,it beats them all,and its been around for sometime now,it have many applications you can use in it for just cleaning out stuff or wiping it clean #1 in the field,don't buy the junk one's this is the real deal!

Posted by:

03 Oct 2008

A short note on PC Speeds;I work in a Multimedia store and the biggest problem I see and hear with PC speeds is that people buy additional hardware and load the full suite of software for a given product and have it all come on at start-up. This happens because people just click through the software/driver load without selecting the custom option.Reducing the number of applications launching at start-up and running regular diskclean/defrag can make a PC significantly faster and more stable. Similarly,default settings on Internet Explorer and Firefox can cause huge amounts of useless data to be stored for months on end.Reducing these settings will cut down on storage of unnecessary data without having a negative impact on browser performance. I would as a rule, be very wary of 'free' software particularly when it does a 3-second sweep of your PC and finds 75 faults which only it can fix. Remember,there's no such thing as a free lunch!

Posted by:

Bob Bowen
07 Nov 2008

Thanks for the instructive articles, Bob. A word about RegSeeker: I have used it for many years, and as a registry cleaner it is downright dangerous, if you don't know what you are doing. But, it has an outstanding search facility ("Find in Registry.." opens it) It is excellent for getting rid of leftovers after an uninstall. Just type in the name of the program uninstalled, and RegSeeker will find all the left-overs, which can then be deleted. All deleted items will be backup on RegSeeker and later also deleted. I find Registry First Aid the best registry cleaner and some good free ones are: Glary Utilities, Eusing Free Registry Cleaner, Wise Registry Cleaner and Comodo Registry Cleaner. Bye now, I've still got a lot to read on your excellent site! Thank you.

Posted by:

05 Dec 2008

great article and very important . like most of the user i had a registry problem recntly got some errors and my computer was very slow. i wish i reed this article before but i didnt.

i struggle with few annoying errors and special with "error (login):0x10e0"

i searched the net alot and bought few soft till i found the right one which fixd my registry and solved the errors i had.

hope you wont need it but just in case

Posted by:

23 Dec 2008

IMO, ccleaner is phenomenal at cleaning out (what else) crap in the form of temp files (possible to recover hundreds of megabytes or even a gig or two) and does indirectly help speed the boot process. Indirectly by getting you to clean out startup entries you don't need, not by actually removing invalid entries (note to editor - invalid paths don't slow down the system if the path isn't searched and orphaned paths won't likely be searched by something that doesn't exist).

A friend called me with an issue whereby she couldn't burn a DVD of a wedding she made (and was paid to do) and could I suggest anything. Not knowing the app or seeing the machine, I suggested ccleaner. She was ecstatic that it fixed her problem.

Cleaning your PC should be a three-step process:

1. Uninstall/remove all those cute little programs you downloaded to try and never use.

2. Remove all unnecessary files: temp files, more than 25mb of temp browser files and hotfix uninstall files you'll never uninstall (this will speed up your virus scans immeasurably).

3. Disable all unnecessary startup apps and services (bet 20% of those that load are unnecessary). This will also free up memory which will make your apps run faster.

Sorry, long winded, but I think it's worth printing.

Posted by:

09 Jan 2009

Well I totally "cleaned" it with regclean! Overzealously, I must have cleaned out everything, save for connecting to IE. My operating system on that computer was/is Windows ME and regclean was my final attempt to improve performance before upgrading to XP and then to Vista. Now I get messages that I do not have the authority to open any program, including reading an install disc. Is there anything I can do to salvage that computer? (Please, please say yes!)

EDITOR'S NOTE: Yes! You can restore the registry backup that you made before using REGCLEAN. What, you forgot to make a backup? Then you can use System Restore to roll back the changes.

Comment Page: 1 |  2  |  3 

Read the article that everyone's commenting on.

To post a comment on "Do I Need a Registry Cleaner?"
please return to that article.

Send this article to a friend. Jump to the Comments section. Buy Bob a Snickers. Or check out other articles in this category:

Need More Help? Try the AskBobRankin Updates Newsletter. It's Free!

Prev Article:
Password Protection for Windows XP
Send this article to a friend
The Top Twenty
Next Article:
My Favorite Software

Link to this article from your site or blog. Just copy and paste from this box:

Free Tech Support -- Ask Bob Rankin
Subscribe to AskBobRankin Updates: Free Newsletter

About Us     Privacy Policy     RSS/XML