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Windows 7: Registry Cleaners for Windows 7: Yay or Nay?

07 Jan 2014   #1
kathy025

Windows 7 Professional SP1 x64 (OEM)
 
 
Registry Cleaners for Windows 7: Yay or Nay?

Hi guys,

I have been with Windows XP Pro for quite the time (10 years) and during which, I have always used registry cleaners. Personally, I did not really "feel" a noticeable boost in the performance of my previous machine (ASUS X80LE), but since registry cleaners became some sort of a fad back then, I kept one (switching between Wise Registry Cleaner and Eusing Registry Cleaner) along with my other PC maintenance staples--CCleaner, Auslogics DiskDefrag, and Revo Uninstaller. I faintly remember (from a short user review I wrote in 2009) Auslogics Registry Cleaner messing up my OS, to which it made amends by its rather dependable registry back up feature.

I have very recently moved on to Se7en, still exploring new features and learning new methods. From experience of 7eterans, would it be advisable to still keep a dedicated registry cleaner nowadays? I still have my usual staples and Wise, but I have not used the latter as much as I did before in XP. Currently, I am running CCleaner's built-in registry cleaner.

Advice and user experiences with registry cleaners in Windows 7 would be much appreciated. Thank you.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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07 Jan 2014   #2
nommy the first

Microsoft Windows 8.1 64-bit Professional
 
 

Hello Kathy025,

In short, nay!

Registry cleaners can, and in a lot of cases will, mess up the registry, causing way more problems than they fix. You can take a look at this thread where one of our gurus tested two registry cleaners (CCleaner and Auslogics) only to figure out that both damaged the registry on the very first scan!

I myself have CCleaner installed and frequently use it's cleaner function to clean my system. I never used the registry function, and learned the hard way to stay away from it (my mom installed CCleaner on her laptop, used the registry function and blam, unbootable. Had to reinstall Windows in order to fix it).

Regarding REVO Uninstaller and DiskDefrag, no problems! We actually recommend REVO a lot of the time and for as long as I've used it / recommended it, I haven't seen it mess up anything. If anything, it's more thorough and works better than Windows' native uninstaller.

DiskDefrag I don't use myself, so I wouldn't know. I use Defraggler, but I recon that both do the same.


Nommy
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07 Jan 2014   #3
LMiller7

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit
 
 

Registry cleaners generally cause more problems than they solve and should be avoided. There is little evidence that regular registry cleaning benefits performance and much that it does not.

The problem is that it is rarely possible to determine with 100% certainty that a specific registry entry is unneeded or in error. As a result a registry cleaner must make frequent guesses. Most are correct, but some are not. The consequences of deleting or "repairing" a valid entry can be serious.
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07 Jan 2014   #4
Brink

64-bit Windows 10 Pro
 
 

Hello Kathy,

I would vote NAY.

The problem is that most registry cleaners are too aggressive and can seriously corrupt and/or cripple a Windows installation if blindly allowed to delete all registry entries it thinks should be removed.

In addition, there are also these registry cleaners claiming to be a cure all for everything that ails your computer. These are nothing but snake oil, usually riddled with adware and malware, and should be avoided at all costs.

From my experience, save your money and Windows installation, and avoid them.
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07 Jan 2014   #5
Callender

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 
My experience

Hi,

I'd say nay for those with little technical experience but yay for those users who can figure out what entries actually need to be kept when they're flagged for deletion by a registry cleaner.

In my experience Ccleaner never bricked my system but these days I never use it for registry cleanup. I prefer Wise Registry Cleaner because it has the option to select only "safe to remove" entries but even then a lot of those entries need to be kept - at least that's the case on my machine.

Registry Cleaners for Windows 7: Yay or Nay?-wrc.jpg

Generally speaking registry cleaners aren't worth bothering with unless you've got serious problems.

You can read a well respected tech writer's test results and also the conclusion drawn here:

Putting Registry-/system-cleanup apps to the test

It puts things in perspective.



Scroll down to "Bottom-line conclusions and caveats" and read it then decide for yourself.

The best advice given is: "So don’t risk destabilizing a solid system for a trivial gain. Stay within your own comfort and skill zone — and always, always, always make a backup before using any cleaning tool."

Tip: Don't try using the jv16 PowerTools registry cleaner that's mentioned in the article. It's only good for advanced users who can decide which entries need removing from the scan results. If you run this one and remove every detection - it could well brick your machine.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jan 2014   #6
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by nommy the first View Post
...I use Defraggler...
I used to use Defraggler with Win 7 but it was slower than a dead turtle with four broken legs. After it wonked up my main data drive, I switched to Win 7's defragging tool and, other than my drives staying at 0% fragmentation, I can't even tell it is working (unlike Defraggler).

Most registry cleaners are far too ambitious and can cause more problems than they fix. I use an older version of a program called Glary Utilities (2.52.0.1698; the newer versions are a bit to invasive for my tastes) that will, among other things, remove registry entries that don't point to anything. Whether removing unused entries will benefit or not is up for debate but, at least, it does no harm. Glary will also remove temp. files, broken shortcuts, and has an excellent startup manager among many other things.
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07 Jan 2014   #7
3D Jed

Windows 7 pro x64 SP1
 
 

In this and other forums, I have never seen a post where someone has used a registry cleaner and it made their system go any better. At best it will do nothing. At the worst your computer will not boot. All the claims of optimizing, cleaning etc are BS.
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07 Jan 2014   #8
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

I think the subject of registry cleaners has been answered. Not recommended.
I also recommend not using any programs that states it will Tune Up your computer or the like.
Windows 7 does not need such programs or want such programs.

As for defragging I haven't found anything better than the Windows 7 built in defrag program. You just don't get the pretty little colored boxes to watch.

There is no such thing as a one tick in a program that will fix computers. No one really knows what that one tick does or doesn't do. Because of that it makes computer very difficult to repair if their is a problem.

There are many good processes and methods in this Tutorial.
Most won't need or use all the methods in the Tutorial but reading through the Tutorial is a learning experience.

By Brink:
Optimize Windows 7
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jan 2014   #9
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Layback Bear View Post
...You just don't get the pretty little colored boxes to watch...
Oh darn!

Actually, that was kinda like watching paint dry. I really don't miss it.
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08 Jan 2014   #10
kathy025

Windows 7 Professional SP1 x64 (OEM)
 
 

@nommy the first:
The test cases for CCleaner and Auslogics Registry Cleaner were indeed helpful. Both are frequently the freeware of choice, so it was good to see their performance. To add to this, I tried Auslogics Registry Cleaner and after a few reboots, my Canon MX Printer drivers stopped working. Nero 8 was also corrupted. Now, I cannot 100% say Auslogics Registry Cleaner directly caused the problem, but it is highly likely. As usual, I had created several system restore points for recovery.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by LMiller7 View Post
The problem is that it is rarely possible to determine with 100% certainty that a specific registry entry is unneeded or in error. As a result a registry cleaner must make frequent guesses. Most are correct, but some are not. The consequences of deleting or "repairing" a valid entry can be serious.
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Callender View Post
The best advice given is: "So don’t risk destabilizing a solid system for a trivial gain. Stay within your own comfort and skill zone — and always, always, always make a backup before using any cleaning tool."
Very sound insights, thank you.

@Lady Fitzgerald:
I have also stayed with Glary Utilities Pro 2.56.0.1822 (the latest V2 build). Regarding registry cleanup, again it has not shown any substantial loss or gain for my system during the months I used it, but the other tools that come with it are quite handy (file shredder, empty folder remover, startup manager, etc.). I keep the setup in case I would need its tools, though I do not install it as a staple.

And to everyone who have replied to this thread, thank you very much as your inputs are appreciated. Also thanks to Brink for the very informative tutorial on Windows 7 optimization.

As for me, I will follow the general consensus and I will stay away from registry cleaners (especially the aggressive ones) from now on as they seem to be more of a myth than fact.
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