Windows 10: Which Registry Cleaner to Use? Solved

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  1.    29 Dec 2017 #1

    Which Registry Cleaner to Use?

    I have Windows 10 on a laptop that is now one year old. I use CCleaner and several malware removal programs. Each has the option to remove registry entries. I have taken the approach not to remove registry entries that they identify. I want to be sure it won't harm the operating system or programs. What would be a good, hopefully free, registry cleaner that will not harm my computer?
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  2.    29 Dec 2017 #2

    Well......if you are dead set on using one use the one within CCleaner........probably one that will do the least harm.

    Best if you do Image your system prior.....just in case.
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  3.    29 Dec 2017 #3

    There is no such thing as a completely safe registry cleaner. In my view, and I am not alone, a registry cleaner is a solution looking for a problem. A registry cleaner is more likely to cause problems than solve them. There are many stories that go like this:

    "I cleaned the registry and now xxx doesn't work."

    While the dangers of registry cleaning are well known the benefits remain as elusive as ever.

    CCleaner is less likely to cause harm than most but I wouldn't use it.
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  4. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 8,852
    10 Home x64 (1809) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       29 Dec 2017 #4

    Despite what the 'snake oil' sellers of registry 'cleaners' would have you believe, 'cleaning' the registry does nothing to improve the performance. CCleaner is one of the 'safer' ones, but I only ever use it to clean out junk files. I leave the registry well alone.
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  5.    30 Dec 2017 #5

    I have CCleaner but only delete registry entries for 'issues' it finds for programs I know I've uninstalled.
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  6.    30 Dec 2017 #6

    There is a place for registry cleaners when used by an expert to solve a specific problem. Such an individual will have a solid understanding of what the registry is, how it is used, and the limitations of a registry cleaner. But that is not how they are typically used. Most users of registry cleaners have limited knowledge and have only vague ideas of what the registry is. That is a dangerous combination.

    In principle there is nothing wrong with "cleaning" the registry, if it could be done safely. The problem is it can't. Because of the nature of the registry there is usually no way to determine with complete accuracy if a specific registry entry is unneeded or in error. Even an expert would often have difficulty. A registry cleaner is following an automated procedure with no real intelligence. It will be required to make frequent guesses. Most often they will be correct, but not always. When it makes a mistake you have a potentially serious problem. If you are lucky the problem is immediately apparent and can be corrected by restoring the registry. But in other cases the issue may not be apparent until long after the registry cleaning and there is no clear connection between them. That can mean hours of difficult troubleshooting.
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  7.    30 Dec 2017 #7

    I clean mine manually.
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  8. TairikuOkami's Avatar
    Posts : 3,420
    10.6 Home 1809 x64
       30 Dec 2017 #8

    I use Deep Cleaning in Wise Registry Cleaner, it never cleaned anything it should not have.
    Besides, it creates a full registry backup before the first run and a backup before each cleaning.
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  9.    30 Dec 2017 #9

    Thanks to all who replied. I read the suggested threads as well. I had read the advice not to use registry cleaners in the past on this forum and in the year since I bought this laptop with Windows 10 I have never cleaned the registry. Thanks for reconfirming the advice and the reasons for taking it. The reason for my question at this time is that I installed Spybot and it identified about 20 registry entries with the description of tracking. I did not delete them. Thanks again.
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  10.    30 Dec 2017 #10

    Don't confuse a registry cleaner with a malware removal tool such as Spybot. Their mode of operation and functions are quite different. I have no problem with good malware removal tools. Whether SpyBot is a good tool is another matter. It isn't generally well regarded on this forum and I haven't used it in years. Most experienced members would recommend Malwarebytes.

    A malware removal tool examines the file system, the registry, and system memory for the signs of malware and offers to remove then is found. Registry entries are considered malware because they have been explicitly recognized as such after consulting a database. This is much safer than a registry cleaner but you should still exercise reasonable care.

    The purpose of a registry cleaner is to remove obsolete registry entries that supposedly slow down the computer and cause other errors. But as mentioned this operation is not as reliable as would be desired. And the benefits are primarily found in registry cleaner ads and have not been confirmed by any reliable tests. Many registry cleaners will find "errors" immediately following a clean install of the OS and continue to report the same errors after repeated scanning and cleaning cycles. And they do not remove malware. The database that would be required to enable a registry cleaner to be both safe and effective does not exist. It would be huge, take an enormous effort to create, and be forever incomplete and out of date.
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