Are registry cleaners and defrag(s) needed?

Ethan Nguyen asked on
I've been wondering for about a year now..
Some human with a Windows operating system!?
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Mike Hall... always replied on

Registry cleaners will not improve performance, double the speed of a computer or any other spurious clams made.

Back in the days of Windows 9x, it was important to control the size of the registry, and for this purpose, Microsoft released their very own registry cleaner which only removed entries which were absolutely safe to remove.


BUT, that was back in the days of Windows 9x. Windows NT and all of the operating systems spawned from NT do not handle the registry in the same way as Windows 9x did. Windows NT and higher have a much larger limit to the size and they ignore orphaned entries.


The Windows 7 registry can grow to 2gb before the OS falls over, and even a well used system is unlikely to have a registry over 250mb.


As Richard has already stated, defragmenters have their own pet algorythms, and the work done by one is subsequently undone by another. The Windows defragmenter is as good as any even if you can't see it at work.. .

Windows 10 Pro - Start10 - part of a local network which is a '3rd party optimizer-free' zone..
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Ken Blake - Microsoft MVP replied on

On Mon, 8 Oct 2012 03:14:17 +0000, Ethan Nguyen wrote:

I've been wondering for about a year now..

You've already gotten two answers saying what I'm about to say, but
I'll say it a third time to reinforce the point:

A registry cleaner is not only not needed, but it's very dangerous and
should not be run.

Registry cleaning programs are all snake oil. Cleaning of the
registry isn't needed and is dangerous. Leave the registry alone and
don't use any registry cleaner. Despite what many people think, and
what vendors of registry cleaning software try to convince you of,
having unused registry entries doesn't really hurt you.

The risk of a serious problem caused by a registry cleaner erroneously
removing an entry you need is far greater than any potential benefit
it may have.

and also

Let me point out that neither I nor anyone else who warns against the
use of registry cleaners has ever said that they always cause
problems. If they always caused problems, they would disappear from
the market almost immediately. Many people have used a registry
cleaner and never had a problem with it.

Rather, the problem with a registry cleaner is that it carries with it
the substantial risk of having a problem. And since there is no
benefit to using a registry cleaner, running that risk is a very bad
Ken Blake, Microsoft MVP

Ken Blake - Microsoft MVP since October 2003
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Hula_Baloo replied on

 Let me just add my agreement with the other three answers you've already gotten.  Registry cleaners do not help and a known to sometimes cause problems.  They did help in the old days of Windows 9x, but MS fixed that about 12 years ago, so avoid them whatever you do!  They are very deceiving because when you run them, they report that they've fixed all kinds of things, and you system SEEMS OK.  But then later when you apply updates or install new programs, you run into problems.  Don't listen to ads or anyone else who tells you they're OK to run.  These old beliefs die hard with some people, but in spite of that, avoid registry cleaners!

 I agree about defrags too.  The Windows defrag program is all you need, so save your money.


 Good luck.

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