Protect Yourself From Tech Support Scams
October 14, 2019
Protect Yourself From Tech Support Scams
Tech support scams are an industry-wide issue where scammers trick you into paying for unnecessary technical support services. You can help protect yourself from scammers by verifying that the contact is a Microsoft Agent or Microsoft Employee
and that the phone number is an official Microsoft global customer service number.
This topic keeps getting resurrected because many folks are uninformed, younger users who have entered the world of computing and others are looking for some magic cure for various system problems. If you have been using such a program routinely or followed
the advice of some so-called technician...there is no telling what damage it has already done to your registry and other areas it purports to clean. I suspect that is the reason for your registry error messages unless it it is the program
you are currently using which is giving the errors.
There are numerous programs which purport to improve system performance, make repairs and tune up a computer. Many of them include such features as a
registry cleaner, registry optimizer, disk optimizer, etc. These registry cleaners and optimizers claim to speed up your computer by finding and removing orphaned and corrupt registry entries that are responsible for slowing down system performance.
There is no statistical evidence to back such claims. Advertisements to do so are a marketing ploy intended to goad users into using an unnecessary and potential dangerous product.
I would not trust any results such programs detect as problematic or needing repair nor recommend using the options to fix them.
Further, these types of junk optimization programs are often bundled with other software you download and most are considered
Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs) so they may be detected or even removed by some security scanners which specifically look for PUPs and adware.
OfficialMicrosoft support policy for the use of registry cleaning utilities (KB2563254)
"This article describes the Microsoft support policy for customers who use registry cleaning utilities that rely on unsupported methods to extract or modify the contents of a Windows Registry...Windows continually references the registry in the background and
it is not designed to be accessed or edited. Some products such as registry cleaning utilities suggest that the registry needs regular maintenance or cleaning. However,
serious issues can occur when you modify the registry incorrectly using these types of utilities. These issues might require users to reinstall the operating system due to instability. Microsoft cannot guarantee that these problems can be solved
without a reinstallation of the Operating System as the extent of the changes made by registry cleaning utilities varies from application to application...Microsoft does not support the use of registry cleaners..."
Does microsoft have a software that cleans, repairs and fix errors on registry for free
No. And stay far away from all such programs.
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.
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 (MS MVP)
Ken Blake - Microsoft MVP since October 2003
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