Top 5 Freeware Registry Cleaners That Improve PC Performance

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freeware registry cleanerThe Windows Registry is the root ball of the operating system. Every little bit of system information is rooted in the registry, be it software, drivers, user information or registration data.

Over the lifetime of a computer, numerous tools are installed, updated, moved or removed. Even if done thoroughly, this can create a mess in the registry when files are left behind and references become outdated. As a result, the computer slows down, programs produce registry-related errors, and eventually the system becomes unstable.

There is a number of freeware registry cleaner apps out there that can fix common registry errors, such as missing shared DLLs, incorrect file extensions, invalid paths, missing shortcuts, orphan Active X objects, invalid devices, invalid links to startup programs, and lots more.

Here is a short review of the five best freeware registry cleaners.

5. CCleaner

CCleanerCCleaner definitely is the most popular Windows system optimization tool. It comes with a ton of features, one of them being a freeware registry cleaner.

CCleaner is available for all Windows versions.

If you’re a diligent user, who only installs programs he really needs and who uninstalls programs thoroughly, you won’t need a full-fledged deep registry cleaner. The registry cleaning feature included in CCleaner should be sufficient. And since CCleaner is a tool you should use in the first place, it’s very convenient.

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CCleaner can not backup your registry. It’s advisable that you create a manual backup of your registry.

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4. Eusing Free Registry Cleaner

free registry cleanerEusing’s Registry Cleaner is a tool dedicated to registry cleaning. It’s perfect for people who cannot be bothered as it is very basic and easy to use.

The tool is compatible with Windows 95 through Windows 7.

This freeware registry cleaner scans a little deeper and finds many invalid entries that were not detected by CCleaner.

Through > File you can access additional features, such as a full registry or a Windows backup. If you run into problems, you can easily restore a previous registry version under > Action or the Tasks option.

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3. nCleaner second

nCleaner secondnCleaner comes highly recommended from our IT industry superhero and tech guru Karl, who wrote a thorough nCleaner review last year. Please refer to Karl’s review for in-depth information!

The latest version of this tool is called nCleaner second and it is one of the most comprehensive free system cleaning tools on the market. Like CCleaner, it also features a registry cleaner.

Unfortunately, it is not yet available for Windows 7. Currently, Windows XP, 2003, and Vista are supported.

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To clean the registry, go with the > Clean System option and continue with the > Registry clean and repair option. Before you start, you can backup the registry and in case something went wrong, restore it. Right there, you can also create a system restore point, which also backs up your registry.

2. Auslogics Registry Cleaner

auslogics registry cleanerHere we have a very simple to use registry cleaner, which is perfectly suited for the novice user.

Auslogics Registry Cleaner is distributed for Windows 2003 through 7 and supports both 32- and 64-bit.

The cool thing about this cleaner is that it comes with a wizard that guides you through the scan. You can select either a quick or an advanced scan. When running an advanced scan, also critical items, e.g. software and shared DLLs, can be examined. Per default, only safe items are checked and a warning is displayed, if you attempt to scan items that require experience.

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The wizard offers a restore changes option. So I was wondering where the option to backup the registry was hidden. Per default, registry keys are backed up before you fix problems. However, you can deselect this option.

Finally, the tool displays the speed the computer supposedly gained after the cleaning process. Before you close the application, you can also view the full report.

1. Wise Registry Cleaner

Wise Registry CleanerWise Registry Cleaner is one of the most comprehensive cleaners in this list. Hence, it made it to the number 1 position.

Despite many options, the interface remains clear. Even the novice user will find this tool easy to use, since the program guides the user through each step upon running it for the first time.

Wise Registry Cleaner is available for Windows 98 through 7 and supports 32- and 64-bit.

While the tool may ask you for your eMail address and offer to download further software during installation, it’s all optional. Just be sure to uncheck the respective boxes.

When you run Wise Registry Cleaner for the first time, you are greeted with a window that provides a link to a quick start guide. The next notice offers to perform an automatic registry backup. You can choose to never see these windows again. And don’t worry, you can manually launch a full registry backup or restore a previous registry version anytime. Also the guide and further material is available through > Help.

Once you got through the initial welcome procedure, you are pointed to the start button. Entries are categorized as safe or not fully safe to fix. Using the respective buttons you can check the safe entries, all, none or invert all checks. All these options make the tool look complicated, but I find them quite convenient.

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Through > Options you can edit settings and create a scheduled task to launch and auto run the tool.

If you would like to further enhance your computer’s performance, check out TanaG’s post for 7 Common Reasons Why Windows Can Get Unresponsive and refer to Angelina’s article on Top 8 Programs That Can Make Your Computer Run Faster. This material should point you into the right direction.

How often do you clean your registry and what tool do you use?

Image credits: tryout0

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34 Comments - Write a Comment

Reply

fosron

CCleaner does registry backup everytime you try to fix registry ;) Use it in first place, then talk about it :]

Tina

fosron,

You are correct, Ccleaner does backup “changes made to the registry”. But there is no option to backup or restore the entire registry.

You can double click the “backup” Ccleaner made and the changes will be reverted. However, it remains a backup of only the changes made.

Ccleaner actually is the tool I’m using.

fosron

oh, ok, misunderstandce on my side :] Sorry!

Buffet

There’s no such word as misunderstandce.

Reply

Ray

Oh boy….. Once again you’ve done it Tina. Have you even tried Ccleaner? What do you mean you can’t backup your registry?

Tina

Ray,

as I explained to fosron, Ccleaner has no option to backup or restore the entire registry. It merely creates a backup of the changes you are going to make. That of course is sufficient to revert damages caused by a bad fix.

You guys do have a valid point however, I should have explained this remark in more detail.

Ray

OK. Fair enough :)

Reply

Ali Qayyum

i used CCleaner but now i used RegistryLife –
(alisoft7.blogspot.com/2009/11/registrylife-clean-and-optimization.html)
Clean and Optimization your Registry it is awesome freeware. and boost my pc
speed. you can also try

Reply

Martin

Thanks tina , what about shareware registry cleaners can we get your expert opinion on that i am using reginout

Reply

Aibek

I have been using Glary Utilities for the last week and love it. Highly recommended.

Reply

geeknik

Glary Utilities beats ALL of these hands down. This list fails for not even mentioning it.

Reply

Mark

Here is a little secret. Registry cleaning actually lowers performance because it becomes fragmented. :O

Buffet

You need Diskeeper bro.

Reply

gmonk

Here we go again . . . registry cleaners *do not* improve performance. All they do is remove a couple entries your registry. So what’s the effect, reducing the file size by a couple of kilobytes at the most.

Tina

gmonk,

invalid registry entries can lead to errors. In the majority they don’t. If they do, however, system performance will suffer and a registry cleaner can fix these errors and as a result improve performance.

So indeed, a registry cleaner is not an everyday tool to maintain system performance. It’s a tool that should be used when system performance is bad and when errors accumulate.

Reply

uttaradhaka

Guys, you missed one. I use Glary Utilites. This utility is free and has everything you need. Plus, a registry cleaner AND a registry defragger. In my opinion this is one of the best freeware optimization utilities out there.

Reply

Richard

Can anyone show me independent evidence that reg cleaners actually improve performance? Not the program makers sites – I mean independent auditable research from qualified experts! I’ve never seen any ‘cos such research isn’t out there! reg cleaners can crash your machine if you are not 200% certain of what you are doing … don’t use’em!!!

Reply

JohnD

Ccleaner is fine. However, Auslogics Reg cleaner causes “stuttering” in Windows 7 using Nvidia drivers. It screws up the registry keys. Have not located which one yet, as I did a roll back. This is repeatable on 2 of my systems, so beware!

Tina

Thanks for the feedback JohnD!

I’m on XP using an ATI graphics card, no issues here.

Reply

Kevin Reynolds

I’m not saying this is better then anything else, just that this is what I do.

Every night I turn my computer off. Every morning, when I turn it back on again these two programs run: A1 Click Ultra PC Cleaner and RegVac Registry Cleaner. Both are from SuperWin.com. Both are solid performers. Both get a lot of junk. The PC Cleaner get all kinds of left over crap files and RegVac get all kinds of junk entries. They keep my system pretty tight.

That’s it.

Kevin

Tina

Thank you for sharing your strategy, Kevin!

Reply

Buffet

Why no mention of CM Diskcleaner? It’s the only one, I’ve found, that does a comprehensive job, over time, but never deletes something it shouldn’t.

Reply

CGA

AML registry cleaner beats them all.

Reply

Jack

Defrag your registry with NTREGOPT then Mark.
If anyone doubts cleaning your registry has an affect, install then unistall Microsoft Office 2008. Then tell me what them 3000 + registry entries are still there for. I’ve been using Eusing for years, best IMHO.

Reply

pthesis

I’ve used both CCleaner and Glary Utilities without any problems.

The one thing I would be careful with is the registry defrag apps. I forget which one I used once but it made my system unusable.

Reply

raj

Excellent topic. Thank-you.

Reply

Albert

Great post Tina! I have used CCleaner and Eusing for years with great results. I still haven’t found a good program for finding empty directories that are SAFE to delete. If you find one please write about it!

Reply

AFemmeGeek

CCleaner is awesome.

Reply

Ben l Awesome Wallpapers

Great article. I personally prefer CCleaner.

Reply

Ivan

Super post, Need to mark it on Digg
Thanks
Ivan

Reply

Best Registry Fix

Thanks for this post – I really like using these tools and really hope I can get the most out of my PC with them.

Reply

Lisa Wayne

Personally I like Ninja TuneUp – it creates a backup of removed registry items and lets you delete old restore points, i never had any issue with it.

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