What is a Windows Registry?
Be it a visit to a website or a program installation, every entry is stored in your system in the form of files and this enormous batch of files together constitute the Windows Registry. Windows registry comprises of a lot of files which carry critical information about drivers and DLL's in the form of keys that are responsible for running a program. Every computer running on Windows operating system under its hood consist of a registry including Windows 7.
Since a registry consists of thousands of entries and all the entries get stacked up over time, it leads to the suppression of computer's performance. The problem is that all the registry entries aren't removed by the Windows although you uninstall any program. So, even if you do not have the program, the registry keys still exist in the Windows registry. These registry keys point to the files or programs that doesn't exist at all or that has been uninstalled days back or they point to files located elsewhere.
Points to keep in mind before cleaning the registry
The next step is apparently cleaning up the registry for a better performance. Although registry entries are small in size it is always advised to employ cleaner programs through a cleaned-up registry. By the word 'cleaned-up' I only mean that cleaning unwanted registry keys that no longer point to a program installed must be removed and not the other keys.
Please remember that these keys are very sensitive and if you try to play around manually, you are going to put yourself in deep trouble. Playing around with some of the registry keys might even stop loading of the Windows. So please be careful while handling this delicate job.
Always make sure that you take a backup copy of the registry before trying to dismantle the unwanted keys. You must also save your sensitive data in the system in an external hard drive. You must be able to efficiently find out a registry-cleaning program online that lets you take a back up of the system's registry on its own.
How to access the registry?
The built-in program for editing the registry can be accessed through Start – Run – Type regedit.exe and enter. This is how you access the Windows registry but once you enter it, you would find yourself lost and you would have no idea about which entry points to what. Hence it is always advised not to play around experimenting regedit.exe.
Registry cleaning options
You can purchase third party registry cleaning program which is capable of removing the tangles inside the registry. These kind of programs might solve some tangles with respect to the broken registry keys but there are programs which will do the complete work for 20$ or more. You can also take advantage of the disk defragment program that is capable of boosting the performance of a system.
Make sure that all the programs are closed including those in the system tray before you access the registry cleaning program. Choose the programs which will scan the registry entries first and provide choices to fix broken entries. Avoid using programs that deletes the registry entries automatically.
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There might be few programs that offer a list of keys with a message that it is safe deleting it or might prompt a repair option. Intending to speed up the process, if you click on these by chance it will end up in destructing the keys that affects even the installation of Windows. Hence never play around with any free programs offered online rather you could pay for programs that are absolutely worth it and which doesn't affect your system.