WARNING: Registry Tweaks are Dangerous
Let's start by stating the obvious - if you go into your Windows Registry to tweak and make changes, you may corrupt the registry and cause serious computer problems. An un-bootable PC, computer freezes, and untimely crashes that can lose any saved work are all to often the drastic result. While a registry tweak may appear to work correctly, it takes only one misplaced data entry to destroy PC performance – and it may not show itself for days, even weeks after the registry hack has been performed.
A Registry Cleaner program can help to safely repair a broken Windows install from a corrupt registry, but we prefer full optimization suites that include a registry cleaner as just one of their many tuneup modules. We recently updated our top rated list after comparing the best PC optimizer software of this year.
While the risk may reduce as the user gains experience and more knowledge of the registry, it’s always best to avoid manually tweaking the Windows’ registry.
Many tech experts prefer automated solutions such as stand-alone registry cleaner software to easily, and more importantly, safely perform registry tweaks.
How I Destroyed My Windows Registry
the Windows registry is fraught with danger lurking around every corner, or in this case, every single data value, dword, and key entry. When I started learning about my PC in the early years, I would occasionally try to uninstall programs completely by manually searching for the program name in the registry. Then I would delete what I thought was a needless entry only to have my PC become unstable and unable to boot. I lost everything on my PC and had to do a complete Windows re-install.
Of course, times have changed, and I now backup everything constantly. In those PC pioneering days, we usually only had a single hard drive with everything on it. Hindsight, as always, proves that randomly navigating through the registry and making changes haphazardly was certainly a foolish thing to do. However, it was a lesson learned the hard way. If I can relay to you the dangers of registry tweaks, maybe I can change your future for the better by preventing these time-consuming problems from ever entering your life. Sounds a little dramatic, I know, but please allow me to give myself license to amuse myself a little bit while writing these articles - especially when re-living the bad memories of PC crashes and Windows re-installs.
Are Registry Cleaners a Safer Solution?
Yes and no. It depends on which registry cleaner you are using. Obviously, with Windows continually updating itself, it's imperative to choose a registry cleaner that has rock-solid programming code that can easily adjust and adapt the registry program to the changes within Windows. We only use automatic registry cleaning solutions from dedicated and professional companies that are committed to their programs.
Would you really trust something as complex as cleaning your Windows registry to any piece of software programmed by amateurs or marketed online by over-hyping Gurus that sell ancient programming code in fancy new interfaces to just get your business. You have to be careful, there are so many registry cleaners but only a few that we would personally use.
We prefer advanced registry cleaners because they not only clean your registry, but optimize and speed up your overall PC and Internet speed. When you combine a clean registry with a fully optimized PC and Internet, we believe you will have the fastest and most stable computer possible. Speed gains brought on by a registry cleaner are usually the result of trimming the size of the Windows’ registry by deleting orphaned and other unnecessary entries. While this may result in improved stability, it only provides minimal speed improvements.
A good registry cleaner can help a poorly performing PC – if it is fraught with a number of registry errors. In most PC systems, you will want to use a PC optimizer to adjust various values to receive a true boost in computing and Internet speed.
What did we learn about registry tweaking?
It’s not easy, and carries an incremental amount of risk as you continue to make numerous changes to your Windows registry. In my view, registry tweaking is something that should be done sparingly, if at all.
Proceed at your own risk with any changes. I strongly advise you to carefully consider and evaluate your needs versus the risk. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it. If your registry is really messed up and causing sporadic PC performance, please consider an automated solution such as a good registry cleaner.
Most computer problems occur due to human error. Mal-adjustments of the Windows registry is a leading cause of slow or broken PC performance. Please be vigilante in any decisions you may make to manually change your registry data values.
Clean the Registry for Speed and Stability
The Windows Registry can be simply described as the engine of the operating system. As Windows begins a task, it will scan the registry for instructions. The data packets within the registry are unique to your PC configuration and installed software. Since the registry continually changes as new programs are installed and uninstalled, it eventually becomes un-tidy and bloated. This may cause slightly sluggish performance and possibly PC freeze-ups or crashes.
Unfortunately, many programs leave behind residual data after un-installation. These orphaned registry entries build up and can slow PC performance. Considering Windows needs to access the registry constantly, it makes sense that a bloated Registry will force Windows to wade through unnecessary data to access its' current target. Since Windows will change values and write to the Registry, power blackouts, hard resets, and hard disk errors may damage the registry. Any errors that form can cause erratic PC performance that can lead to stalls and crashes.
In the next section, we show you how to get a basic registry cleaner.
A Basic and Free Registry Cleaner
CCleaner by Piriform is a good place to start if you are new to registry cleaning. It's a very safe, yet basic cleaner that will find defunct entries and remove them from your registry. There is a backup feature that asks "Do you want to backup changes to the registry?", after the scan and you click "Fix Selected Issues". You should answer "Yes" to the backup prompt to be on the safe side. Then you will be able to undo any changes that CCleaner did to your registry.
In the image below, notice the menu on the left. You have to click on the "Registry" icon to access the Registry Cleaner. Under the following image, we show where to get the free version of CCleaner.
Piriform's CCleaner has a basic Registry Cleaner.
Download CCleaner (Direct from Piriform) - piriform.com/ccleaner
At last check, their download button takes you to pay for premium support ($24.95) for CCleaner. To get CCleaner for free, click on one of the text links below the button - under the Version number. I don't have any association with the developers of CCleaner, but in the interest of being fair to the hard-working software developers - if you try the free version of CCleaner and like it, please consider purchasing the premium support from them next time.
The free version is also available at www.filehippo.com/download_ccleaner by clicking on the "Download Latest Version" link near the top right of the page.
Final Conclusion on Registry Tweaking
If you manually
change your registry settings, it may only be a matter of time before that fateful day arrives when your PC experiences problems. I’ve been there before, the computer crashes or will not boot up. Windows 98 provided my first learning curve and it was a steep one. Drenched in moments of sheer frustration with freeze-ups and crashes from my forays into the registry. Yes, multiple Windows re-installs were all too common for me
in those early years.
I much prefer leaving registry changes to a professionally coded PC optimizer rather than a stand-alone registry cleaner. They can expertly and safely optimize the registry and other areas that may be locked to manual changes.
After all, when a problem arises on your PC – and they always do – you will first blame the registry tweaks you performed. And that’s really saying something about the entire process of manually making changes, doesn't it? Whatever path you decide to take, I wish you well and I hope your hunger for learning never ceases. Enjoy the journey. Thanks for reading.
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