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Your opinion on the best registry cleaner.

Last response: in Antivirus / Security / Privacy
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July 23, 2012 9:00:35 PM

Should people even be using registry cleaners? That's a great question. For a very experienced user I am thinking the word is no. I am not there yet. I value many opinions that I get here on Tom's and would like to know which registry cleaner you guys use or think is best. Also I am a loud mouth and helpful to my fellow man. I would like to feel safe recommending a good registry cleaner to people. Right now I don't recommend one.
a b 8 Security
July 23, 2012 9:45:02 PM

I would never recommend that anyone do any sort of "cleaning" of the registry outside of the very targeted and specific removal of malware related entries that are removed by programs like Malwarebytes. There may be other, isolated, and equally targeted examples such as the upper and lower filters issue that prevents ODDs from working, but beyond that I do not see any particular need for these programs.

If a program leaves little bits of itself behind when you uninstall it, at most we are talking about a loss of space measured in bytes, and the performance hit you might suffer would be probably a fraction of a nanosecond. Compare that to the issues that can be created by an overly aggressive registry cleaning program.

I also find it rather suspect that, to the best of my knowledge, there are no open source registry cleaners, and the registry cleaners out there will not offer up any details on the criteria the program uses to determine if some entry should be deleted or left. There are also plenty of registry cleaners which will claim there are hundreds of errors on a virgin Windows install. The final nail in the coffin as far as I am concerned, is that Microsoft created the first registry cleaner. When it became clear that the program created problems with MS Office, it was pulled from their website, and in the many years since then, it has never been reworked and offered up for download again.
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July 23, 2012 9:54:04 PM

So you're saying that they often cause more harm than good. Even if Microsoft can't perfect one (they have the most to gain) then it's probably irresponsible for a third party to try to make one.

I've been thinking about this as well. Don't programmers sometimes use "hacks" or poor coding technique that can register as errors in certian utility programs? That is another reason not to use cleaners.
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a b 8 Security
July 23, 2012 11:24:30 PM

Your opinion on the best registry cleaner < ccleaner or glary utilities
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a b 8 Security
July 24, 2012 12:04:58 AM

voodooking said:
So you're saying that they often cause more harm than good. Even if Microsoft can't perfect one (they have the most to gain) then it's probably irresponsible for a third party to try to make one.

I've been thinking about this as well. Don't programmers sometimes use "hacks" or poor coding technique that can register as errors in certian utility programs? That is another reason not to use cleaners.


I would say it's more that they are generally a solution in search of a problem, and along the way may create problems.

Let's just kind of put it this way. For the sake of argument we can assume there are 1 billion unique programs for Windows. There's probably more, but just for example. Now if I am writing a registry cleaning program, how do I systematically/programmatically go about evaluating the countless possible combinations of registry entries these programs might make? Do I have some massive database somewhere that has a listing of every registry entry created by every single Windows program? If so, how do I manage to cram that much info into such a small program? How often do I update this database, as new programs are created? These are just a couple of basic questions, which will branch off into several other areas if you keep following the rabbit hole down, and I've never come across any answers.

There's also the fact that you see questionable marketing tactics being used. Glary Utilities is a prime example. Maybe a year or two ago there was a pretty concerted astroturfing campaign going on. You would go to almost any web forum and every single post concerning the registry, or even some that didn't, would all have a very similar sounding message saying that the solution was to download Glary Utilities. Just my opinion, but if a company is producing a quality product, it should be able to stand on its own merits, and you don't need to resort to fake grass-roots marketing campaigns.

Finally, just FYI... It's called a kludge when a programmer makes a kind of quick and dirty solution to a problem.
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July 24, 2012 12:33:00 AM

Thanks for the "kludge" correction. Learn something new everyday.

Information here is so much better than Cnet. I never feel like I am getting the truth there.

Your two replies should be part of a computer 101 class somewhere.

Thanks

Jim
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July 31, 2012 2:29:30 AM

Best answer selected by voodooking.
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