A cluttered Registry can slow Windows to a crawl, but cleaning it up effectively isn't easy. We've looked at some of the leading Registry cleaners, and have found some tips to help you get your Registry down to size and improve your PC's performance.
Registry Cleaners: How They Fared
If you're like me and you constantly add and remove programs, move files around, and fiddle with I-don't-know-if-this-will-work freeware, I'm confident a Registry scrubbing will help you, if only a little bit. It did for me, though the change wasn't earth-shattering. I used a stopwatch with my desktop system, and after a cleaning I saw 10 seconds shaved off its boot time. I also noticed that Microsoft Word and an image editor loaded a little faster.
On the other hand, I didn't see a smidgen of improvement on my laptop. That's because on that machine I use the same five programs, rarely install new applications, and mostly check email and browse the internet. So scanning the Registry showed fewer than 50 problems, and cleaning didn't make any difference.
None of the cleaners managed to fix a gnarly problem I was having with spoolsv.exe. (Spoolsv.exe occasionally holds up other programs from loading on my PC.) Your mileage, undoubtedly, will vary, and you won't know how effective a Registry cleaner is until you give it a whirl. But if nothing else, these programs will at least give you the feeling that you're taking care of your computer.
In each of the following reviews, you'll read my curmudgeonly impressions of how the Registry cleaners performed. I focused on their ease of use, the number of errors they found, and whether they introduced any hazards, such as no automatic backups.
Some of the tools I tested wanted a permanent spot in my system tray; it's not necessary, though, and when a program tried doing it, I found the option to disable the setting. And except for Registry First Aid, none of the products would repair faulty entries, but instead just deleted entries that were no longer valid.
NEXT PAGE: Registry First Aid
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- Registry Cleaners: How They Fared
- Registry First Aid
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- Advanced WindowsCare Personal
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