Your PC's Windows Registry is probably a complete and utter mess, a dumping ground for old installation files of programs that you deleted months or even years ago. Unless you know how to manually clear it out (and most people don't), you are seriously compromising your system's speed. Update: PC Tools Registry Mechanic 7.0 review

When you install new software on your PC, whether it's an antivirus package bought from a local retailer or some cheap-and-cheerful software you downloaded from the internet, it leaves traces all over your setup even after you've uninstalled it. This is where Registry Mechanic comes in.

PC Tools has added many features to the program, now in its fifth incarnation. One of the best of these is the database of known performance tweaks, which helps you boost the speed of your system no matter how old it is. The Live Updating facilities introduced in version 4.0 have been retained, and the interface remains simple and welcoming to inexperienced users.

We ran it on a fairly new PC, and it found 353 problems in the Windows Registry - even though the PC in question is heavily used and has many different programs installed on it each month, this was a surprisingly high amount. Even with all these errors, it ran the scan very quickly indeed.

And conveniently, Registry Mechanic 5.0 helps you decide what to get rid of by prioritising each problem in terms of the risk it poses to your system's stability.

Registry Mechanic: Specs

  • Windows NT/95/98/Me/2000/XP
  • 10MB hard disk space
  • Windows NT/95/98/Me/2000/XP
  • 10MB hard disk space

OUR VERDICT

Only real computer boffins pay attention to the finer details of their Windows Registry, but if your PC is getting on a bit or runs slowly then clearing it out is a good idea. Registry Mechanic 5.0 is very simple to use and, although you won't need to run it that often, it provides good value for money.

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