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A registry defrag program is supposed to improve a computer’s speed by organizing registry files. For best results, it is important to download and install a reputable registry defrag program rather than one that might be malware. It may also prove useful to back up the Windows® registry before running a new program in case something goes wrong. In addition, many experts disagree on the importance of defragging or cleaning a registry, and it is possible that this type of Windows® optimization provides insignificant or no improvement of speed. Therefore, if a computer user wishes to increase his or her computer’s speed, there are other more reliable methods to do so, which might also be free or inexpensive.
There are hundreds of registry defrag programs available for free or a one-time fee. Like anti-virus programs, not all of these defragmentation utilities are safe to install, and caution should be exercised when choosing a new software program. Some programs are malware that report false registry errors and insist the computer user pay for their removal. These programs and the websites selling them frequently use scare tactics; for example, a pop-up might say the user’s computer has been scanned and critical errors must be fixed immediately. The computer user is usually advised to purchase an expensive repair program in order to prevent computer damage or significant slowdown.
Once the computer user has found a reputable program with positive reviews, he or she can back up the registry. With a registry back up, if the registry defrag somehow corrupts a file or otherwise messes up the registry, the files can be restored to their original state. Some registry utility programs automatically prompt the user to back up the registry and might even have the capability to do it themselves, but other programs leave this task entirely to the user. Normally, if the software program does not have this capability, the Windows® operating system can do it instead.
Lastly, whether or not a computer user should edit the registry at all is a highly debated question. Many experts argue that registry cleaners and defrags do not noticeably increase performance, and someone unfamiliar with the Windows® registry can easily damage it. There are also a plethora of ways to increase computer performance without having to tweak a delicate system. For example, some ways to increase computer performance are removing bloatware, switching to a less resource-hogging anti-virus program, and setting the computer not to open rarely used programs upon start-up.