What does registry cleaning do?
What is the Windows Registry?
The Windows Registry is a database that stores settings and options for Microsoft Windows operating systems. The Registry contains information that Windows continually references during operation, such as profiles for each user, the applications installed on the computer and the types of documents that each can create, property sheet settings for folders and application icons, what hardware exists on the system, and the ports that are being used.
What is a Registry Cleaner?
Registry cleaning software is designed to remove duplicate, erroneous or otherwise unwanted items from the registry of the Windows operating system. Much of the information that registry cleaners remove is composed of references to files that no longer exist, commonly encountered after software is uninstalled. Other items targeted for removal might include configuration settings for malicious software. Registry cleaning also encompasses the identification and repair of registry settings that should exist, but have become corrupted or contain errors.
In many cases, however, software that claims to help clean the registry is actually malware or scareware, a type of malware designed to trick users into purchasing and downloading useless and/or potentially dangerous software . Another troubling aspect of registry cleaning is that many vendors aggressively compete with each other to identify and fix more “errors”, turning your computer into a turf war. These aggressive registry cleaners have lost sight of how to properly and safely clean the Windows registry and they don't provide a way to return to your old settings after you've cleaned your registry. The result is that many popular registry cleaners cause more problems than they fix. You’ll also find that they won’t clean 64-bit registries on 64-bit version of Windows, making them incomplete solutions.
If you are looking for a more aggressive registry cleaner, Raxco's PerfectRegistry is the option for you. PerfectRegistry is a standalone registry cleaner and registry defrag tool that automatically backs up your registry prior to cleaning it to ensure that your old settings can be restored if necessary.