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Jul 6, 2010

Registry Cleaners: Do They Help?

Registry Cleaners
There's considerable controversy on this subject. These programs examine your Windows Registry, looking for pointers to non-existent files and other problems. Then, with your permission, they "fix" the problems, usually by deleting the keys.

Many experts are absolutely opposed to such programs, arguing that they do little or no good and can cause considerable harm. Others find them valuable, with some serious caveats.

The vast majority of errors these programs correct are harmless and don't actually cause problems. Other than making the Registry a little bigger, these Registry keys are not hurting anything. On the other hand, removing them doesn't hurt anything, either.

But that's not always the case. if one of these programs "corrects" the wrong key, you could break an important part of Windows. And if they correct the right one, they can be a big help.

So here's my advice: Don't make Registry cleanup a part of your regular maintenance routine. But if Windows is acting in odd and undesirable ways, give it a try. It might help.

But back up the Registry first. Any decent Registry cleaner does its own backup, but just in case, create a System Restore point first.