Diagnosing the Brain: Your Computer's Registry
Many of us use our computers every day, unaware of the daily assaults they endure from adding and deleting files and programs or simply surfing the internet. Every action a computer does requires accessing its registry, and over time, these actions begin to affect the computer's ability to read its internal registry, which is kind of like an inventory of all the information on your computer that tells it how to run files and programs. Your computer constantly modifies that registry to account for any changes you make whether it’s saving a one-page word document or doing some major programming. If enough changes are made, you may find that your computer's basic functions have been affected. It may run a little slower, display strange error messages, fail to end programs successfully, or even be unable to run at all. Many people have computer problems that are rooted in the registry, but few know what to do to remedy the problem.
Delete it, or Scrub it Clean? Fixing Computer Registry Errors
Because the registry is such a sensitive and vital part of your computer's operation, it takes a skilled technician to correctly clean it, and it can take such a specialist several hours, or even days, to inventory a whole file directory. For this reason, many people prefer to reformat the hard drive entirely, even going as far as reinstalling the operating system. Although this fix is pretty much always effective, it is very time consuming because it requires backing up all the files and programs on your computer first. Of course, it is easy to forget to back up a file, but almost impossible to get it back once the reformat is complete, so before you set out to completely wipe and reinstall your hard drive, you might want to consider other options.
While it takes the most capable computer technician much time to manually inspect and correct a registry, there are software programs that do this job automatically and in half the time. These programs, called registry cleaners, are widely available, sometimes even for free. Of course, since your registry is important and complicated enough to trust to a specialist, you want to feel secure about any program that will be combing through your computer's most vital codes and folders. Before you rush out and buy the most expensive registry scrubber you can find or download the first free application you see, there is some basic information about these programs that you should know first.
Created Equal? How to Find the Right Computer Registry Scrubber for You
To the untrained eye, there seems to be only two types of registry cleaners: those that are free and those that are not. Some people assume that officially licensed Windows programs work best and automatically purchase a registry scrubber. Others, faced with two seemingly identical programs, one of which is free, will always choose the free program. In reality, there is no correlation between price and quality. There are some equally good programs in both camps, and the only way to tell the difference is to get a sense of what people are saying about the programs and to compare the features of each choice.
Not all registry scrubbers are created equal. Some perform incomplete scans, leaving corrupted files and folders, and a few can actually damage your computer further. One way to get a sense of what a specific registry scrubber actually does is to look at its features and its ability to access and provide technical support. Each registry scrubber uses different cleaning features, including registry optimizers and compactors, adware and spyware removers, and deep scans. There are also features that focus on communicating with the user, such as those that offer detailed descriptions of any problems encountered or ignore lists. Comparing registry scrubber program features on a side by side basis can help you pick the application that is best for you and your PC. In general, you want the program with the most complete checklist of features, actions, and support. Keep in mind that just as there are rogue anti spyware programs out there, there are lots of rogue registry cleaners too, and those can be dangerous choices.
There are many internet sites that include side-by-side comparisons of registry cleaners, but be careful about advice from sites that advertise a particular program. More objective advice is best, especially when judging reviews. While reviews are one great way to find effective and safe registry cleaner software, they are sometimes written by representatives from the software companies themselves. Look for websites that offer a lot of different reviews about a program, and consider the overall opinion of the reviewers. Once you find a program that you like, don't be afraid to do more research on it. You can find tons of blogs, forums, and even expert opinions about specific registry cleaner software that might help influence your decision. Overall, the more information you have about a program, the more likely it is that you are making a good decision.
Although it is instinct to want to try and fix the problem as soon as possible when major computer issues occur, haste is one of the worst mistakes one can make with registry cleaners. Instead of downloading or purchasing the first registry scrubber you come across, do a little research and comparative shopping before making your decision. A little time spent finding the right registry scrubber can save you time and heartbreak later.