I agree with Carol. I used to be really keen on registry cleaning and have current licenses for both Registry First Aid (www.rosecitysoftware.com/Reg1Aid/
) and Registry Medic (www.iomatic.com/products/product.asp?ProductID=registrymedic
). However, in use two issues arise: on the initial run, the cleaners invariably return a MIND NUMBING number of registry problems and, related to the first issue, using the default settings and simply selecting "clean" at the end of the process can OFTEN render either your system unstable or one or more applications unusable or both... The only way to avoid this is to check each problem to verify that it is indeed a problem. With RFA returning over 2500 and Registry Medic over 650 problems on my system (clean install of WinXP about a month ago, with all my software reinstalled BEFORE installing either registry cleaner) - who has time to check each key! From past experience, the only way around the amazing number of problems reported is to install the cleaner over a fresh Windows install and check the errors reported (there will probably be around 80 or so) and then run it after every software installation/uninstallation.
FWIW, Registry First Aid identifies the most problems and also searches for "fixes" to them which are turned on by default. This is pointless as many of those fixes are completely incorrect, so if you simply run RFA and hit the clean button, you're just adding more useless junk to your registry and possibly mucking it up to boot. Regisry Medic returns fewer problems, also suggests corrections, but leaves doesn't enable those suggestions by default, leaving it up to the user to check them, so if you run a sweep and then hit clean its default setting is to either delete or leave alone the problem keys found. This seems to be a bit safer in the long run but it can knock out applications nonetheless. The safest registry cleaner I've ever used is EasyCleaner by Toniarts (http://www.toniarts....8303a4105173aebaaf08
). It's freeware. However, as noted below, I've never seen a noticeable difference in system performance/stability after having run any registry cleaner.
Ultimately, I restored an image of a "pre-registry scrubbed" C: drive, and don't have a registry cleaner installed. I don't miss them one bit! In over five years of using ANY reg cleaner - Registry Medic, Registry First Aid, RegSeeker, EasyCleaner, and jv16tools I can't really say, on reflection, that I ever noticed a positive change to my system. Ditto for the registry compacting apps that I have run - Registry Compactor, Registry Compressor (both at www.rosecitysoftware.com
), and NTREGOPT
The app that I now run instead is Your Uninstaller 2006 (www.ursoftware.com
). This sweeps the registry for keys that are known to be added by various installer programs after first having run the application's uninstaller. This then gives the user the option to delete the keys. In over a year of use I've yet to encounter any difficutly in removing all of YU 2006's suggestions. Many people swear by Total Uninstall or Ashampoo's Uninstaller, both of which take snapshots of your system before and after the installation of software. I own the Ashampoo suite but don't have it installed and passed on the opportunity to purchase the new version (Platinum 2) at a 60% discount. This is because I find this approach cumbersome and, if I am not very careful in ensuring that there is ABSOLUTELY no other app running when I install/uninstall new packages, the effects of uninstalling with Uninstaller are about the same as careless use of a registry cleaner. This is probably more a reflection on my impatience than on shortcomings with the app - I'm just too careless too often to make effective use of the power that this approach offers.
Just my two bits, for what they're worth. YMMV.