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Poll: Do you think Registry cleaners and system optimizers really work?

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / August 5, 2011 9:14 AM PDT

Do you think Registry cleaners and system optimizers really work?

-- Yes, they make a noticeable difference. (How so?)
-- Somewhat. (How so?)
-- No, I can't tell any difference. (Please explain.)
-- No, they actually made my system perform worse. (How so?)
-- I don't use them. (Any particular reason why?)

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Eusing Free Registry Cleaner

I have installed that program on quite a few different computers that have been in operation for a long time, and it found over 1000 registry entries that were no longer required and they were removed. I also installed CCleaner, and it found over 6 gig of unnecessary files. I also use other clean up utilities at times, and my computer which is about a year old runs just like brand now most of the time. Of course it has an 8 core i7-860 processor and 8 gig or ram which makes it run smoothly on almost anything that I do. I am not in the mood to do a complete reinstall on my computer, and have never done that in the past. I use Zone Alarm for my Firewall and Avast for my Anti Virus, and have never had any malware in my computer for many years. Of course I am usually browsing sites that have perfect WOT scores. I also use other programs that monitor safety of sites, and if a risky site comes up, I get plenty of warning and get away from it pronto. I have Smart Defrag 2.1 running continuously, and also use CClean after every session before I turn my computer off. I also use Advanced System Care 4 once or twice a week. All of these programs are free and can be downloaded from the Internet.

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Try TUNEUP 2011

Personally, I couldn't live without TUNEUP. True, it is mostly an interface for running Windows utilities.
But, who has time to check for broken links, old internet files, the registry, etc.

Moreover, TUNEUP constantly monitors the system.
I have yet to find fault with it, except for registry cleaning.
In this respect, it is doubtful that any program exists that can do this to perfection.

Even Windows the 'Remove' part of Windows Add/Remove programs usually omits to clean all traces of the program in the registry.
Use the link below to sign up for their newsletter, and get to know about the package before buying

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I use Ashampoo WinOptimizer 9

Yes, Windows optimizer are useful especially in:

1. Finding and disabling rubbish that start at runtime, especially resident programs or services you don't use/need.
2. Cleaning registry.
3. Removing remnants of not fully uninstalled programs.
4. Giving easy access to many system settings that are difficult to find or customize manually.
5. Defragmenting and checking the state of hard disks.

I answered "somewhat" as I usually keep my systems in good state even without optimizers but people with little knowledge of Windows systems or often letting much rubbish into their computers would probably find good optimizers even much more useful than me.

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Nah, don't need no stinkin' system cleaners/optimizers...

If you want to clean your registry, the best thing is a fresh re-install. That'll speed up your system considerably, and if you have two disks, a C: drive where your OS is, and data on another drive, a re-install really is quick and fairly painless. Especially when you find your system running like new after doing that.

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Reg cleaners yes

I dont use system optimizers. From the ones I checked out, one locked up the system LOL, and I didnt notice
any change in function with the others.

Reg cleaners I have used for years and have deff. found that they seem to make things work more smoothly.

I tested quite a few reg cleaners - RegSeeker I have used for years and seems to me to be the best. Its a
shame they (the company, in Germany) no longer seems to be in business - at least never answered emails
about it. Win 7 would not allow it to clean some portions " activeX/com (clsid) " and some of the classes.
No problem since I have gone back to xp pro, svcpk 2.

My reg cleaning summary of free downloads (from cnet) cleaners:
Regseeker found (after a new install xp sp2 & updates and programs reloaded) 985 errors - many due to stuff left behind during installs, and after the following tests - 747 errors still remained after all the tests and they cleaned what they could - some were trial and would only clean like 10 or 20.
So how do you know if it does the job and your system runs better LOL. anyway...

Auslogics found 49 problems - less than some and more than others - cleaned all 49. - Glary, found 32 - cleaned all. Wise found 64 -would not fix any. Tweak Now wanted to delete good keys - canceled.. Eusing found 99 cleand 57.. Uniblue found 24 - cleand none... Reg Clean Expert found 125 - no clean without $ - same with Toni Arts..
This is quite a disparity in the average cleaning ability. The total of errors found was 518, 486 less than my
old cleaner. Plus, none of them found all the remaining errors after the previouse deletes.

The Auslogics was 2 versions back from the one I have now and seems to be running faster a does a better
job than its previouse version. I usually run it after my regseeker and it picks up some of the problems that I think
would have an impact on cpu time... After all, thats what it is all about, those extra few nano seconds add up.
I deff run my cleaner after uninstall's. they always leave crud behind. Norton is the worst.
You do need to scan thru the list of errors to make sure they are deletable. on occasion I have unchecked a few
because I knew what it was for and just left it, and a few I didnt have a clue and figured it was safer than what I would say if it was the wrong thing to delete LOL

I have noticed that some cleaners dont check all registry folders, nor cross checked to actual program location for validity.

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Glary Utilities

I like this program because it helps off set the short comings of Windows XP by making registry and operating program management easier and more effective. I can identify and reduce resource hungry programs that launch themselves needlessly and eliminate their drain on the resources to allow my computer to operate faster. I fully intend to use a pro version of Glary Utilities for my business computers when I am ready to expand. I will not use Vista or Windows 7, but XP for my office computers because XP is more stable and less of a resource drain, is simple and usually easily to manage. As well I am boycotting new Windows product because of the greedy and belligerent course the company has taken regarding their public relations policies, and intentional attempts to damage XP platforms and force users to purchase newer, inferior Windows products.... Why pay $100+ dollars for Microsoft Word, when Sun micro soft systems offers a better product for free... many software programs are standard, and ought to come bundled free. Greed, like that of Microsoft has become more of a hindrance to developing human potential in computing than when they first started out. Now Gates is all about control and vaccinating people with crap that will make their children sick from a weaken immune system... SHAME on Microsoft and shame on Bill Gates~ traitor!

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Glary Util
by tedtks / August 6, 2011 4:40 AM PDT
In reply to: Glary Utilities

I FULLY agree with you on the win bit. I bought win7 and a few months later I had the stupid
audacity to upgrade my mobo ! ! a week or so later I went to ms to download some stuff for w7 and
got an instant msg that my code was blocked, Plus it did a backfeed and locked my w7.
I called the number and was told I had to purch a new code - a meer $199 .
I wont repeat here what I told them to do with it !
so its back to xp - and not at all displeased - there were things in w7 that made me crazy - could not
access folders that I could see not reason they should be blocked, and to unlock them was a very
long process that I only found accidentally thru many clicks and could not remember how to get
there again. LOL
so when the rest of the world stops supporting xp - a friend said he would get me an illegal copy
that didnt need the code at all. but, by then we will be on w25 and I will probably be running
linux. LOL

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stay on topic to not disqualify your reply
by batvette / September 17, 2011 9:05 AM PDT
In reply to: Glary Utilities

Really, you and I think alike regarding the usefulness of registry cleaners, I also use XP, like it and think the way MS is intending on obsoleting us into obscurity is shameful...
but launching off into rants about vaccinations hurting people makes it hard for people to say "I share common ground with this person". Vaccines have always had side effects and while some people claim their children got sick from them, statistically it's insignificant compared to all the diseases they've defeated.
I see what Gates is doing in Africa as his way of giving a little back to the world, if fault can be found with it it's that every dollar spent on saving a life there should be equalled with one spent on birth control. Everything else you say about the MS business model is of course true, it needn't segueway into conspiracy theory-take this as advice not criticism.
BUT ANYWAY I also have had good experience with Glary, switched to the similar ASC when Glary loaded some bogus add-on I couldn't separate from the install on an update. Any of these registry cleaners provide the most noticeable improvement if you've never had one and have a lot of garbage in your registry from installing and uninstalling programs. If you have a well maintained computer you may just be adding one more thing to gob it up.
If I have a gripe with any of them it's the free ones that say "we found 723 errors in your registry. we fixed 182 of them, lucky for you! now if you REALLY want your PC to run smoothly, purchase "deceitfulfreeregeditPRO" for $19.95 and we'll clean the other 541 errors!"
Hey we all have to make a living, if trying to sneak an Ask.com toolbar past newbies on the install isn't enough just say up front it's free to try.

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Do a search on MS's website

and it'll tell you the command line order to have it scan and fix your registry for free. Who else would know their registry better? On vista you go to start > accessories > right click command line > then type

sfc /scannow

that's it and it's done in a few minutes.

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by MarkFlax Forum moderator / August 6, 2011 9:09 PM PDT

I don't use them.


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I've often thought it would be good if they worked. But I'll never find out, as I refuse to buy something that does'nt work and I find that a complete waste of money. You have to pay for everything these days as nothing is free.

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Registry cleaner sent a virus packing

My computer caught a virus from hell - probably from email but also possibly from Teck Tracker, as both acted involved. Viruses make the usual trouble - repeated windows opening at high speed, and the letter N in small case running across the screen in any possible place where you could type. I ran my usual AVG, which does a good job most of the time, but did not work here. When AVG had initially done as much as it could, my computer was still acting up, so stage two was to run Registry Something or Other, but it was one of the registry monitors, the free run.I downloaded the free sample from the internet once in case I ever wanted to try it. BOY was I glad I had! It found a bunch of errors and corrected them. After the one-two punch of AVG AND Registry worker THEN the machine was cured. Then I copied all my personal files on Ultra SanDisk's (8 GB's. used 3). but they took my large collection of pictures, games' memory files, and documents. Then I deleted my mail - Incredimail - and turned my machine off, plus disconnecting it from the electricity source for half an hour. (an old trick.) Later, I came back and booted it up. It worked perfectly, and all the things I had copied just in case were now working. My mail was gone, but I'd planned that. After I reinstalled Incredimail, I had to hand-install the direction for the pop incoming server and smtp outgoing server, but with some help with Incredimail, I finally got that going. Five days later, my computer is where it should be and more efficient than it has been in a long time! I am using Windows 10 on an Acer Aspire tower -the last one made. I need my 22" screen because I have Macular Degeneration.

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Antivirus skeptic
by pegpluscol / August 9, 2011 10:40 PM PDT

I once paid the equivalent of $100 to a pest remover to get rid of ants.
The ants probably thrived their hordes increased.
When we told the pest remover, he said: "They probably came in from your neighbour's side. "
A virus remover might argue in similar fashion, "The virus was probably created after our last update."

On the other hand, I surfed the net for many years to various sites, Downloaded all kinds of things,
yet have never been infected by a virus.
Savings for not buying an antivirus program,
as well as the loss in internet usage due to virus database and program updating could
ell have bought a few PC's.

Perhaps it may have been far cheaper every time to take the PC to the shops which claim to remove viruses. Anneship, you should have reported the infection to AVG. (Main menu, Help, Get help on line) Play the ball back to their court.

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They can be good

After many years of fooling with computers, repairs, etc. I have seen (and tried) many such programs. Got a bit skeptical of them over the years.

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They could be BAD
by pegpluscol / August 12, 2011 2:09 PM PDT
In reply to: They can be good

<span id="INSERTION_MARKER">Ebbtides,
Have you ever wondered why much time and trouble goes into making FreeWare?
What do they gain and what do you lose?
I prefer not to dirty my hands by passing on my theories but something...

While tidying up my hard drives a while back,
I found a copy of some of my recent documents in a folder in the Temp folder - why.
On at least three occasions that I opted to download free programs,
the website requested me to allow them to fist "Clean up" my hard drives. I simply aborted the download. Wink

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by ebbtides / August 15, 2011 3:31 AM PDT
In reply to: They could be BAD

I have been on the net since 1982. Long before Windows, graphics, etc. Freewares are often great programs, written by new individuals or companies trying to get into the marketplace. Many off them succeed by marketing in this way! What other alternative is there than to pay the bloated prices many software companies charge? Putting an inferior product on a web site only leads to their failure, a gamble over their future.

As a professional computer repair person with many years' experience, I find the majority of problems with softwares are users who don't understand them (or Windows) to start with. "User errors!" Finding files in unusual places like the Temp folder can mean many things.

After trying a freeware program first, you can then choose to UNINSTALL it if it doesn't work for you, but try returning software to a store! Impossible once you've opened and tried it.

When a company like IOrbit advertises that over 100 million people have tried out it's freeware, it gets my attention!

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"I find the majority of problems with softwares are users"
by ComeToPass / September 1, 2011 5:06 AM PDT
In reply to: FreeWare

Thank you for this statement. I'm often amazed at the user reviews on Cnet whining that an awesome utility ruined their computers. They continue by SLAMMING the product in their reviews. Its a pet peeve of mine and I reply often to those reviews. But like Mama said, common sense ain't that common LOL.
I also liked the advice here to try freebies and remove the ones not liked. I consider myself somewhat of a newbie in the computer world, but this very trial and error approach has shown me the best utilities for my set up. I've narrowed it down to a few, and my system runs like a dream. Thanks.

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I swear I'm not self centered, really!
by batvette / September 21, 2011 4:59 PM PDT
In reply to: FreeWare

I was pretty sure the internet didn't exist until '95 or '96 when I got on it- but then my idea of a computer in '82 was that thing Radio Shack sold for ~$400? How did you get porn downloads through that?
Are you as busy now as you probably were in the days of Win95, before plug and play and a major hardware change (for us amateurs) meant staying up until the wee hours just trying to get it to boot up again?

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Glary Utilities is free! Don't pay for crap that doesn't work... or those scams that 'bit charge' per registry entry they 'fix' LOL...

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Woo's foolin' woo
by pegpluscol / August 15, 2011 12:15 AM PDT
In reply to: Free

How's this for registry cleaning.
Perhaps pocket cleaning too.
I have Tuneup 2011 and AVG Internet Securty 2011 Both paid up.
I clicked Tuneup 2011 a few minutes ago as I normally do three times daily.
Report comes back as: Registry OK. No broken short cuts, Optimization not needed.
I hardly finished when AVG pops up a windows advising me that my PC needs analysing.
So I clicked to go ahead. The report then comes up as: 164 Registry errors.
7 Broken short-cuts And a prompt to repair these.
I opted for repair, and AVG goes on line to the Tune up Web site,
which in turn prompts me to buy TUNEUP - Cheek of it all.

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3 times DAILY?
by batvette / September 17, 2011 9:21 AM PDT
In reply to: Woo's foolin' woo

Any maintenance program you need to click 3 times a day should have a name like "timesinktuneup2011" or "instead_of_wasting_time_on_other_issues_you'll_now_waste_time_ on_ours".
I think you realize you'd fallen into the fallacious logic of thinking because you've actually paid money for software that others might have or similar for free, this means your product will be effective and efficient.
With any of these products it's always caused me to think "it's $200 a pop for an OS, and windows wasn't already doing this for me? and these people are offering a program to do it better for free?" Something isn't adding up here.
Maybe those people who claim "almost all viruses and malware are created by anti-virus and anti-malware companies" are onto something.

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Registry Cleaners for Dummies
by technewbie08 / October 7, 2011 12:23 PM PDT
In reply to: Free

LOL if you like but I have yet come across a registry cleaner that will do it's job without the operator having enough tech knowledge to know which ones need fixing, deleting, etc. My tech can do it but then that is defeating the purpose of free! If anyone knows of a registry cleaner that doesn't require tech knowledge, I would appreciate a heads up as I have been through the install/uninstall of several that tell you how many errors there are but won't fix them unless you pay. I'd RATHER pay a tech to go over my whole computer and fix everything for the price!

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Yes, they make a noticeable difference.

No system can maintain itself. A system without any optimization at all is doomed to be RAGGED after only a few months off the shelf. Computer's aren't TVs. I've yet to see one that you can just turn on, use, then turn off and expect to continue doing so without maintenance. NONSENSE. They're more like cars where you EXPECT problems and have a plan in place before it happens. As for damaging a system with optimizers? By and large, it's the PEOPLE using the software, Not the software itself that wrecks a system. Back up registrys. Back up anything before you change it. Use system Restore (it has a "create restore point" function in it!) And for Godsakes, READ HOW THE APP WORKS!
Top Cleaners/Optimizers: CCleaner, SlimCleaner, 360Amigo
Top Registry Cleaners: Auslogics, and a little known Monster of a program called Free Windows Repair by RegSofts.

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Are they worth the risks?

On more than one occasion I have run a registry/system optimizer and had system registry entries deleted causing significant problems with the a system afterwards. Although I agree to some extent that they can be helpful, sometimes they can cause trouble. If I was using a critical system I am not sure I would use such programs. Any thoughts?

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I Think its dangerous, because all this free programs delete the useless dlls. More than once I have to format all, because of this software.

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Would You Trust A Computer Tech

Little Scenario: Your computer is behaving strangely, you're constantly getting error messages, programs freeze and crash. Basically your system is driving you nuts and you don't know what to do. As bad as you hate to do it, you decide to shell out the bucks to have a techie come over and look at it. I've watched this. Here's what they do. They boot your system up (if it'll boot), plug in a memory stick or throw in a CD, and a system optimizer (oftentimes a FREE ONE) will open up on your monitor. They scan, run clean up and Voila! Your system is magically fixed. You're so thankful to the techie that you shell out the dough gratefully, and he leaves Laughing.
My point is that if you would trust a trained computer tech to run these very programs, then the programs themselves are NOT to blame for messing up a system. You're confidence is in the person running the programs and not necessarily the programs themselves. Because these softwares are available for download does not automatically make ANYONE qualified to run them. They're just there if you want to try them. That is - if you feel confident to use them. In all fairness to the user, it might be better to pay a professional to maintain your system. Because YES system optimizers CAN ruin a system if used carelessly and without confidence. I consider myself a casual user only, and I have never had an irreversible problem with any system utility. But I understand that they're not for everyone.

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