Registry Cleaners: Are They Worth It?

If your computer is running slow or experiencing other software-related problems, you might be wondering whether a registry cleaner is worth using. Registry cleaners have been around for over a decade. During that time, they’ve become a common performance optimization tool used for computers powered by a Windows operating system. Although there are several reputable and well-known registry cleaners, though, you should think twice before using one to clean up your computer’s registry.

What Is a Registry Cleaner?

A registry cleaner is a type of third-party software that’s designed specifically to remove redundant, erroneous or unnecessary entries in the Windows Registry. To better understand how registry cleaners work, you must first look at the Windows Registry itself.

All Windows operating systems use a database to store configuration settings. Known as the Windows Registry, it contains data for the kernel, user interface, hardware drivers, program settings, and more. The Windows Registry consists of thousands of entries, each of which has a root key and value. A registry cleaner is simply a type of software — not offered by Microsoft, but rather offered by other companies — that’s designed to clean up the Windows Registry so that the computer performs better.

What Microsoft Says About Registry Cleaners

While registry cleaners are common, they aren’t supported by Microsoft — at least not in Windows 10. When users of the popular registry cleaner CCleaner upgraded from Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 to Windows 10, they discovered a notification warning them that the software was incompatible with Windows 10.

Some products such as registry cleaning utilities suggest that the registry needs regular maintenance or cleaning. However, serious issues can occur when you modify the registry incorrectly using these types of utilities. These issues might require users to reinstall the operating system due to instability,” wrote Microsoft.

Why Registry Cleaners Aren’t Needed With Windows 10

Microsoft, of course, made several improvements to its operating system with the arrival of Windows 10. With these improvements, registry cleaners typically aren’t required. In fact, using a registry cleaner could do more harm than good by messing with your computer’s settings. If you run a registry cleaner on a Windows 10 PC, it may create even more problems. Therefore, it’s best to err on the side of caution by avoiding the use of registry cleaners with Windows 10.

Rather than using a registry cleaner, consider using Windows’s built-in disk cleaning tool. Just pull up the search bar and search for “disk cleanup.” After locating and executing the tool, it will clean up your computer’s files, which should improve its performance while also fixing common software-related problems.