Is Registry Booster dangerous for your PC

Why using a registry cleaner won't speed up your PC or fix crashes

As we've said time and again, registry cleaners won't speed up your PC. At best, they are wasting time - and often money. In the worst case, they can cause problems by removing unnecessary registry entries.

We recently explained why the PC cleaning software was a scam and found that a large part of the cleaning process - registry cleaning - doesn't help speed up your PC. We will now see what that is.

Registry cleaners demystified

CONNECTED:PC cleaning apps are a scam: here's why (and how to speed up your PC)

Registry cleaners aren't a magic button to click to speed up your PC.

The Windows registry is a huge database of settings - both for Windows itself and for programs that you install. For example, when you install a program, there is a good chance that the program will save its settings in the registry. Windows would also store pointers to this program. For example, if the program is registered as the default program for a certain type of file, Windows will save a registry entry so it will remember that this is the default program.

Once you've uninstalled the program, there is a good chance that all registry entries will be left behind. They stay in your registry until you reinstall Windows, update your PC, "clean" them with a registry cleaner, or delete them manually.

A registry cleaner will simply scan your registry for entries that appear out of date and remove them. Registry cleaner companies want you to believe this will result in significant performance improvements, so buy their software.

The promises

Here are some promises registry cleaner tools often make:

  • Registry cleaners fix "registry errors" that can lead to system crashes and even blue screens.
  • Your registry is full of junk that "clogs" it up and slows down your PC.
  • Registry cleaners also remove "damaged" and "damaged" entries.

The following passage on Uniblue's Registry Booster product page is a good example of the typical promises you will see:

"Have you noticed that the longer you have your computer, the slower it runs and the more it crashes? Often this is because the Windows registry is updated every time you install or uninstall software, adjust hardware, or change settings. Over time, the registry loses its shape and accumulates outdated, corrupt, and malicious files. If you don't check this box, your system may become increasingly unstable, run slower, and crash more often. "[Source]

Wise Registry Cleaner, which luckily at least is free, says it can also "make your PC work ... more securely".

If Your Windows PC Crashes or Blue Screening, you shouldn't worry about "registry errors". "Broken" and "damaged" registry entries will not do any harm to your computer, even if the snake oil dealers want to believe it.

If your registry is indeed damaged, you have major problems and a registry cleaner will not be able to fix the problem. At the very least, you need to use System Restore. There is nothing "unsafe" about not using a registry cleaner. The remaining registry entries that naturally accumulate are not harmful.

The reality

In reality, registry entries are not an issue with your computer's performance. The registry is a huge database containing hundreds of thousands of entries, and individual registry entries are quite small. Even removing a few thousand entries will not noticeably affect the size of your registry.

Well, if our computers only had a tiny amount of memory or an extremely slow hard drive, shrinking the registry a little might be worth doing. However, this will go completely unnoticed on the computers in use today. We are no longer living in the days of Windows 95. The Windows registry has also become more robust as Windows itself moved from Windows 95 to Windows 7 and 8.

Windows just doesn't get confused and slow down because you have a folder (called a "key" in registry language) that is associated with an uninstalled program in your registry. It also doesn't get confused because certain entries point to an out-of-date program.

CONNECTED:Why using a registry cleaner won't speed up your PC or fix crashes

No legitimate benchmarks showing a performance increase as a result of a registry cleaner have ever been published. If a registry cleaner offered improved performance, we would have some benchmarks by now. It's anecdotal evidence, but the majority of our readers didn't find out that registry cleaners helped improve their performance on modern computers as well.

In some rare cases ...

Now it is theoretically possible that a registration can in rare cases help cleaner. For example, if a program left an invalid context menu entry in your registry, it might take noticeably longer to display your context menu in Windows Explorer after you right-clicked something. It is also possible for a registry cleaner to notice this entry for you and remove it in order to resolve the problem.

In another case, you might have a ten year old computer with very little RAM and a Windows installation that had thousands of programs installed and uninstalled over the course of a decade. In theory, a registry cleaner can help reduce the size of the registry enough to make the computer run faster.

Such situations are certainly extremely rare. There is no point in running a registry cleaner all the time - many registry cleaner companies recommend running their cleaner once a week. Such problems are easier to solve when you encounter them. The average registry cleaner is likely to cause many more problems than it fixes when run on a regular basis. And even if it's completely harmless, it's a waste of time.

So if a registry cleaner doesn't speed things up, what will it do?

We already explained why PCs slow down over time and showed you how to prevent this from happening. Instead of running a registry cleaner, just be careful what you install first. Even if you need to uninstall something later, some registry entries - or even many registry entries - won't slow you down. If your computer is extremely slow or crashes frequently, you are likely having more problems than a full registry and you are probably better off reinstalling Windows or updating your PC.

We haven't delved into this part too much, but registry cleaners can do harm too. There are so many different registry entries that can come from so many different software programs that the average registry cleaner put together by a non-reputable software company might not be able to explain all of the entries. If a registry cleaner tries to be too aggressive to remove as many "errors" as possible, it can easily remove errors that an installed program requires and causes problems.

In conclusion, forget about registry cleaners and get on with your life. As long as you take basic care of your Windows computer, you don't have to worry about your registry.