How to clean your computer registry

by Contributor

Your computer registry is a database of all the information about the computer and the software installed on the computer. The computer's registry can become corrupted by spyware and viruses. There are two main ways to clean up a computer's registry - cleaning manually using the Registry Editor, or using registry cleaning software. Here is how you do it:

Before we clean your registry, we need to make a backup of it in case we screw anything up. So if we remove any files that are needed, we can start over.

Go to your desktop and click on the "Start" button in the bottom left corner.

Click "Run". A new window will open that allows you to type in commands that you want to run.

Type in "regedit" in the command window and click OK.

A new window will open up now, and this is your registry editor window. At the very top of the window click "File". Then scroll down to "Export". Type a name for your exported registry file and save it to your desktop of somewhere you know where it is. This is how we will make a backup of your current registry.

Now that you have created your backup, we will take a look at how the computer is configured. Look down the left hand side of the registry window at the folders. You see a directory that lists folders that have names like: "HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT", "HKEY_CURRENT_USER", "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE", etc.

Click on the plus sign next to the folders to expand a folder out and view more about that section in the registry editor. A very common folder to clean up when manually cleaning a registry is the "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE" folder. This is where you will change your hardware and software registry.

If you want to use a third party software to clean up your registry for you, there are very common tools out there like Norton, TweakNow Regcleaner, Registry Mechanic, and Registry Healer. You can google these, or take a look at the example I provided in the tips.

Tips

  • check Free Registry Cleaning Software here: http://www.dailysofts.com/downloadnow/789/45534.html
  • check Only manually clean your registry if you are familiar with your system and the programs you installed.
  • check Make a backup of your registry before you begin.

Warning

  • close Make a backup of your registry before you begin.

Items you will need