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Poll: Registry cleaners --has it helped your PC's performance?

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / June 19, 2009 3:52 AM PDT
If you use or have used a Registry cleaner, has it helped improve the performance of your computer?

Yes, a noticeable difference. (How so?)
Somewhat. (How so?)
No, I can't tell any difference. (Please explain.)
No, it actually made it perform worse. (How so?)
I don't use a Registry cleaner. (Any particular reason why?)
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They work sometimes
by Snerticus / June 19, 2009 11:17 AM PDT

While the registry cleaner and defrag software work sometimes, I've also noticed they delete some registry keys causing programs to stop working. Also, sometimes when I try to re-install the software, the installation process will fail because it needs certain registry keys to uninstall or re-install.

If you are unfamiliar with a Windows Registry, I would skip the registry cleaners.

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It depends on the Registry Cleaner
by Zeppo / June 19, 2009 1:53 PM PDT
In reply to: They work sometimes

We use the freeware program, Glary Utilities, on most of the computers in our house. I use the commercial program TuneUp Utilities 2009, on my personal computer, and have for 3 or 4 years now. Both of these programs do not fix anything that will mess up one's computer. CCleaner however, will. This program requires one with some knowledge of what can and cannot be removed to use. So, it really depends on which program one uses.

Many times I have been able to help friends solve computers problems just by using TuneUp Utilities. One friend could not believe how well her computer ran after correcting all the registry errors she had. These programs work and every computer user should have one on their computer. Just pick one that don't require a lot of technical knowledge.

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Registry cleaners
by wheelnut53 / June 19, 2009 2:16 PM PDT

Yes it depends on the cleaner I trisd CCleaner and others and had problems now I use Glary and I get only good performance

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Format is the best Registry Cleaner forever !
by hifly.liu / June 19, 2009 11:24 AM PDT

Format your first HDD and reinstall OS cost you 2hours max.
Registry cleaner may cost only 2 minutes, but will need you to run it many times. So I think "Format" is the best registry cleaner than any other third party software.

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format cleaning??? what?
by shastanigh / July 6, 2009 4:48 AM PDT

if you reformat, don't you lose the data in your files and start with a new computer again losing everything????

are you really formating your computer to clean it? I don't understand

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YES! Reformatting your harddrive will wipe out everything!
by CKinVA / July 6, 2009 10:36 AM PDT

I keep seeing people recomend reformatting your hard drive & reloading everything ... pretty stupid if you ask me!

If you have a decent: firewall, anti-virus/ad/spyware, and conservitive clean-up toolset (ie: the free versions of ZoneAlarm/Vista Defender, Avast/AVG, Spybot S+D, AdAware, & CCleaner) and maintain them (ie: download their updates weekly) there should be NO reason to reformat your hard drive.

Of course, you must use caution as to which websites you visit and use cleaners, etc., conservatively ... ie: never ever delete (or let a toolset) delete registry settings, files in the windows directory, etc., unless you are very sure what is being deleted ... or you are asking for problems.

If you visit porn sites, click on/open every spam e-mail, use one user-id and/or password for all the sites you have to sign into, etc., then you are asking for trouble and may get infected anyway; but if that is the case you probably are falling for phishing attacks, etc., are have exposed your SSN, bank acount pin, etc., to identity theft anyway ... in which case problems with your pc should be the least of your concerns.

A once a month cleaning of temp files, etc., and an occasional defrag are all you generally should have to do other than letting the toolsets (firewall, anti-virus/ad/spy software) do their thing.

I can not recommend reformatting/rebuilding unless a disaster has already occured!!! I will strongly suggest creating back-ups of all your important files on a regular basis (just in case the hard drive fails which is probably the most likely major problem you will have if you have/use decent protective toolset).

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cleaning computer
by shastanigh / July 11, 2009 4:30 AM PDT

I have installed cc cleaner but it asks to delete things for which I have no clue about...so I inevitably just say yes, and then when it asks to create a "registry file" for back up I say yes.........which I don't know if I should or not. About Spybot....etc...the only programs I am running at the moment are Zone Alarm and AVG both free versions. Someone said it's not good to defrag or clean all the time and I am also not sure how often I should run a virus scan, a cc cleaner scan or a registry scan....

I have automatic updates turned off on everything except avg and zone alarm...please feel free to give me all suggestions, thanks

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Do not OK deletes unless you know what is being deleted!!!
by CKinVA / July 20, 2009 2:34 PM PDT
In reply to: cleaning computer

When running cleaners, etc., NEVER delete files or registry entries unless YOU know what is being deleted. Almost always you are better off leaving things alone rather than being too agressive and deleting things (you all to often cannot get back/reconstruct).

If you are unsure:
1. Try a 'google' (or CNet, Tech Net, etc) search of the unknown item to learn what it is.
2. If you still can't find out what it is, leave it as it is (do not delete it).

Again, when in doubt ... leave it alone!

As far as software updates/upgrades:

Keep your OS (Windows XP/Vista), your browser (IE/FireFox), your firewall and anti-virus software up-to-date. You are asking for problems if these 4 software products get out-of-date. I check for updates weekly, usually on Thursdays as Wednesdays are when Microsoft releases patches.

Note: I do not use the 'auto-update' features as I prefer to pick 'when' updates are downloaded/installed; however, for most users (ie: my in-laws) I recommed/set-up auto-updating of these 4 software products because otherwise they don't do it (or at least not often enough).

Regarding anti-spyware/adware and cleaners, etc.: These software products are not 'security' risks so they need not be updated as regularly (ie: weekly/monthly will generally do); however, it is a good idea to look for updates for them just before you run a 'scan' (and always look for updates to registry cleaners before using them). If you have anti-spy/adware software running in the background all the time (ie: Spybot Search & Destroys "Immunize", then you need to make sure to check for updates probably weekly.

Hope this helps.

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Registry cleaners . . .

scare the bejeesus outta me. I probably need to clean up my 8 year-old registry; but I fear screwing the pooch.

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reply to brooksrobison
by travis41 / June 19, 2009 2:14 PM PDT

Get Glary free utility@download.com,use 1 click maintance,{check all boxes, on first use}after that,click Modules,check both boxes,{C&D}I'm sure u will luv the results.

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I agree
by francisco1de9jess46 / June 19, 2009 2:23 PM PDT
In reply to: reply to brooksrobison

But I suggest not to use only Glary Utilities. Try CCleaner and Auslogics. It will clean what Glary did not or viceversa.

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Registry Cleaners
by Bengal_Cat / June 20, 2009 12:52 AM PDT

I have used RegCure, RegEdit, and Driver Update, all in the hopes of a faster computer. I find that these are too aggressive. My computer finally crashed and I had to re-install. Finally bought a new computer, but I needed one anyway. I now use System Mechanic 8
they have a total care program, that defrags the memory, hard,drive, reduces clutter, deletes junk files, and does it continually in the background every day. I got it on Christmas special $19.95, and add-a-year for $14.95. They have a Fathers Day promo on now. I got my refunds from RegCure, DriverPro, Driver Genius, and Reg Edit with no problem.
I will never use anything else - it looks for start up errors, and fixes the registry all seamlessly.

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Registry cleaners do work!
by teller / June 19, 2009 11:45 AM PDT

Simply put, every time a pc follows an invalid (for several reasons) registry it loses time and a nano second processing time turns into much more when multiplied by one million, then two and finaly three million operations of that kind.
The strategy I advice is using two or more cleaners, letting the configuration detect only the "safe to delete" wrong registry items.
The same goes to the option "correct errors", if your program will allow it.
Do this and be happy!

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Mine works perfectly

I had not used a registry cleaner until recently. I was noticing that the performance of my PC was continually slowing down, so I purchased a product after it claimer that it could fix 1,755 errors. The results, after running this, were amazing ... a remarkable improvement in performance.

I think that these are useful devices. When we install various applications, commands are written to the registry, most of which remain there even after we have removed/uninstalled programs. In my line of work, I am required to download/install a good number of applications. Once my work with them is done, and I uninstall them, I'm glad to have a registry cleaner that I can rely upon to delete the now un-needed command lines.

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Registry Cleaners

I have tried registry cleaners, but several times they get to the point where they want to take action to do something and ask you "Do you want to delete this entry?" Then it states "This entry may be used by one or more other programs and removal may cause your system to become unstable or unusable." At that point I have no idea what else uses the entry, so rather than mess up my machine, I have selected the "do not remove" option. As a result, I've given up on them as they don't seem to be worth the risk.

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Registry Cleaners; Do they work?
by netsiu / June 19, 2009 12:48 PM PDT

Registry maintenance software,like my experience with McAfee Antivirus, will, if left unchecked, slowly tear a system apart.
I use Regcleaner 4.3 by Jouni Vuorio. It does a fantastic job of pulling and deleting or repairing miscellaneous threads. But beware! It can also be used to remove all or part of a program. This feature is great for removing the nasty little things that get installed from behind the scenes.(Spyware usually). Install it on a new system first or last. open it and everything is listed as new. Close it and when reopened those will be listed as old. Do this every time you install something and then occasionally open and check for new. You want it close, don't want remove it and close.
Great tool! Just be careful the new you find might be an update, and you don't want that kind of oops!

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I didn't fully understand your advice.
by gr8ivan1 / June 21, 2009 4:42 PM PDT

I think a word or two were left out of your response. But, even without that mistake, I don't follow the reason for making sure that the "cleaner" identifies each program as not being new.

My experience with ErrorSmart has been troublesome from the beginning. McAfee kept blocking or disabling it and when that wasn't happening, the .exe for ErrorSmart would simply be gone which obviously rendered the program useless. To their credit, the customer support staff would send me an email with the cleaner attached within a few days of my request for help. However, after this went on for a year, I was told in March that I'd have to re-new my subscription before they'd email it to me again, despite the fact that I hadn't really had the use of ErrorSmart for 365 days as evidenced by the many emails back and forth for the previous 12 months. I pointed this out in my emailed response, but have yet to receive a reply after 3 months and two more emails asking for a proper accounting of my subscription time. I realize that I am biased, but if I were responsible for customer satisfaction at ErrorSmart, I would give a few months of free use of its program which costs the company nothing AND keeps, rather than loses a customer. It's common sense and Marketing 101.

The worst part, however, is that this program 'cleaned' part of my Microsoft Outlook so that it cannot open. It has also made it impossible to do a System Restore back to any date whatsover.

Choosing ErrorSmart was, without a doubt, the worst PC decision of my life. I now use TuneUp Utilities and have had not one problem or incident in 3 months of using it.


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I have found that Registery Cleaners have not helped me at a

I am currently using both Clary Registry Cleane FREE and CCleaner FREE after installing them to help me speed up the boot up and opening of programs on my Windows XP Home OS. I have used them both for about 4 months and cannot see any difference in Speed.

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The real question.

The question is this, "Is the Registry Cleaner actually suppose to speed up the computer?"

It may help but not enough to see in most cases. It does help to get rid of unwanted/old info from programs that have been removed from your system. E.G., you install a demo program, use it, get rid of it. Or did you? Some clean-up routines don't always remove everything they installed. To me, this is the purpose of the Registry Cleaner. If it happens to remove something that was slowing down the system, you have a bonus.

The same goes for defragmentation. It will increase speed slightly in most cases but you may never know it.

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by travis41 / June 19, 2009 1:42 PM PDT

I use Glary free version, exclusively now. It takes perhaps 1 minute, to learn,and cleaned out about half of my reg.I checked the list the first time,over half were leftovers, from stuff I uninstalled,between it and C Cleaner,I need nothing else in the form of cleaners.

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Registry cleaners
by glross / June 19, 2009 2:03 PM PDT

I am not tech savy enough to know if I should use such a cleaner or not, but I happen to work with some people who have forgotten more about computers than most people will ever know. They maintain and operate computers and computer systems that, should they have a problem, large numbers of people would be in very grave danger. So, I asked each of these people what they thought of using a registry cleaner and got the same answer from each: No, not under any circumstance. One said she had used one, but only once and only then because her ex-husband was getting that computer in the divorce settlement.

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reply to glross
by travis41 / June 19, 2009 2:40 PM PDT
In reply to: Registry cleaners

I'm sure u r right,about tech geeks,advising u against using cleaners,however,I've used them for years,& luv the results.Glary,used as I instructed,will clean the reg & drives nicely.

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Why Cleaners?
by francisco1de9jess46 / June 19, 2009 3:13 PM PDT
In reply to: Registry cleaners

With cleaners you can delete cookies that tracks you, history browsing,invalid entrance, defrag your Hard disk (organize your files that are split everywhere) etc

Why? Because windows OS when it is working generates temporal files for everything and a lot if you use IE any version or any other web explorer.

If you let in your computer all these not useful files with the time it will get speed troubles.

So you will need to optimize your computer using these cleaners

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PC blows with a daily cleaning afterwards

I use daily: Auslogics, CCleaner, Glary Utilites, Tune Up and Advanced windows care for cleaning not only the registry.And my PC blows.

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Yeah, but . . .
by jmmailin / June 19, 2009 3:25 PM PDT

My 4 year old home-built desktop with 3 gig o RAM, with XP Service Pack 3 had become insanely, mind-bogglingly slow: Bootup was taking more than 10 minutes. I'd been running web-based Optimize 2.0, but results seemed negligible. I'd used Systemsuite 7 some time back and had opportunity to purchase System Suite 9 through their upgrade offer for $19.95 and thought it was worth a shot. I downloaded the program from the Avanquest web site and it installed flawlessly (despite plenty of user complaints to the contrary). I already had a paid subscription to Vipre Anti virus so I did not install the version of same & the Sunbelt firewall that come with the program. After running various diagnostics that come with the program and finding no hard drive, or processor errors (though possibly something in memory), I ran the 1-Step Optimize which scans & cleans & defrags (and appears/claims to do about everything short of laundry and cleaning up after the dog). The result for me was pretty spectacular: my boot up - (really more my Windows start up time) has been reduced by as much as SIX MINUTES. And while it has NOT cured a periodic complete system freeze that I had before installing SS9, it does not appear to have made it any worse. One note, as did many SS9 users, after installing I experienced endless "page script errors" when using Internet Explorer 8, but the solution I found online of going into SS9's tools and disabling "data vault" cured that problem instantly.

Side note on the Vipre anti-virus: They claim that it supposedly does not require nearly as large a chunk of system resources - but I have my doubts. When it's scanning, the system is nearly unusable: such as if I were going to type the words "a letter" - it would be like a . . . . l . . .e . . . . . . t . . t......e....r - hopefully you get the idea. Vipre support has been courteous and suggested I disable "active protection" - which scans every single file as opened - which they said is unnecessary after you've done a deep scan - but it also missed 2 trojans found by A-Squared anti-virus (which also reported 4 false positives). Given the false positives, I had Vipre scan the individual file folders containing the 2 real ones - and only then did it find, report & remove 2 that supposedly had been in their database since March but did not find until this individual file folder scan just some days ago.

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Suggest: use software cleaners friendly
by francisco1de9jess46 / June 19, 2009 3:48 PM PDT
In reply to: Yeah, but . . .

I made the same mistake you did. I recieved a lot of these advertised email spams and all of it only causes problems.

Suggest: only use what is it recommended by good sites like cnet,zdnet tech republics.

Good friendly free antivirus Avast Home Free edition and Spybot Free for hard cookies and cleaning your Pc robots.

For cleaners: CCleaners Free , Glary Utilities Free,Tune UP buy, Auslogics buy.

The ones you named good for to get virus.

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Reg Cleaners
by opn4sugg / June 19, 2009 5:03 PM PDT

I have windows Registry Repair Pro (TM) It is a excellent and no brainer tool that is very cheep and has saved many a machine in my repair shop I would swear by it.. And Yes in the RIGHT hands it is an indispensable tool

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Registry Cleaners
by Rohor / June 19, 2009 5:15 PM PDT

I was persuaded to use a highly reccommended registry cleaner on my Dell Dimension E520 with Vista Home Premium. The next thing was that my PC would not boot up, even in safe mode. After a worrying time a computer engineer restored it and I lost nothing, but he was pretty certain that the reg cleaner was the culprit. So my sadvice is 'if it aint broke, don't try to mend it!'

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Has an rc helped my PC's performance?

Yes. I noticed a definite difference in speed both with processing and bootup.

I use "Free Window Registry Repair 2.0" from Regsofts.com. I have found it to be the safest yet as it also creates a restore point before changing anything - so you can undo any changes it makes. It is free and has regular updates. I do believe that since using it my PC has speeded up and that regular use has kept the speed up.

I also run Norton 360 which has a registry utility built in, and the 2 utilities seem to be finding and fixing more or less the same amount of errors. I used Regcure once and had to reinstall XP, which is a major undertaking in itself and of course then you need to reinstall all your other software as well. So always keep this wisdom in mind: "rather safe than sorry" - dont do anything without making a backup or creating a restore point.

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it helped , but defragmenting is needed afterwards.

I use EUSING products. It works well, and makes nice restoredefinitions, to retrieve a former registry is thingd go wrong. {it never did with me!!]. But it is wise to use a defragmenter afterwards. I use CCleaner afterwards. Before leaving the computer I use a PC-cleaner.
This combi prevents long periods of waiting, and also preventing the fearsome blue screen situation. I use my pC in a rather loose way, sometimes too quickly giving cmd's, but it seems that it remains a rathre --let me say- a virgin condition.
Rien Buter

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