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Windows 7: Deleting Registry Entries

02 May 2014   #1

Windows 7 home premium 32 bit and Windows 7 64 bit
Deleting Registry Entries


Sorry to bother you again. I am attempting to clean up a Compaq 32 bit laptop. Having downloaded and used several Registry 'utils' I believe that there remain several entries which may be pointing nowhere. It is important that the maximum amount of hard disk space is 'freed' since the machine is a meagre 250 gig with about ten of that partitioned. At the moment I have achieved 196 gig free space but I believe there is a lot more. The programmes are currently taking up less than 1 gig of space and whilst I appreciate that the operating system may use substantially more, I expect about 20 gig of hard drive space in use at the most. Hence, the problem.. I am not prepared to shell out big bucks for registry cleaners which, I am told, may not achieve the desired results. I have deleted quite a few entries under the 'software' headings, but I am at a loss as to what to do next in the registry. Is there a way of determining whether an entry is no longer valid.



My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 May 2014   #2

Multi-Boot W7_Pro_x64 W8.1_Pro_x64 W10_Pro_x64 +Linux_VMs +Chromium_VM

Using registry cleaners will not gain much disk space and will most likely cause more problems than they solve.
You might consider a clean reinstall, don't use registry cleaners, and be careful what is installed.
Here is an excellent tutorial by gregrocker documenting a clean reinstall:
Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 May 2014   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit

Well, my entire registry amounts to only 239 MB---less than 1/4 of 1 GB.

So I don't worry about its size much.

How large is the entire registry on your Compaq? Unless it's several GB or larger, I can't see why reducing its size could save much space.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

02 May 2014   #4
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

This is ridiculous. The size of the registry is peanuts compared to the size of even the most modest disk. Those cleaners are to be avoided like the plague because they accomplish nothing and may get you into a lot of deep yogurt.

If you expect only 20GB in use, what do you want to do with the remainder of the 250GBs - save it for a rainy day? The resources in our computers are there to be used, not to gather dust.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 May 2014   #5

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit

Deleting registry entries will not reduce the size of the registry. It just leaves empty space in the registry files that will be used when new entries are created. You would need a registry defrag utility to compact the registry and regain the space saved. Note that this is totally different from what registry cleaners do. But the space saved will be totally inconsequential. If you want to save disk space the registry is the last place to look.

The benefits of registry cleaning exist only in the ads for registry cleaners. The dangers are very real.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 May 2014   #6

Windows 10 Pro 64 bit

illiterate1, did you make a backup of your registry before beginning all that you have done to it? I fear your next post will be one asking for help restoring the original registry when your computer does not boot, or you get BSODs.

The Registry is best left alone especially if as you say you "are at a loss as to what to do next in the registry."
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 May 2014   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate x86 and x64

Despite the fact that drives are now running in the TBs, 250 gb is not "meager". I have over 1000 CDs in my mp3 music collection, it runs 80 gb. Unless you anticipate a large video collection, 250 gb is like a 40 room mansion. I work on lots of computers, hard drives fail before they fill.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 May 2014   #8

Windows 7 home premium 32 bit and Windows 7 64 bit

Hello and thanks for your expert usual.

Mentioned in at least one of the posts is "....Well, my entire registry amounts to only 239 MB...". Could you tell me where to find the size of my registry in total ? As mentioned previously, I aim to free-up 200 gig of hard drive space..I am currently on about 196 gig free, so taking all your comments on board (which I obviously appreciate, otherwise I wouldn't be on the site) I should insert that I have made several back-ups of the registry but would not know where to find them nor to determine their size.. Is it possible that the registry back-ups are eating some space and possibly the restore points also.. again I don't know how to determine their size.

Sorry to be a pain to you people but I do appreciate your help.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 May 2014   #9

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit

"If you want to save disk space the registry is the last place to look"
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 May 2014   #10

Multi-Boot W7_Pro_x64 W8.1_Pro_x64 W10_Pro_x64 +Linux_VMs +Chromium_VM

You will never free up 4 GB of space with any registry cleanup.

How did you backup the registry ?
If you don't know where the registry backups are stored, how can you restore a backup if you ever need to ?

Trying to reclaim 4 GB of space in your situation is not worth the time spent ... imho

Your time would be better spent with:
- CCleaner file cleanup
- Windows Disk Cleanup
- Windows Update Cleanup
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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