Since most of us don’t dive into the registry editor often, you probably don’t have any idea if anything needs cleaning or not. However, over time your registry collects broken, outdated, and even missing registry keys that hurt your PC’s performance. You may even get the occasional error message. With the use of Windows tools and some third-party tools, you can clean the Windows 10 registry quickly.
Causes of Registry Errors
If you’re not experiencing any issues right now, you might not think cleaning the registry is important. But, as you install and uninstall apps and hardware, new registry entries are created. This includes Windows updates. However, they’re not always cleanly removed when you uninstall apps and hardware or make other system changes.
This leaves your PC looking for the hardware and apps that go with those keys. The more that builds up, the more likely you are to experience issues. Cleaning your registry every few months helps prevent this.
1. Use Disk Cleanup
The simplest way to clean the Windows 10 registry is to use Disk Cleanup, which is also great for cleaning excess files from your hard drive. It’s not for the registry, but it can finish removing leftovers from apps and drivers. When it removes these files, the corresponding registry entries are often deleted too.
Open Start and type “disk cleanup.” Select the Disk Cleanup result that appears.
The tool runs a scan automatically. When it’s finished, click “Clean Up System Files.” This adds a few more options for the tool to scan for. The tool runs a second time, giving you some additional options.
Check any options you want. You can actually check them all. Just make sure you don’t have anything in your Recycle Bin that you want to keep first. Press OK to clean your system.
2. Using DISM
DISM, which stands for Deployment Image Servicing and Management, is a built-in Windows tool used for repairing update and system errors. It can also help repair issues related to broken registry entries. While it’s not a full registry cleaner, it can improve the health of your registry.
Open Start and type “cmd.” Choose “Run as administrator” under Command Prompt.
Enter the following at the prompt:
The scan finds and cleans up errors. These won’t all be related to your registry. The good part is this can help your PC run better by fixing issues you didn’t even know you had.
3. Use CCleaner
CCleaner has been a popular PC cleaner for years. From deleting cookies and temporary files to helping managing startup options, it does a little bit of everything, including cleaning your registry. What’s even better is you can make a backup of your registry before cleaning it, which is a good idea.
While premium options are available, the free version is all you need. You can run the tool by right-clicking on your Recycle Bin or opening it through the Start menu.
4. Clean With Wise Registry Cleaner
Wise Registry Cleaner is a free, lightweight tool to clean the Windows 10 registry. It offers three modes, though Fast Scan typically works best for most users.
A premium version is available, but the free version handles most everything you need. The premium version does offer scheduled cleaning. Otherwise, just make a note to use it once every few months.
5. Use Auslogics Registry Cleaner
Auslogics Registry Cleaner has a long history of helping to keep registries cleaner. The free version provides basic scanning, which is often enough for most users. However, you can upgrade to the premium version for notifications and deeper scans and cleaning.
You get to review all entries before deleting anything, giving you full control. However, the tool will only pick safe entries to delete.
While the above methods are typically safe, it’s always a good idea to backup your registry before cleaning it. In addition to regular cleaning, you can also optimize your registry to help your PC run faster.
Image credit: Auslogics Press