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Windows 7: Manually removing obsolete items from registry

27 Aug 2014   #1
trinaz

Windows 7 Pro 64bit SP1
 
 
Manually removing obsolete items from registry

When you delete items from the registry that are no longer installed on the PC...can you just delete the 'key' in the left hand column...or should you only delete the info in the right hand column ?

Thanks...TiminAz




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Manually removing obsolete items from registry-bb.jpg  
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27 Aug 2014   #2
HarriePateman

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
 
 

Use CClearner, it will do this automatically for you. and it onyl takes a few seconds.
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27 Aug 2014   #3
trinaz

Windows 7 Pro 64bit SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by HarriePateman View Post
Use CClearner, it will do this automatically for you. and it onyl takes a few seconds.
Thanks Hariie...been using CCleaner for years...but it doesn't report a lot of obsolete/uninstalled registry entries.

I have a couple dozen BlackBerry/Rim entries I want to remove (among others - BlackBerry/Rim was uninstalled over a year ago)...CCleaner doesn't find/report them...so my question remains...are the items/keys in the left column specifically and only related to the items in the right column ? Are there any issues in deleting the left 'keys' for the example in my post ?

Thanks...TiminAz
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27 Aug 2014   #4
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

I'm not a registry expert, but I think that deleting the item on the left accomplishes the same thing as deleting both items on the right.

I'd delete the item on the left if I wanted to do anything at all, but I'd certainly export what's on the left by using a right click, before I deleted it. In case you have to restore it later.

I've found that CCleaner doesn't get everything. A few days ago, I installed a trial version of a well known product. I used it for a day or so and decided I didn't want to keep it. So I used Revo Uninstaller and then CCleaner registry cleaner to get rid of it. I then searched the registry from Regedit and found more remnants of the program.
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27 Aug 2014   #5
LMiller7

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit
 
 

Registry keys shown on the left side of Regedit are container objects, rather like folders. Registry values shown on the right are like files. Deleting the key deletes everything it contains. Registry keys generally have greater overhead than values. Be very sure about what you delete. All actions in Regedit are immediate and there is no undo facility.
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27 Aug 2014   #6
trinaz

Windows 7 Pro 64bit SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by LMiller7 View Post
Registry keys shown on the left side of Regedit are container objects, rather like folders. Registry values shown on the right are like files. Deleting the key deletes everything it contains. Registry keys generally have greater overhead than values. Be very sure about what you delete. All actions in Regedit are immediate and there is no undo facility.
OK guys...thanks much...to be clear...the 'keys' on the left...are they generated by software installation...or do they pre exist and are just occupied/leased/used by the object or installation that 's contained in them ?

TiminAz
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27 Aug 2014   #7
LMiller7

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit
 
 

Registry keys are created by the system and by applications. Without knowing the exact location of these keys I would not care to guess which it is.
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28 Aug 2014   #8
HarriePateman

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by trinaz View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by HarriePateman View Post
Use CClearner, it will do this automatically for you. and it onyl takes a few seconds.
Thanks Hariie...been using CCleaner for years...but it doesn't report a lot of obsolete/uninstalled registry entries.

I have a couple dozen BlackBerry/Rim entries I want to remove (among others - BlackBerry/Rim was uninstalled over a year ago)...CCleaner doesn't find/report them...so my question remains...are the items/keys in the left column specifically and only related to the items in the right column ? Are there any issues in deleting the left 'keys' for the example in my post ?

Thanks...TiminAz
Thank you for the new knowledge
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28 Aug 2014   #9
jimbo45

Linux CENTOS 7 / various Windows OS'es and servers
 
 

Hi there

I might be an old Dinosaur here but I don't like using 3rd party Registry cleaners / un-installers etc.

IMO if you have a lot of obsolete stuff in your registry (and it's not easy to know what's really obsolete in many cases) I'd simply re-install Windows again.

Unlike W8 Windows 7 has ISO's so an install isn't really hard to do.

After installing Windows again and adding whatever applications you are currently running together with updates simpy then take an image backup and save it. This image backup can then be used as a good starting point if you ever want to restore back to a clean system without having to go through the re-install process.

Cheers
jimbo
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28 Aug 2014   #10
JDobbsy1987

Windows 8.1 Pro x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jimbo45 View Post
Hi there

I might be an old Dinosaur here but I don't like using 3rd party Registry cleaners / un-installers etc.

IMO if you have a lot of obsolete stuff in your registry (and it's not easy to know what's really obsolete in many cases) I'd simply re-install Windows again.

Unlike W8 Windows 7 has ISO's so an install isn't really hard to do.

After installing Windows again and adding whatever applications you are currently running together with updates simply then take an image backup and save it. This image backup can then be used as a good starting point if you ever want to restore back to a clean system without having to go through the re-install process.

Cheers
jimbo


I wouldn't have thought the performance improvement (if any) outweighs the risk of messing up the registry and then potentially needing to re-install windows anyway.

As Jimbo mentioned, create a fresh install with your everyday applications and take an image, i have used Windows for this in the past - Backup Complete Computer - Create an Image Backup

Regards,
Jamie
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