How to Edit the Registry System on Windows to Fix Errors

By: D Fraser

The windows registry is the lifeblood of your entire system. It stores hundreds of entries about the software installed on your PC, hardware being used and other more technical aspects such as file locations, short cuts, and system information.

From time to time like everything else on your PC it can be required to edit the registry system and clear out old information that is causing windows to run slower then normal, or worse even crash for freeze from time to time. This article will be a primer on how to edit the registry system, and what other options you have to improve, fix, or repair your computers performance.

What types of registry items need to be edited

When you remove software often times bits and pieces can be left behind. Since most software programs make some entries in the registry some of those items left behind can be there. So why is that a problem? For a couple of reasons, the first is the larger the windows registry is the more data that must be searched through when looking for something. This in turn slows down your computers performance. Secondly, old information and file locations can cause errors when windows is looking for items that are no longer there any more.

How to edit the registry system

First things first, before you start anything that has to do with some as important as the windows registry, always start with a backup. Backing up your system files is pretty easy on the newer versions of windows thanks to system restore points.

A system restore point creates a snap shot of the way your PC currently is working and the settings. You can then take that restore point and revert back to it if you make any changes to your PC that aren't favorable to the performance.

To make a registry backup using the system restore feature do the follow:

Click the Start Button -> Help and support - > Create a restore point

You'll be promoted to name the restore point, be sure you use something easy enough to remember but descriptive enough that you'll recognize if you need it/

Editing the windows registry

This is the touch and go part of the process. There is a built in editor with windows that allows you to open the registry files and browse what's inside. Click your start button, then run and type regedit. Regedit is the built in windows registry editor.

If you're not familiar with the registry data structure then things might look a bit strange. I don't suggest anyone edit, fix, or delete anything they don't know what it is. Chances are editing your registry manually this way will cause more harm then help.

There are software programs available that will automatically scan your registry and edit or remove those items it finds that are causing troubles. The other alternative is to take your PC to a repair shop, how ever the time and cost associated with this option is very unfavorable.

Registry Problems
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