| By Ian “Gizmo” Richards |
Most PC users have heard of the Windows Registry yet have no idea what it does.
This article presents in simple terms the purpose of the Registry, how it functions, and how to make basic changes that will optimize your PC’s performance.
So, just what is the Registry, anyway?
The easiest way to envision the Registry is to see it as a centralized database containing details about your PC’s hardware, software, and users. In reality, the Registry is somewhat more than this, but if you think of it this way, you’re on the right track.
The Registry is needed because hardware, software, and user setups vary. PCs can differ in the number and size of hard drives, the amount of memory, the software installed, and hundreds of other ways.
To run efficiently, Windows and other programs need to know the particular setup of the computer they’re running on. This information can be found in the Registry, which serves as the centralized repository of information about your PC and is accessible to all the software running on the machine.
Last year, I encountered a domestic equivalent of the Registry when I rented an apartment at a ski resort. The apartment’s modern kitchen contained all the usual things you expect to find there: an oven, a refrigerator, pots and pans, cutlery, etc.