Aside from defragmenting your Windows PC, many technicians and advertisements on the web always recommend cleaning and defragmenting your computer's registry to optimize your computer's speed. Certain system errors could also be fixed by cleaning up the registry. But what does the registry has to do with your computer speed? What is the registry anyway?
The registry is one huge database of your operating system. Most of the settings of operating system, programs you installed, and even the games you play are saved on it. Being placed in one location, it makes it easier and faster for your computer and all of it programs to access it. However, despite being a single entity on your computer, the registry is composed of multiple registry files.
However, even though they are separated in multiple files, that is not enough reason for the system to have difficulties on accessing them since to make it faster for your programs to have access to the registry, your operating system will load it on its memory as soon as it boots. And that makes it always available for your programs to use and access.
How Does It Get Cluttered?
The registry becomes cluttered whenever a poorly written program is installed in your system. Most of the time, those programs will place a lot of entries on your registry and most of them are technically useless. Also, the creators of this programs often forget to include remove the registry entries they have created in their uninstallers. Because of that, the registry becomes full of useless entries that only take up space.
How Does It Get Fragmented?
The registry is saved on your computer's hard disk. And since it is always accessed, updated, and edited, the registry files can get fragmented.
Does a cluttered Registry Slow the System?
Unfortunately, not really. The registry is already full with thousands of entries. Adding a few hundreds of entries will not really affect the system. Also, since the registry is loaded in the computer's memory, having thousands of entries will not really matter. There will be no need for your hard disk to parse an entry from its storage whenever a program needs to access a value from it.
Will a Fragmented Registry Slow Down the System?
Yes, but not as much as you think. A fragmented registry will take more time to be loaded on the memory when the computer starts. However, that slowdown will be barely noticeable. Also, since the registry is not big loading it to the memory is not that a big deal. A computer that has been running for years and has a lot programs might have a registry that might be around 75 to 125 MB big. Opening your word processor to your computer might be even slower than the computer loading the registry to the memory.
What Are the Pros of Cleaning the Registry?
It is relevantly too small. Even if you use the best registry-cleaning program in the market, the impact to your system's speed of registry cleaning and defragging will be small.
Just think about it, why do operating systems do not come with this program if it will be essential in maintaining your computer? After registry cleaning became popular in 'maintaining' computers, operating system developers never made an attempt to include a registry cleaning utility in their operating system packages?
What Are the Cons of Cleaning the Registry?
Unfortunately, it outweighs the pros. Recklessly or fully trusting registry cleaning applications to remove entries in your registry could be dangerous. If you or the program makes a mistake in removing an essential entry on it, a program may stop working entirely – not to mention that it might crash your system.
So Why Get Those Registry Cleaning Programs?
The only useful function of registry cleaning programs is its registry backup feature. In case you want to edit something in the registry, registry backups will spare you a lot of trouble if you make a mistake.
However, you can also use Microsoft Windows operating systems' System Restore feature. That utility is a backup creation program that can restore your system in an earlier working state. Not only it will restore important files that you might have lost, it will also restore the previous registry that you have.
In a nutshell, registry cleaning is a thing you should not worry about or do. If you want to keep your registry clean, it will be better for you to avoid installing bad programs instead. You do not need to spend a few bucks for registry cleaning programs that do not really do anything for you.
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