The Windows Registry is pretty much what it sounds like. The Windows registry is a database that stores a collection of all of the details about your computer such as where programs are stored, which helper programs (known as DLLs) are shared among your various applications, listings of all your Start menu shortcuts, and pointers to the programs that fire up when you click on an icon. So, put simply, it isn’t something you want to mess around with as it’s very easy to break things and stop your computer from working properly. Since most of us may not have even known what the registry is let alone have the desire to dive in and change anything, we would have no idea if anything needs cleaning or not. Over time your registry collects broken, outdated, and even missing registry keys that hurt your PC’s performance. You may even get the occasional error message. The more that builds up, the more likely you are to experience issues. Cleaning your registry every few months helps prevent this. There are apps out there that can declutter and clean the windows registry, removing leftover stuff that hasn’t been removed when apps were uninstalled, improving performance and fixes issues They are much safer to use than if you were to poke around manually.
Use Disk Cleanup
The simplest way to clean the Windows 10 registry is to use Disk Cleanup, which is also great for cleaning excess files from your hard drive. It’s not for the registry, but it can finish removing leftovers from apps and drivers. When it removes these files, the corresponding registry entries are often deleted too.
Open Start and type “disk cleanup.” Select the Disk Cleanup result that appears.
The tool runs a scan automatically. When it’s finished, click “Clean Up System Files.” This adds a few more options for the tool to scan for. The tool runs a second time, giving you some additional options.
Check any options you want. You can actually check them all. Just make sure you don’t have anything in your Recycle Bin that you want to keep first. Press OK to clean your system.
DISM, which stands for Deployment Image Servicing and Management, is a built-in Windows tool used for repairing update and system errors. It can also help repair issues related to broken registry entries. While it’s not a full registry cleaner, it can improve the health of your registry.
Open Start and type “cmd.” Choose “Run as administrator” under Command Prompt.
Enter the following at the prompt:
DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth
The scan finds and cleans up errors. These won’t all be related to your registry. The good part is this can help your PC run better by fixing issues you didn’t even know you had.
CCleaner has been a popular PC cleaner for years for many I.T professionals. From deleting cookies, cahed data and temporary files to helping managing startup options, it does a little bit of everything, including cleaning your registry. What’s even better is you can make a backup of your registry before cleaning it, which is a good idea.
While premium options are available, the free version is all you need and does a great job. You can run the tool by right-clicking on your Recycle Bin or opening it through the Start menu.