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What Are the Best Tips for Registry Clean Up?

It is easy to cause more problems when trying to change a computer registry.
Article Details
  • Written By: Keith Koons
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 24 April 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
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There are many great tips available for performing a registry clean up on a computer system, and which ones to use will depend solely on the user's overall knowledge of his or her operating system. For those who know little about Windows® or Macintosh® operating systems, the safest method of registry clean up would come from an automated program that can be downloaded off the Internet. Intermediate users can benefit from using the same type of software, but may want to adjust the settings to complete a more thorough removal of malware and other types of harmful startup files. Advanced users would likely view the registry directly or edit the entries through the MSCONFIG prompt.

Registry clean up is definitely not a task for beginners to try and tackle on their own because a single error could completely disable their computer's startup process. For this reason alone, downloading a registry clean up program from the Internet is often a better option. After instillation, users should choose the option to create a restore point on their hard drive and then allow the software to scan the registry for errors automatically. Once the proposed changes are accepted, the results should be almost instantly noticeable with increased processing speed. If any errors occur because of the registry clean up, then the system restore point should be used to revert the system back to before the change.

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Intermediate computer users can get a little bit more involved in the registry clean up process by monitoring what changes are made and tweaking the options so that the program works more aggressively. Many registry clean up programs include dozens of fully customizable options so that the software will be appealing for novices and experts alike. For example, many registry cleaners will skip over any entries that were implemented by the operating system, even though many of these files can easily become corrupted and function erratically. Users who can safely locate and inspect these types of suspect files will be able to complete a much more thorough registry clean up.

Advanced users will likely not rely on registry cleaners at all because it is relatively simple for hackers to make their scripts invisible to simple cleaners. Instead, those with a good knowledge of computers would likely pull up the actual registry and scan the entries line by line, checking any unknown results on the Internet. Another method of achieving the same results would be to use MSCONFIG, which is the system configuration portal for Windows®. After executing the command, the user can view all of the programs installed on his or her computer system and which ones launch automatically at startup. Any unwanted entries can be disabled through the main panel or physically removed from the computer.

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