Putting Registry-/system-cleanup apps to the test

Fred langa
By Fred Langa

The most contentious software category has to be PC-system/Registry cleaners. Some users find them invaluable; other users consider them worse than useless.

A series of controlled experiments puts these apps to the test — and turns up some surprises.

Many Windows programs are still sloppy about their uninstall process, leaving behind digital debris. In older versions of Windows, this situation was a known cause of trouble.

Leftover, “orphaned” files waste space on your hard drive and create extra work for Windows when it performs indexing, searching, defragging, backups, or other file-related operations.

Leftover Registry entries similarly inflate the Registry — to no useful purpose. Erroneous Registry entries can create system instabilities and crashes, and a bloated Registry might needlessly slow down system startup and shutdown.

This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.

Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.

Get our unique weekly Newsletter with tips and techniques, how to's and critical updates on Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Google, etc. Join our 460,000 subscribers!

Enter your email above to receive messages about offerings by Penton, its brands, affiliates and/or third-party partners, consistent with Penton's Privacy Policy.
The Windows 7, Vol 3 (Excerpt)

Subscribe and get our monthly bonuses - free!

The Windows 7 Guide, Volume 3: Advanced maintenance and troubleshooting provides advanced tools for keeping Microsoft's premier operating system up and running smoothly. Get this excerpt and other 4 bonuses if you subscribe FREE now!

= Paid content

All Windows Secrets articles posted on 2011-11-10:

Fred Langa

About Fred Langa

Fred Langa is senior editor. His LangaList Newsletter merged with Windows Secrets on Nov. 16, 2006. Prior to that, Fred was editor of Byte Magazine (1987 to 1991) and editorial director of CMP Media (1991 to 1996), overseeing Windows Magazine and others.