Registry errors on your personal computer (PC) can cause many problems in your day-to-day computer usage. Tampering with the registry, however, can lead to problems that may be worse than the original issue you were having. It is recommended to never undertake any registry alteration unless you know exactly what you are doing and why, so the safest move is to call a computer repairman or a computer support technician. If you still prefer to fix a registry error on your own, start by being sure that you understand the nature of the problem and the solution.
To fix a registry error, first type “regedit” in the RUN command box and hit the Enter key to bring up the Registry Editor that will allow you to see all of the registry keys. These keys represent data involving system updates and programs that have been installed and uninstalled. Registry keys can take up space and send conflicting messages to your operating system. This causes performance to lag, but it can also cause problems running certain programs. This is another reason to routinely clean your computer's registry.
It is also recommended that you back up your registry before performing any maintenance. You can back up your entire registry by typing “ntbackup.exe” in the RUN command line. If you only want to back up a single registry key, you can click on the value that you want to back up in the Registry Editor and then choose “export” under the File menu.
If you know what particular registry entry is causing you problems, you can edit or delete it from the Registry Editor. Once you have found the particular key you are searching for, any subkey will appear in the window pane to the right. Right clicking on the subkey will give options to “modify,” “modify binary data,” “delete,” and sometimes “rename.” You will need to choose the option that works for your specific needs.
If a registry error is the result of a program that didn't uninstall completely, deleting the entry can fix the issue. If the issue is more complex, modifying the data would be the best option. Remember to use caution when either modifying or deleting registry information. Altering the wrong information may cause your system to become unusable. You may need to turn to your operating system's website for technical help with a specific, complex registry error.
Many people find it useful to use registry repair software to alleviate a registry error. These programs often compare what programs are currently installed on your machine against what the registry data shows. When the program finds information that is useless, it will delete it automatically or alter the registry information to stop useless information from slowing the machine's performance. These programs can also tweak your system for speed and performance by changing certain specific key values that may not be working to their full potential.