Sunday, 11 November 2012

Cleaning the Windows Registry

In my last post I talked about how Windows inevitably slows as time passed and outlined what can be done to put a spring back in its step!

Over the next three or four posts I’ll describe how we can speed up Windows and what tools I currently prefer to use.

Step 1: Clean the Windows Registry
Step 2: Remove temporary files
Step 3: Defrag the hard drive
Step 4: Disable unneeded services
Step 5: Set Windows for best performance and not best appearance

Step 1: Clean the Windows Registry

Regedit - the Windows Registry editor
There are a number of free tools that can be used to clean the Windows Registry. They all work by removing orphaned entries from the Registry.

Deleting or changing the Registry entries should only be contemplated if you understand its implications and, of course, if you take precautions first. ‘Belt and Braces’ is a good approach to life. Never get into something until you have worked out at least one exit strategy! With the registry, for me, this involves making a backup or the keys I am going to change or most frequently the whole Registry. This is done by running Regedit (Start/Run/regedit) and then selecting File/Export and saving the registry to a safe location. Remember, mess up the Registry and you mess up Windows!

Once I have a copy of the Registry saved I would run CCleaner  from Piriform

CCleaner's Registry clean option

Or if I am scripting the cleanup process I would use RegSeeker from Hoverdesk . For a manual approach I prefer the portable version of CCleaner as it does not need to be installed on the PC. 

CCleaner does have the option to backup the Registry before it makes any changes, and I do always select to do that. Remember, ‘Belt and Braces’! 
RegSeeker: great for scripting
CCleaner will also search for and remove temporary files. It works well but for scripting I would use Temp File Cleaner from .

 So that’s the Registry cleaned. In the next post I’ll describe how I would remove temp files and the tools I would use.

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