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Why you need to clean Windows registry

Most of us have them and find computers invaluable, but especially if you use yours a lot, there's probably going to come a time when you realize everything has slowed down -- maybe a lot. There are lots of reasons this can occur, but one of the most common reasons is that you need to clean your registry.

Your registry basically records everything that happens on your computer. It records information about visits to websites, program installations, information about essential programs and drivers, such as DLL files, and so on. These keys are stored in the registry file and help programs run. Basically, it's a sort of map that shows where everything goes in your computer and how everything fits together. If you have a Windows computer, you have a registry.

The problem is, a lot of this registry information is only useful for a short time, after which time it simply clogs things up; your computer has to sort through all this useless information to get to the stuff that really runs your computer, so things just take longer to figure out. So the problem is, if you have a lot of these files on your computer that are no longer useful and are simply cluttering things up, it can make things slow down a lot. You should also know that Windows never removes registry entries on its own, which means that it falls to you to do it. That's when a registry scan and clean can come in handy.

When should you do a scan?

It's a good idea to do a scan for a registry scan and clean on a regular basis, even if you don't notice any performance problems. If you use your computer a lot, you might even want to run a registry scan on a weekly basis. If you do actually notice performance problems, such as if things begin to run very, very slowly, programs "hang up" on you as they're trying to open, and you just notice that you can't do things as quickly or in as streamlined fashion as usual, you definitely need to clean your registry. And you'll definitely need to run a registry scan and clean if you uninstall programs, since Windows uninstallers don't remove the entirety of their programs.

Before you perform a registry scan and clean

Before you perform a registry scan and clean, though, make sure you do a backup of the current registry in case you have any problems. Most registry cleaning programs have a backup function, so you should take advantage of it. Then, you should simply be able to do a scan (a thorough scan is best the first time you do it, and then you can simply do a basic quick scan thereafter unless you uninstall programs).

Cleaning your registry

There are lots of programs out there that are free or shareware and that can clean your registry for you very effectively. Do a Google search to find one. If you're very computer savvy, it's also possible to try to clean your registry manually, but this is very time-consuming, cumbersome, and difficult to do even for someone who knows computers very, very well. Therefore, it's almost always best to do a registry backup and then let one of the many great registry-cleaning programs out there do the work for you.

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