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How to clean your computer's registry

Cleaning an existing registry is an important housekeeping task for your computer. Not only will this liberate valuable memory space, but it will also enable the user to remove harmful spyware, malware and any potential viruses. As with most modern maintenance techniques, this can be accomplished in a few simple steps.

The manual approach

There is the possibility to clear specific registry entries through a function known as regedit.exe. This can be accessed from the "Run" section within the Start menu (in Windows). However, this can be confusing, as the registry names themselves are quite obscure and unless the user knows exactly which file to delete, regedit.exe should not be used. Of course, if there are specific files to clear, this manual option can be useful.

Third-party software

The best way to clean a registry is with the use of a proprietary package that is specifically designed for this purpose. Some are free while others will require a one-off charge. Free versions can be useful, but most will only clear a few entries at any given time. This can obviously be quite time-consuming when thousands of files need to be deleted. In most cases, it is best to purchase reliable software to accomplish this need.

Performing the wipe

It is advisable to create a backup of the registry while copying all important files to an external hard drive or a cloud-based storage site. Then, close all active programs. Most registry cleaning software is quite intuitive and will guide you through the remainder of the process (as well as providing you with the option to repair as opposed to delete an entry). Finally, you will be instructed to restart your computer.

With the aid of third-party software packages, it is actually quite simple to clean your registry. Take your time and follow the programs instructions and you should have no problems.