They're Not Worth The Risk

The registry is nothing but a glorified database, loaded into memory when Windows boots. The operating system uses this database, but it does not use a linear search routine to access the database, so the size of the database, erroneous or unnecessary entries in the database, don't have any noticeable effect on the efficiency or performance of the operating system.

On my tower I have an installation that has been constantly upgraded from Windows 95 OSR2 to Windows 98 to Windows 2000 Pro to XP Pro to Windows 7 (I skipped Vista) to Windows 8, to Windows 8.1, and now its current Windows 10 Pro, with the only clean install to Windows 7 (no upgrade path from XP). I also dual boot Windows 11 Pro (upgraded through Windows 7, 8 and 8.1) on a second SSD in this machine. The registry of the default installation is larger than the size of the registry of the dual boot version, but both installations have the same applications installed; the upgraded installation has had many, many applications uninstalled, with no doubt a great many useless and dead registry entries that were left behind. That installation is essentially 9 years old (through many hardware upgrades as well, I might add).

I keep both installations current with Windows updates, AV updates, etc. Benchmark tests on the two installations (using exactly the same hardware) show no discernable difference in performance between the two; (the edge tips ever so slightly to the installation with the larger registry). Boot times are virtually identical.

My opinion is that registry cleaners are nothing but snake oil. There is no need to clean the registry. Any real errors in the registry will likely cause your PC to fail to boot. When that happens, use boot recovery options or restore your last drive image. You do make drive images, don't you? That is, more often than not, the only cleaning of the registry that you need.

If your PC is booting successfully, you don't need to clean the registry. If it is running too slowly to suit you, then you should get rid of unnecessary toolbars, weather on your desktop, download managers, update managers, speed launchers, etc. Empty your temporary internet files, empty your Temp folder, and defrag your drive(s).

So-called registry cleaners at best make no improvement in performance, and more often than not cause more harm than good, deleting "errors" that the operating system needs in order to run properly, and at worst can make a system unbootable. They are definitely not worth the risk.

Don't be fooled

by all the ads and the testimonials. There is nothing to be gained, and much can be lost by using a so-called "registry cleaner".

There are many variations with one thing in common; in my opinion, they are all bogus.