Best Free Registry Cleaner

 
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Introduction
The registry is what keeps your computer running; it tells the computer what to do when certain events happen. However, as you use your computer, a lot of unwanted and unnecessary information is written into the registry, and this usually occurs because you've installed and uninstalled programs or updated versions of existing programs. This gradual accumulation of unneeded or incorrect information will, over time, slow the speed of your computer.

A registry cleaner tries to get rid of this unwanted data and restore your PC to full speed. The problem is that the cleaning process is less than perfect. In particular, there is always a small risk that the registry cleaner may incorrectly remove data that is actually needed. In the worst case scenario, your PC may become unusable as a result.

That's why it's absolutely essential that you backup your registry before using a registry cleaner. For most users the easiest way to do this is to create a system checkpoint.  An even better way is to use a drive-imaging program to create a snapshot of Windows, which you can use for system recovery if needed. As an added layer of protection, that may actually be more effective than System Restore, consider using the excellent ERUNT utility.

This ever-present risk of problems is why the "best" registry cleaner is the one that causes the fewest problems, rather than the one that finds the greatest number of registry errors.

Thus it is evident, a registry cleaner is - if at all - a tool reserved for the experienced user. The inexperienced may be assured that since the introduction of Windows XP, registry cleaning is no longer a crucial issue for the stability, security and performance of your system. Don't mess around with it!
 

Discussion

WRCFWise Registry Cleaner Free  is the recommended software in this category.  Fully featured, and less likely to cause problems due to the way results are displayed.

 

 

 

 

 

EusingEusing Free Registry Cleaner is a powerful cleaner with a strong user-base.

 

 

 

 

Quick Selection Guide

Wise Registry Cleaner Free
4
 
Gizmo's Freeware award as the best product in its class!

Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Full registry backup and registry defrag included. There is also a portable version
Clean with one click option can cause problems
7.91
2.07 MB
32 bit but 64 bit compatible
Unrestricted freeware
A portable version of this product is available from the developer.
Windows 98 to Windows 7

Other languages avaiable

Eusing Free Registry Cleaner
4
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Good track record. Support for older systems
Could have more features
3.3.1
959 KB
Unrestricted freeware
There is no portable version of this product available.
Windows 95 to Windows 7

Other languages available

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Comments

by MidnightCowboy on 22. August 2009 - 12:36  (31322)

This is now more true to life "cleaner vs repair" - and I acknowledge that in some circumstances this is needed. The problem is that 95% of the people using these tools do not know what they are trying to achieve, where to look for the solution and what to do with the resulting choices presented by their favorite tool. This is the area Mark was highlighting when he talked about the dangers involved.

by Anonymous on 23. August 2009 - 20:11  (31389)

I agree with you 100%! And I apologize for not making my statement more clear. Please forgive me for this obvious blunder of mine.

by MidnightCowboy on 23. August 2009 - 21:17  (31392)

No apologies needed - I'm not exactly crystal clear with some of my own stuff sometimes! Even if we end up in total disagreement this is what I like about TSA and being part of it. Please continue to contribute to our discussions - you are very welcome here.

by Anonymous on 21. October 2009 - 8:52  (35115)

If what Dr. Mark Russinovich is saying is true about registry cleaners, then why did the aforementioned guru of registry cleaners, "jv16", introduce "Reg Cleaner" (approx. 10 years ago--forerunner of jv16 Power Tools, Reg Supreme, and now also Power Tools Lite) to compete and knock-off Microsoft's own embedded "Reg Clean".

thank you

by MidnightCowboy on 21. October 2009 - 9:40  (35121)

Individuals and vendors introduce things all the time for a variety of reasons which are of little, no or dubious benefit. Every high street store is full of the stuff.

by Anonymous on 22. August 2009 - 0:13  (31296)

P.S.: The Windows program uninstall routines don't even clean up the folders off your system half the time (and no, I don't mean because the user added stuff in it) and they spread out data all over the place and leave that as well! Now what is up with THAT?! C'mon guys, no excuses! I'm not supposed to have to check four or five places every time I uninstall a program and yes, it is YOUR fault that I do have to!

And so yes, a good, safe registry cleaner and some user folder "know how", are both important tools when running Windows!

by JonathanT on 19. August 2009 - 12:30  (31155)

Well no registry cleaner is completely safe - the article also says "a registry cleaner is - if at all - a tool reserved for the experienced user".

by Anonymous on 21. August 2009 - 12:08  (31273)

Vit Registry Fix never causes a problem for me so I will continue using it. It defiantly makes my computer faster. I'm not an experienced user but it works for me so I'll just keep it.

by Anonymous on 15. August 2009 - 11:55  (27155)

Argente Registry Cleaner.Is in 10 languages,total free,modules to make:backup,configure,clean registry.You have possibility to exclude,automate,delete backup automate if you want.

by Anonymous on 13. August 2009 - 19:23  (27034)

Please Christoph: re-check carefully the EasyCleaner functionality. On my version, 2.0.6.380, it has a backup for deleted Registry Keys. Recovery Files are located under the installation directory, subdir: Undo.
To configure it, click on Option button, then there is a specific folder for the System Registry.
Regards

Marco

by Anonymous on 12. August 2009 - 12:21  (26928)
by MidnightCowboy on 12. August 2009 - 18:22  (26957)

This link has been doing the rounds for a while now but thanks for posting it again for the benefit of our more recent visitors. Anyone contemplating this type of software would be well advised to read this first.

by Anonymous on 10. September 2009 - 16:35  (32484)

The article IS interesting, though it fails to acknowledge the noticeable speed/responsiveness increase that proper cleaning &/or repair can provide. I suspect that for a single use machine it may be correct but it is misleading for anyone having or working on a machine with a history of multiple and changing uses including uninstalling programs.

by Anonymous on 9. August 2009 - 5:34  (26671)

Try NTRegOptimizer Made by the same people who made ERUNT, same gui too.

That really does work. I've heard all registry cleaners are actually bad for your system. NTREGOPT isn't however. It only compacts your registry and removes empty keys vs deleting data.

by Anonymous on 24. July 2009 - 7:09  (25693)

Unfortunately, Eusing Free Register Clean does not work on my laptop. The shared DLLs might falls into a dead loop and CPU usage is always 50% until the fan starts to roaring -- It halts very close to end.

Similar problem happens when saving registry. But it really find some problem.

by Anonymous on 24. July 2009 - 6:27  (25692)

I am wondering how many ccleaner did the author try?

I had problem with easy cleaner on windows 2000. Sometimes copy option disabled from context menu.

by Anonymous on 20. July 2009 - 17:02  (25439)

CleanHandlers is another app. that will clean past items in autoPlay list (right-click a CD drive,properties and then autoPlay you should see all autoPlay handlers for each event) Run app. and then chose the wrong entery (incomplete uninstall in most cases)
Go to: ( http://windowsxp.mvps.org/autoplayhandlers.htm )
and download (no install needed)

sandi

by Anonymous on 18. June 2009 - 19:20  (24109)

Shouldn't this section be deleted as Registry cleaning has been confirmed as useless and not freeing much space at all?

by Anonymous on 27. June 2009 - 22:01  (24433)

If I may be so bold, I must contradict this supposed fact that registry cleaning is useless. I, personally, use the CCleaner program and, although it may not free up much space, my computer runs significantly faster. I do not know why this is but I certainly think registry cleaners are a worthy investment.

by louis058 on 6. July 2009 - 16:23  (24724)

Are you sure the performance gains aren't from CCleaner's temporary file cleaning? Because that's CCLeaner's main strength. Or maybe the performance gain is just you wanting a performance gain so "imagine" it. I used to do that myself, and a lot of people still do that, surprisingly.

Okay, here's a simple test, get a computer running Windows XP and higher, preferably a slow one. Test the boot time, time it takes to open a program etc, then run a registry cleaner, clean the registry, reboot, then repeat the tests, if you get good performance gains (for example, boot time improves by a half a minute or more, or opening a program improves by at least 10 seconds etc) then Registry Cleaners are good... okay?

I personally have not really noticed performance gains from registry cleaners, even though I've used several in the past, and I used them for a while never thinking to actually check whether they do produce performance gains. One has messed up one of my computers once though.

by Anonymous on 7. June 2009 - 23:47  (23290)

I would get Erunt and make a folder and back up the entire registry before any registry clean. Also, make a system restore point. Are they needed? I have been told by at least one engineer friend that they were not. But, I use the Tweaknow for free, it gives you things you can delete and things you cannot. That said I rarely use it.
As to the argument for them. I deleted a program and kept getting errors and when I went to the event viewer it said this program tried to access. I went into the registry and deleted it and never got the error again.

by Anonymous on 8. June 2009 - 18:52  (23345)

To use and to do a registry backup with ERUNT is always a good ideia.

I don't use system restore; I use ERUNT ever before/after (un)install app., to do something with registry, etc. I did a bat file with quick Launch shortcut to automatize ERUNT backup.

I use Eusing Registry Cleaner and MV RegClean. Both are trusty.

by Anonymous on 4. July 2009 - 12:14  (24633)

was reading your comments and decided to look at erunt...looks really good and a nice txt file to explain. i now have it set up automatically...thanks...just another bonus of gizmo and its readers...

by syntax_error on 7. June 2009 - 2:11  (23219)

In relation to the review of EasyCleaner, re the comment on lack of a backup feature. Does this mean the Undo feature will not perform this function?

by Anonymous on 6. June 2009 - 18:26  (23198)

I use Vit Registry Fix as the registry cleaner.
I use JK Defrag GUI as for the defrag and it also includes a registry defragmenter (which does not require a reboot...) and page defrag.
Its a great combo and it covers everything.

by Anonymous on 4. June 2009 - 2:32  (23020)

Mark Russinovich (Author of the "Bible", Windows Internals, co-founder of Winternals and Sysinternals, and since both companies were bought by Microsoft, now a senior Microsoft employee) was asked:
Quote:
Hi Mark, do you really think that Registry junk left by uninstalled programs could severely slow down the computer? I would like to 'hear' your opinion.

Mark Russinovich wrote:
No, even if the registry was massively bloated there would be little impact on the performance of anything other than exhaustive searches (ed. of the registry itself).

On Win2K Terminal Server systems, however, there is a limit on the total amount of Registry data that can be loaded and so large profile hives can limit the number of users that can be logged on simultaneously.

I haven't and never will implement a Registry cleaner since it's of little practical use on anything other than Win2K terminal servers and developing one that's both safe and effective requires a huge amount of application-specific knowledge.

by fixall46 on 5. June 2009 - 14:15  (23095)

In some cases a good registry cleaner can save your OS (fix a fatal error, blue screen, etc.) and remove a need of reinstalling it... just like in mine.

P.S. But, I remember that 2005 year, when I've saw a Registry Mechanic and decided to test it out... the result was totally different from what now-a-days registry cleaners are offering (now, they're made much more carefully).
P.P.S. I'm using Auslogics' FREE products (both - a registry cleaner and a disk defragmenter).

Pyotr K.

by PsychEroc on 4. June 2009 - 5:42  (23033)

I still think he would agree that faulty unstallations can leave behind remnants that could possibly affect system performance.
If you thought you uninstalled software X,
but a remnant registry entry still causes an X-related file to load at startup,
then system performance may be affected.
I had this happen when I thought I uninstalled Kaspersky security suite.
A remnant registry entry caused a conflict with another program.
But I used Autoruns (one of Russinovich's programs) to fix it rather than a registry cleaner.

by Anonymous on 4. June 2009 - 2:16  (23018)

To anyone even considering using a registry cleaner, I suggest you read the following thread. It will emphasize the statement in the Intro on this page:
"Thus it is evident, a registry cleaner is - if at all - a tool reserved for the experienced user. The inexperienced may be assured that since the introduction of Windows XP, registry cleaning is no longer a crucial issue for the stability, security and performance of your system. Don't mess around with it!"
Thread link:
aumha.net/viewtopic.php?f=62&t=28099&st=0&sk=t&sd=a

by Anonymous on 3. June 2009 - 15:08  (22983)

Vit Registry Fix is really good because it comes with a registry defragmenter and other tools (Start-up manager and Uninstall manager) as well. It's a complete "junk cleaner" package.

It hasn't caused any problems on my computer, make sure you use the default settings in all the tools, especially in the disk cleanup- do not check to delete .log files because you won't be able to uninstall anything that uses the Wise Installation System, it will say "Cannot find INSTALL.log file" and refuse to uninstall. You can try Revo Uninstaller to uninstall it, if it doesn't work you will have to reinstall the software and then you'll be able to uninstall it.

Look at the reviews on this site. It's good! Most are very positive about the software.
http://www.softpedia.com/get/Tweak/Registry-Tweak/Vit-Registry-Fix.shtml

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