What is a Registry?
The Windows Registry is a database that stores all information regarding the computer and all software installed in it. Its primary purpose is to store the configuration of the different applications installed on the computer and the type of documents they create. It also functions as a storage for different hardware attached or installed to the computer, the ports they use, and the profile and other settings implemented by each user.
Why is it Important to Clean the Computer’s Registry?
After a while, the computer’s registry may be corrupted with viruses or spyware. It may also contain information no longer valid, such as when uninstalling a program without using the Add or Remove Programs function in the Control Panel. Bypassing this step will not completely remove the program from the registry. Eventually this unnecessary information would clog the registry and slow down the PC, potentially causing system errors and system crashes. It could also cause the computer to start-up slower than the usual.
Cleaning Up the Registry
The removal of registry items should only be attempted by someone who understands what those registry items mean. Important programs may cease to function or run effectively if essential registry entries are deleted.
There are two ways to clean up a computer’s registry:
1. using the Windows Registry Editor; and
2. using registry cleaning software.
Windows Registry Editor
The following steps illustrate the procedure for manually cleaning-up the registry:
- Click the Start button on the desktop.
- Click Run. A new window titled “Run” will pop up.
- Type “regedit,” and click OK.
- In the “Registry Editor” window, click “File” on the menu bar.
- Go down to “Export”.
- Type a name for the backup file. Click “Save.”
- After creating a backup for the registry, move to the left side of the registry window to view the computer’s configuration.
- Click on the plus (+) sign before “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE.” to expand this section. This area is used to make changes on hardware and software.
Registry Cleaning Software
A registry cleaning software application is well-suited for anyone who has apprehensions in manually cleaning his computer registry. There are numerous registry cleaning programs available in the market. Some examples of registry cleaning software include:
- TweakNow Regcleaner;
- Registry Mechanic; and
- Registry Healer.