Do You Think Registry Cleaners Really Needed?

By Jose Watinks

Registry cleaners are one of the controversial topics among computer users. Some claim the regular use of them is necessary for optimal computer performance, increasing speed and disk space. Others claim they do more harm than good, and should be avoided at all costs.

What a registry cleaner is designed to do is scan the registry of your computer for files that are unused, corrupt, fragmented or invalid. It can find virus or malaware entries that you may not be aware of. These files are then either deleted or quarantined. The claim is that you will experience a speedier start up and less problems with how programs run. However, since some of these files may be critical, you must have the ability to do manual removal with any cleaning program.

With one reviewer even calling registry cleaners ‘snake oil, ‘ one has to wonder about using them. There are some experts who insist that using a cleaner is dangerous. Because it can isolate or remove files that are actually needed to run the operating system or programs, it can cause crashes or program malfunctions. The best result they can foresee is the possible gain of a bit of space, and perhaps a little quicker start up. However, the possible disk space gain is quite irrelevant with the huge disk space on our modern computers.

Many registry cleaners offer a free trial by way of a system scan. This is to induce you to buy the program to clean up the hundreds of errors found. Once you purchase it and run it, you just may find your computer speedier. However, you also may find it functions even less optimally that before. The program may have removed some necessary and critical entries, causing your new problems. In any case, you may even notice it runs slower, because the registry deletions have fragmented it.

Keeping your registry clean, program developers claim, will require scheduled maintenance. What they don’t say is that a few orphaned files or extra entries in the registry of your computer will not noticeably affect its functioning. You may even notice that the cleaner has marked and isolated needed files, labeled them as bad, and made them dysfunctional or removed them.

Experts advise that if you feel the need to fix your registry, you should do it manually. If you don’t have the skill, then either leave it alone or hire an expert to do it for you. Do not rely on registry cleaners that may have received some good reviews, but have little in the way of real hard data to back up their claims.

As you begin with a new and clean computer system, take a few basic steps to keep it that way. Use only licensed programs, and keep back up disks so you can reinstall or correct any problems that occur. Make frequent backups of critical data. Always have a good anti-virus system installed, keeping it updated at all times, and running. Don’t install and uninstall trial software. Use the disk cleanup and defragment programs regularly. With these steps in place, you will not feel the need to use registry cleaners.

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