Registry cleaning tools: are they worth it?

  skeletal 16:53 16 Jan 08
Locked

There is a thread, currently, discussing the virtue, or otherwise, of using antispyware.

Well, on a sort of similar vein, do you need registry cleaners??

“They” tell you that the registry gets full of junk as you add and remove software and after a time all this rubbish slows the computer and leads to crashes (does it?). Use “Bloggswonderware”, get rid of it all and the world is perfect.

Except it may not be.

I occasionally use such tools and find/delete many hundreds of so called dodgy entries. But recently, I had a really strange and complex problem that took a lot of effort to sort out. In the end, I worked out that “Regscrub” had removed a vital key.

The hours spent resolving the problem far exceeds the tiny performance increase I may, or may not, get from registry cleaning.

Packages do offer restore points, but by the time you realise you have a problem, it can be weeks after your fettling and you are unlikely to relate cause and effect.

I wonder how many obscure problems reported on these forums relate to the use of such tools?

So: are they worth it??

Skeletal

  wolfie3000 17:18 16 Jan 08

To me they are worth having,

I use ccleaners registry cleaner but only if iv uninstalled alot of programs,

It tidies up the registry after removing any programs i get rid of,

Also it helps if you read what the registry is getting rid of before cleaning it out, i guess this is the mistake some people make.

  skeletal 17:26 16 Jan 08

Good point about reading what it's doing. This is, sort of, obvious and I feel a bit foolish that I clearly did not do so, particularly as I have some knowledge of the registry anyway.

However, in my defence, and I suspect in defence of most(!), when you run such cleaners you can easily get several hundred items and you tend to think “It knows what it's doing, just tick yes”.

Skeletal

  Curio 18:44 16 Jan 08

before taking any action also helps a great deal if there is a mishap.

  sunny staines 18:51 16 Jan 08

yes they are but carefully pick the right ones a lot of then mess up your pc while others are excellent.

  SANTOS7 18:53 16 Jan 08

click here

best bit of kit i have bought for a long time....

  skeletal 19:06 16 Jan 08

I have a free (but old version) of Registry Mechanic and do use it. However, on of our computers I mistakenly pressed the “check for updates button”. It went to check but came back with a message along the line of “enter product code”. When I did so it said it was out of date. It has never worked since in spite of using system restore/uninstall/reinstall etc.

It was for this reason that I dug out some of my others (including Regscrub).

I notice that, like the antispyware software, every cleaner finds different things (and now I realise some of them should not be found in the first place!).

Making various backup registry/system restores etc is perfectly good advice. However, as I found to my cost, an obscure problem may take weeks to surface, by which time you will have forgotten about the clean-up. Even if you remembered, the system (or at least mine) will be totally different and restoring so far back could bring its own problems.

Skeletal

  SB23 19:57 16 Jan 08

Its funny that you mention Regscrub, as the possible cause of your problem skeletal.
About 3 weeks ago I had an issue with Aol, where one minute it was fine, the next, completely unable to connect.
I tried for days to recover (using all the available tools etc), but in the end I had to uninstall, clean (with Ccleaner), then reinstall Aol, and try again.
Aol connected 1st time, but it was the next day I realised that the one thing I had done was use Regscrub then a reg defrag tool.
All has been fine since, but in a situation like that, how are you really supposed to know what it wants to delete? In my case, all my trust is in the program, and as has been said, all these cleaners find different things.
In answer to your question, "are they worth it?, I really don't know, but another question that I started to wonder is, how far are we willing to trust them in what they delete.

I've got rid of Regsrub now, but still use Ccleaner for abit of a clean.


Steve

  VoG II 20:24 16 Jan 08

Registry Mechanic - seconded.

I don't use RegscrubXP any more - it hasn't been updated in ages and makes incorrect diagnoses.

  mymate 21:39 16 Jan 08

skeletal. I lost my registry Mechanic free license as well.I didnt go and try update it.I just went to run it run day and at the end it said i have to but it to get the errors fixed . I found the free download again,and the serial number .It worked for about a month then wanted registering again.

  bluto1 21:52 16 Jan 08

I still use Regscrub and last week I ran it and removed a lot of garbage. I then followed up with cCleaner and removed a further 23 Mbs of rubbish.
Yes, I'd been uploading, downloading, installing and uninstalling like there was no tomorrow, but, touch wood I've not experienced any ill effects, yet.

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