I ran a registry cleaner on my machine, and it reported over 700 errors! How
do I know which ones are safe to clean?
As I’ve discussed in an earlier article, I believe that registry cleaners are
only marginally useful. One reason is that they rarely actually help
Another reason is that it’s all too easy to needlessly panic when you see
the long list of issues they present.
That’s not to say they aren’t sometimes useful, but knowing what to do next
in your situation … well, that’s not all that easy. It depends on the registry
Here’s what I do…
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I take an all or nothing approach to registry cleaning.
Most of the time I simply don’t run one. At all. And to date, I’ve never
encountered a problem that using a registry cleaner would have solved for
I honestly believe that 99% of computers out there simply don’t benefit from
Which is the “nothing” in my all or nothing approach. In your case I would
actually not have run the cleaner, and I’d ignore the “errors” if I did run
Note that I put errors in quotes. The fact is the majority of what a
registry cleaner reports as needing cleaning are not errors at all. Most issues
reports are what I’d call “inefficiencies” – entries in the registry that are
unnecessary, but otherwise harmless. Yes, removing them might speed up your
computer by some miniscule, but unnoticeable amount.
Given that so many of the so-called “errors” are in fact benign, I’m
extremely comfortable ignoring all of them.
simply don’t benefit from registry cleaners.
But what if, for some reason, you really, really want to clean the
registry? As I mention in that earlier article,
perhaps this is a last step in attempting to address some kind of problem your
machine is having. Or perhaps the tool you’re running promises not only to
clean, but to “boost” your registry’s performance? Fine.
Make sure your computer is backed up.
Let the cleaner clean them all.
Yes, all of them. Again, 99% of the time, it’ll be just fine to do this. And
yes, it’s possible that something cleaned or boosted will resolve some kind of
problem you’re having, or perhaps your machine will speed up a little bit.
Or perhaps you won’t notice a difference at all.
The fact is that various issues reported by registry cleaners are too
numerous for most people to track down and know what to do with individually.
There are just too many, as you’ve seen with your 700+.
So if I run a registry cleaner, and it finds issues, I let it fix them all.
And then I run it again, because fixing some issues can expose other issues
that can also be fixed. I mean, if you’re going down the path of fixing ’em,
you might as well be thorough.
One important note: please pay attention to step one: backup. Some small
percentage of the time a registry cleaner may step on something important. You
should be backing up your data and machine regularly anyway, but this is an
important time to make sure.
Finally, all this assumes a “decent” registry cleaner. There are hundreds of
tools out there that claim to clean, optimize, defragment, boost or whatever
your registry. Many are the modern day equivalent of snake oil, and can even be
dangerous. Recommended cleaners include:
EasyCleaner – a free solution
JV16 Power Tools – this is the package I purchased and
includes several additional helpful utilities. If I’m going to use a registry
cleaner, it’s this one.