Best Free Registry Cleaner

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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!


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
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
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
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Good track record. Support for older systems
Could have more features
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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by pclove on 27. December 2011 - 13:24  (86067)

I'm the new editor for this Best Free Registry Cleaner section. Please allow me some time to read all the comments and suggestions. After which, I will begin adding and reviewing suggested freeware.

by av (not verified) on 9. January 2012 - 13:21  (86874)

here is what tech republic are recommending as of jan 6th 2012. perhaps you could give us your opinion (i am always happier if freeware has also been recommended by gizmo!)?

by av (not verified) on 9. January 2012 - 13:22  (86875)

doh! missed out the website!

by George.J on 28. December 2011 - 4:32  (86109)

Welcome aboard. Waitng for your results... :-)

by GiantWaffle on 19. December 2011 - 12:29  (85283)

I don't know about every registry cleaner out there and I know there are a lot of arguments both ways for and against registry cleaners. And as someone who has been a computer electronics technician for about 30 years (formally trained in both theory and application), I can only speak from my experience.

As for CCleaner, personally, I have never seen the attraction of this utility, except for cleaning out temp files, etc., which I have a batch file set up to do a bootup anyway, but with all of the accolades it gets, one just cannot argue with that. It must be a great utility and it does do what it says it will do and reliably at that! :)

To address a comment, ALL utilities can cause harm if they are not used properly and wisely and the user just assumes to let it do whatever it wants with the results, so that, to me, is not a valid argument (no offense) against registry cleaners as a whole.

Let me give you a quick example:

I have been having a problem with Win7 Ult x64, in that every time I close a folder (Desktop folders), or sometimes even when I go to open a sub-folder, I would get an error message that "Windows Explorer has stopped working" and that "a program (etc) has caused it to stop working". Now could I pick through the registry and figure it out? Yea, I probably could. But that could be very time consuming!

I normally use "JV16 Power Tools" (Editor: removed reference to paid product) and it does a pretty good job at taking care of registry problems when they crop up (cleaners can also eliminate problems, by cleaning out errant entries). But it did not take care of this. I was about to dig into the registry, when I decided to just take a quick peek here, to see what someone might suggest for such types of problems and I saw that Wise had moved up in the ranks.

So I tried it and not only did my problem IMMEDIATELY disappear (I rebooted after cleaning the registry with WRC (Wise Registry Cleaner) before testing it out), but my whole system snapped to life! Everything ran as soon as I clicked it, whereas before running WRC, everything was very sluggish and you could run off a long count before what you clicked would come up.

I have had this experience many times when working on systems in the past and these utilities have solved a lot of problems that otherwise, would have cost my customers a lot of money (labor time), while I sifted through the registry looking for an exact problem, so both they and I do appreciate these utilities, although I would warn that folks should be VERY CAREFUL what is checked after a scan and not to trust just any reg cleaner! Wise is a good name in this area and I always recommend that one use a portable version of any program that has one! I install portable versions of every program that I can on my system, because the less to deal with in the registry the better and no need to "uninstall" the program! :)

[Editor: Reference to a paid product removed]

Anyway, thanks for tolerating my too long comment and to sum it up (and reiterate), Wise Reg Cleaner is a great little reg cleaner and it worked great for me and saved me hours and possibly more hours of tedious, labor (mental) intensive work! It fixed my problem in one shot and made my system snap to life! So yes, I will run it probably once every 3 months and see what it finds. :)

And FYI, a friend of mine who is also a customer has had a problem with Windows Updates no longer wanting to install for some time now (he's been too cheap lately to pay me ) and I sent this to him (out of gratis for his past business) to see if it would help him and guess what?! It did! He can now update his copy of Windows! This is great, considering how expensive Win7 is to buy when your system didn't come with it and you should be able to update it! Hahaha! :)

And just FYI, with the portable Wise Reg Clean (there is s small link below the regular download), just unzip it, put it and its folder into the 32 bit programs directory and create a shortcut to the executable and that's it! You're done! :)

[Editor: Reference to another paid product removed]

by Soomajux (not verified) on 16. December 2011 - 12:09  (85123)

I use CCleaner every few days and have done so for as long as it's been available. Never a problem. Also, about once a month I clean with Wise R.L. (after using its reg backup feature). Likewise, never a problem. I install and test about 4 or 5 new programs every day and uninstall those I don't need/like with Revo uninstaller advanced option. If using Wise.R.L, I carefully examine all the entry detail, just in case.
[edit] commercial software details removed.

by Dieter Schmied (not verified) on 13. December 2011 - 5:49  (84932)

I feel that I have some registry problems if for no other reason than I have had this computer for four years. I am not a very good computer nerd and I have not become educated on the registry issues. I can generally understand instruction IF the instructor does not use slang and lots of pronouns.

What, generally, am I looking for when I use a registry scan program?

Can anyone recommend an basic article on the registry? I have a touch of attention deficit disorder and find that long technical articles are a proven cure for insomnia. And that would be complicated with dementia which is common at my age.


Dieter in Cincinnati

by MidnightCowboy on 13. December 2011 - 8:42  (84939)

Registry cleaners or so called "speed up you PC" tweak tools (which usually contain one) can do more harm than good, and in a worse case scenario completely destroy your Windows install. Some programs are more aggressive than others and therefore more difficult to use and have a correspondingly higher risk factor. When Regseeker first became popular for instance, my own tech re-installed more Windows systems because of this program than ever were messed up by malware. In short, despite the "safe" claims made by product vendors, you need to know exactly what you are doping in order to delete anything from the Windows registry.

IMO if your system still works and your programs function as they should, I would leave well alone. Otherwise, you will need to post details of any errors you may be seeing in a technical forum to obtain the best advice for a fix.

You may also find this interesting:

by Remah on 13. December 2011 - 19:17  (84962)

Bull, the article is tosh.

I read the article which really doesn't say much apart from mentioning speeding up registry searches and fragmentation. It says more about one person's credentials rather than the much needed technical justification or reliable test data. The arguments there are essentially illogical because the reason that removing entries doesn't affect performance is almost exactly the same reason why fragmentation is not really an issue either.

Fragmentation, in the sense of related program entries becoming separated in the registry, occurs naturally if we install and uninstall software, upgrade with new registry entries, or add any keys ourselves. I've never read anybody saying that has a negative impact on performance or that we should regularly optimize our registry files.

If only someone would produce a definitive article on this.

PS I could have started with "In my humble opinion (IMHO)" except that I don't have a humble opinion.

by A_Nonny_Mush (not verified) on 16. December 2011 - 13:51  (85130)

You don't have a relevant or valid one either and the way you communicated it is adolescent like. Defragmenting a hard-drive and needlessly tinkering with the registry are two completely different things, as well you should know.

by Remah on 16. December 2011 - 21:20  (85147)

You misunderstand. I mention neither of the topics you berate me for.

I made no comment related to "tinkering with the registry".

My comment responds to the article use of the term "fragmentation". This is in the database structure rather than in the file system on the hard drive. As the article says, it occurs when registry records are deleted and new records are added in the freed-up space. It is unrelated to "Defragmenting a hard-drive" but would be related to the use of ERUNT's companion tool NTREGOPT, a registry optimizer.

by A_Nonny_Mush (not verified) on 13. December 2011 - 9:17  (84941)

That is a fine article, you've linked to MC. You see so many people saying that CCleaner's registry cleaner is faultless. It isn't, none of them are. If ya can't resist the urge though, as many can't, back up, then you can feel all smug when you don't have to reinstall the os. Can't beat Erunt for that purpose imho.

by Toon (not verified) on 16. December 2011 - 10:37  (85118)

Hi i have been reading the comment's and articles on using a registry Cleaner .
I can agree and disagree i am not a geek or a smart man . How ever i have had allot of personal experience with having to :Restore , Re-install . Because of the lack of knowledge , But i have been able to learn allot about My PC because of this.
Yes removing leftover and unused registry errors will help out with the PC's Performance because it don't half to sift threw stuff that is not there anymore due to uninstall of a program or game etc.
Just like using the Disk Defragment,It will increase the PC Performance :Think of it this way u go into a library if all the books were just thrown in there it would be hard to find the book u are looking for Right ? But if the books are in alphabetical order then u can find the book u want allot easy'er and faster . Ur PC is a Library and should be Cleaned and put in order.
I have been using CCleaner For 2 year and have never had any PC problem's .
I use the Registry Cleaner once every month or 2 weeks depends if i have been doing allot of installing and uninstalling , I play allot of games online if i don't like i remove them :).
But i have ran into Registry Cleaners that crashed my PC and i had to Re-Install Windows Vista over and over again.
If you are going to use one and don't know make sure u have a recovery disc available JUST IN-Case .

by MidnightCowboy on 13. December 2011 - 9:44  (84942)

Thanks. Good reminder about the importance of backing up which maybe I should have mentioned. It's also fair to say that some cleaning programs offer this facility too.

by Chekcer (not verified) on 25. November 2011 - 19:31  (83897)

Hey everyone,

I see a couple of people mentioned it but havnt seen a reply.

Ive been using Ccleaner for a while now and just use the registry cleaner thats part of it. Was wondering how the Ccleaner registery cleaner competed with the ones mentioned above?


by PC Tech (not verified) on 10. November 2011 - 23:24  (83073)

I have used CCleaner's Registry cleaner for many years on 1000's of PCs and had only 1 problem.

I used Wise Registry Cleaner on (1) PC and the system was totally destroyed and wouldn't respond to any command or boot into "Safe Mode" or any mode afterwards!

As a PC Tech, I will stick with CCleaner.


by Sarline Celeboix (not verified) on 31. October 2011 - 12:58  (82465)

Hi Hjax!

Good to have you, here!
I wish you 'Good Luck' with your Registry Evaluation.

You might want to review two (2) Freeware products:

(a)Registry Life


(b)PowerTools Lite

Thank you in advance!

Once again,

Good Lack with your Registry Testing!

by Hjax on 30. October 2011 - 13:49  (82409)

Alright everyone, i am the new editor for this page. Expect me to take a few days, but i will read and test all of your suggestions. All of the ones that i feel work the best should make their way here within a few days.


by AnonymousPoster (not verified) on 30. October 2011 - 0:27  (82386)

I see Eusing had some program(s) de-listed on Softpedia because of Softpedia policy regarding, quote "to stay away from any clones, scams, rogues, scarewares etc." This was in regard to Eusing's Cleaner 2.0 which is some sort of copy of the free CCleaner program. Is the Eusing Registry Cleaner a copy of some other program?

by Anonymousjk (not verified) on 30. October 2011 - 3:44  (82389)

I don't think their registry cleaner is a clone personally, not too bad actually if you're in to messing about with the registry. Always wise to backup with Erunt before running registry cleaners though. I'm personally not a fan of them, but I know many believe they're getting something from them. They're the placebo of software in my opinion. As far as their cleaner goes, I haven't used it but it does look ever so slightly similar to ccleaner..;0)

by Hjax on 30. October 2011 - 22:41  (82431)

your right, near identical. Ill look into their registry cleaner, see if it needs to be removed from this freeware list.

by Ket (not verified) on 10. October 2011 - 22:53  (81210)

Maybe you should review again wise cleaner, especially wise disk cleaner that has changed recently and, to my opinion, has become more aggressive.
Thanks for the suggestions.

by TexShane (not verified) on 2. October 2011 - 19:41  (80766)

CCleaner registry cleaner

Regedit (advanced users can manually clean their registry, which would be the safest option if you know what your looking for)

by Hjax on 30. October 2011 - 13:40  (82405)

CCleaner's registry cleaner will be added as soon as i am done testing it, which i will be doing today

by jp (not verified) on 17. October 2011 - 4:59  (81572)

CCleaner (albeit being a nice software otherwise) doesn't have a very good registry cleaner. It misses a lot of stuff (like recently removed desktop shortcuts) compared to other cleaners.

by Dnomeld on 1. October 2011 - 18:28  (80706)

Auslogocs is the only reg. cleaner I have ever used. It has not caused me one problem - ever. This topic does have a place. Some of us do not keep parts lying around of things we have thrown away and are not interested in manual editing. So, if there is a better reg. cleaner than the one any of us currently has then, please, let's hear about it (at least the top five but, maybe, not free trials). Thanks for all of the efforts at Gizmo's.

by Aleron (not verified) on 30. September 2011 - 0:53  (80590)

Hello. I have several registry cleaners to offer you for a test, here they are:

1. AML Registry Cleaner
2. Argente - Registry Cleaner
3. Vit Registry Fix - Free Edition
4. RegSeeker
5. Auslogics registry cleaner
6. Comodo Registry Cleaner

I hope some of these will be on test soon .This is definately best web page for freeware and i am always curious to try your tested software and definately i do not have any kind of Pro or Premium software, only freeware or open source. Simply best things are always free.

by Hjax on 30. October 2011 - 13:41  (82406)

I will look into all of those (except the one with the poor wot rating) as time permits (hopefully within a day or two)

by MidnightCowboy on 30. September 2011 - 6:41  (80603)

AML will not be featured here because the website has a poor WOT rating.

by Neuromancer70 (not verified) on 28. September 2011 - 12:25  (80507)

Thumbs up for Wise Registry Cleaner.
I used it very cautiously, however. I backed-up my registry first and I did not use the 1-click operation, nor did I perform the system tune-up. I did however, run the registry cleaner (needed multiple passes) and found/fixed more than 350 registry errors that CCleaner never found. I also ran the registry defrag. After reboot, no errors running programs.

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