A registry scanner is a type of software program designed to read the registry associated with a given computer operating system and identify entries that are somewhat suspect in terms of their impact on the health of the operating system components. Typically, the scanner is coupled with cleaning software that makes it possible to remove the offending entries and keep the registry in proper working order. This is important, since a registry that is overloaded with errors and exceptions will cause the operating system to function at a lower rate of efficiency, slowing down the operation of any programs that are being ran on that system.
The purpose of a registry scanner is to identify any registry entries that appear to be outside the scope of the basic configuration of that registry. Scanners do not automatically determine if a given exception is actually a registry error or if the entry is a necessary entry associated with some new software program recently installed on the system. What the registry scanner does provide is a means of identifying each of those exceptions and allowing the system user to review them individually. At that point, some type of registry clean-up software can be activated to remove any exceptions identified as errors from the system.
From this perspective, a good quality registry scanner can be viewed as one of the most essential maintenance tools for any computer system. While limited in terms of protecting the system from invasion by bugs and viruses, the scanner is effective in identifying what could be errors that are left behind when software is uninstalled from a system or other errors that develop from time to time. When a scanner is used on a fairly frequent basis, it is possible to identify and ultimately remove errors that slow down the system. As a result, the memory available on the system can be used more efficiently, which in turn minimizes delays in the operation of various types of databases, web browsers, and other programs that are found on most desktop and laptop computers.
Obtaining a quality registry scanner is not difficult. Tools of this type, with or without registry cleaners, can be purchased for very little money. In addition, there are a number of excellent scanner/cleaner products that are open source and readily available at no cost. All that is required is that the products be downloaded and installed. Keep in mind that some products that claim to be scanners and cleaners are hoaxes that may contain elements that actually infect a system. For this reason, never download a free scanner without first investigating the product via consumer protection sites to determine if it is a legitimate product or is know to do more harm than good.