Registry cleaners - safe or junk?

By herr5407 ยท 8 replies
Oct 26, 2008
  1. Hi all,

    What is the consensus on registry cleaners? I honestly have never been a fan of these things but my friends PC has no reason to be performing poorly so I figure I may give it a try. The computer is an HP so I figure the registry is pretty much clogged full of garbage right out of the factory.

    Are these safe to use or do they tend to cause some issues?

    The one I was thinking about using was "Glary Utilities"

    Any suggestions or past experiences would be appreciated greatly.
  2. almcneil

    almcneil TS Guru Posts: 1,277

    My rule about registry cleaners is not to use them unless you absolutely have to. You are playing with fire when you make changes to the registry. Only when you have exhausted all other options THEN you try a registry cleaner. The one I have used, rarely that is, is Registry Mechanic by PC Tools. It worked once. Cleared up some routine crashing on a relative's computer.
  3. herr5407

    herr5407 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 101

    I've always felt that way as well. That program even includes a registry defragmenting utility which I won't go near with a 10-foot pole.

    I actually ran the cleaner, found no difference, then immediately restored the registry back to the way it was.

    Then again, I haven't tried creating a new user profile on the computer. Friend is still using the standard default user account (bad idea I know). So re-creating user profile and copying data over may get rid of lots of garbage in app data folder, etc. I've literally went through and deleted over 10GB of crap.
  4. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    Because you are asking if they are junk or not, when the computer is under fault condition. You cannot get an unbiased viewpoint.

    To fully review this type of product you would need to have identical machines with identical setup, or you would need to use the same computer, whilst consistantly going back to how it was before (re-imaging would be ideal there)

    Therefore you won't be able to make a good judgement

    By the way, in my view they do nothing helpful (and usually the opposite) But some have the compact registry option (like defrag) which can help.

    CCleaner offers a free Registry fixer\cleaner that you normally can safely use
    Just run the program, and click on Registry on the Left Hand Side.

    By the way here's an excellent thread on HP drivers\info and everything else to do with that system (whilst using it) ->
  5. herr5407

    herr5407 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 101

    I'm actually a huge fan of Ccleaner and have been using it for a very long time. I usually just scan and look for old software that is not on the machine anymore and delete those keys. That's as far as my reg cleaning has gone. I'll be sticking to it now I guess. As for having 2 identical PCs, I will give this a try in VMware and see what I can turn up. I smell a long term project.

    Thanks for the link for the HP stuff. I will be reading through this for sure.
  6. old101

    old101 TS Rookie Posts: 52

    My only experience of registry cleaning that I can safely say I found noticeably beneficial was a few years ago with SP2, when it first came out. I had an old Compaq desktop, and P4 HP desktop. I installed SP2 from a disk purchased from Microsoft on Compaq, since it was my secondary machine. Installation went with no problems, but the machine became extremely sluggish. After I could not find anything visibly wrong I first cleaned out all the temp and internet cache files. This showed some improvement, but the system was still slower than normal. I then ran a registry cleaner (forget what brand) and the system returned to normal.

    Exactly the same thing happened when I installed SP2 on my fairly new HP.

    After that I had no problems whatsoever with SP2. Many people had a variety of problems when SP2 first came out.

    I now use a free Revo Uninstaller that also cleans out temporary files and registry entries associated with the uninstalled program. I am also a fan of CCleaner and use it daily to remove junk - I use it in default settings. Only use CCleaner's registry tool if Revo tells me some entries could not be cleaned - usually two or three entries. Always backup registry first..
  7. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15

    Glary utilities and CCleaner are both very safe. I have used them quite frequently for a long time.
  8. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,334   +36

    Generally speaking, I don't recommend Registry Cleaners. Why? Any program is only as good as the person who is using it. If you are an experienced user, you won't be asking about Registry Cleaners!

    The main problem is that the user has to make the decision as to whether to remove entries the Registry Cleaners come up with. Inexperienced users don't have the knowledge to make this decision and will frequently remove needed files.
  9. nobardin

    nobardin TS Rookie Posts: 256

    In my opinion Ccleaner has one of the best registry cleaners out there. I have used it for quite a while now and always get fantastic results. I used to not trust any registry cleaner, but it was recommended to me on these very forums and I couldn't be happier with it. Hope this helps you come to a decision.
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