How to Repair Your Windows Registry

By: Lisa Nobles

For those who don't know what a Windows Registry is, or whether or not they even have one, the simple answer is that if you are running a computer that has Windows installed, then you have a Windows Registry. The registry is a storage area that contains all the important information needed to run the computer, such as the preferences and settings for all the hardware and software that is installed.

Viruses, hardware and software upgrades, as well as regular computer use can corrupt the registry, causing the computer to run more slowly and making the system less stable. Signs that you may have a registry problem include frequent freezing, constant errors, and system crashing. If one or more of these problems are occurring, cleaning up the registry will help you to restabilize the system.

There are two main ways to repair your windows registry - manually or with a registry cleaner. However, undertaking this task manually is a huge task and requires hours of work, as you have to sit and sift through all the errors, making changes one by one. It can be done, but there is a much easier, and quicker way.

Registry cleaning software is available for use and is much quicker. The software will scan your computer and inform you of the number of errors it finds. You will then be given options to 'repair' or 'delete' errors, depending on how the errors are affecting the system. All of the repair options are built in automatically, so clean-up just requires a single click of the button.

It is advisable that before using a registry cleaner, you do a backup of your current system. On occasion a current and useful file may be deleted. However, most registry cleaners are fairly accurate when suggesting which files can be deleted. Some also have a built in backup option, so that the system is backed up by the cleaning software before the deletion is undertaken and important files can be restored if needed.

To begin using a registry cleaner, you need to either download a free or trial copy from the internet, or purchase a copy of your chosen software. After doing a backup of your system, simply install the cleaner and run a scan on your computer.

A good cleaner will return a total number of errors, perhaps 305, and a 'safe to delete' or 'safe to remove' total, of, for instance 112 errors. Be wary if the cleaner informs you that all the errors can be deleted. It's likely that some are attached to current programs, and deleting them will cause problems. Of course, as long as you've made a back up of the system, if something is deleted in error, it can always be reloaded. And you don't have to choose to delete the errors if you think that it will be a problem. Most errors can be repaired automatically, doing very little, if any noticeable harm comes to your system.

The type of registry cleaner you decide to use will depend on the options that you want. Some allow you to manually sift through the errors and select which ones you want removed. Some provide detailed descriptions of the errors that have been found. Others are completely automated, with no manual settings available. Depending on your experience level, you can pick and choose amongst a large number of solutions to find one that will work just right for you.

No matter which you choose, registry cleaners are generally easy to use, and save you a lot of time in comparison to sorting through your registry manually. As long as you perform a system back up before deleting any errors, you'll find that using cleaning software is a pain free process.

Registry Problems
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