Software & Apps Backup & Utilities Will a Registry Cleaner I Pay for Fix More Problems Than a Free One? A 'premium' registry cleaner isn't much different by Tim Fisher General Manager, VP, Lifewire.com Tim Fisher has 30+ years' professional technology support experience. He writes troubleshooting content and is the General Manager of Lifewire. our editorial process Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Tim Fisher Updated on February 12, 2020 Backup & Utilities Design Cryptocurrency MS Office Windows Linux Google Drive Apps File Types Backup & Utilities View More Tweet Share Email There are plenty of free registry cleaners and also just as many that ask for $10, $20, or more USD to get the job done. Does this make them better? Is the premium program digging deeper and finding new things to clean, or is it a waste of money? We have yet to find a commercial registry cleaner that comes close to the features, safety, and speed of any of the top several freeware registry cleaners our list linked above. Christopher Walker / E+ / Getty Images Free vs Commercial Registry Cleaners When we talk about free vs commercial software, this is the place in the conversation where I'd say something like "unless there's a feature that you're really after in the commercial tool" but frankly, registry cleaners only do one thing: find unnecessary registry keys and remove them. The free ones do it as well as the commercial ones. There's not that much to it. Granted, one registry cleaner may find more keys to remove than another, but that's hardly the judge of a good program in this category. See Should I Fix All the Problems a Registry Cleaner Finds? for more on that. One argument we see from time to time is that commercial registry cleaners often include an "always on" feature, continually keeping your registry clean. While there are certainly advantages to having some tasks taken care of in the background, registry cleaning is not one of those tasks that needs constant attention. See How Often Should I Run a Registry Cleaner? and What Types of Computer Problems Do Registry Cleaners Fix? for a lot more discussion on those topics. In most cases, you get what you pay for. In the case of registry cleaners, however, it seems that free is best. What About Extra Features? Where the real value of a paid registry cleaner comes in is when the software is more of a suite with several other tools built in. The question, then, is not whether you're getting more for a paid registry cleaner but if the other tools included in the suite are worth the money. For example, one free registry cleaner might simply have registry cleaning functions. If that's all that you're after, then downloading it is the end of the story. However, if you find a paid registry cleaner that also includes a RAM booster, disk cleaner, Windows Update utility, etc., then paying for it might make sense. Advanced SystemCare Pro is a great example of this. It has a registry cleaner built-in but also a defrag utility, RAM cleaner, auto-care functionality, internet speed booster, spyware protection, email protection, and more. Paying for that program could make sense if you're after more than just the registry cleaner and you want it all neatly bundled within one download. With that being said, there are almost always free alternatives. If you just want a registry cleaner, stick to the free ones we've handpicked in the list linked at the top of this page. If you want some other tools that can do more to make your computer faster and safer, then download those individually, but remember that most are free. To reiterate...a paid registry cleaner is really only better than a free one if it also includes extra tools that you want on your computer. Specifically, tools that you can't get anywhere else. But since there are so many free programs out there, it'd be difficult not to find a free version of whatever it is you want in addition to your registry cleaner (e.g., there are free virus scanners, disk cleaners, and more).