Should I Fix All the Problems a Registry Cleaner Finds?

Is it OK to Delete All the Registry Keys a Registry Cleaner Identifies?

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How bad is it if you let a registry cleaner program delete everything it identifies?

Is it a better idea to pick out the worst of the worst to let it delete? How do you know which parts of the Windows Registry are fine to remove and which aren't?

The following question is one of several you'll find in my Registry Cleaner FAQ:

"Should I allow a registry cleaner to remove all the registry entries that it finds or is it better to pick and choose?"

Assuming you pick a good registry cleaner, like one of the top rated ones in my list of free ones, then yes, it's perfectly fine to take whatever actions are suggested by the program.

While it might seem like the registry cleaner found a huge list of problems, the few hundred or even few thousand entries it found are useless keys and probably an incredibly tiny fraction of the size of your entire registry.

See Are Registry Cleaners Safe to Use? if that's what your concern is here.

Now, all that said, please know that while most registry cleaners find a lot of "stuff" in the registry, it's highly unlikely that any of it is causing problems, certainly not serious ones.

That long list of issues that your registry cleaner shows you, and then impressively deletes in just a few seconds, are all registry keys that point to files or other items that are no longer on your computer, a fact that does not necessarily indicate a problem.

I scanned by main computer just now, as I'm writing this, with CCleaner, and it found 864 "issues" in my registry. Every single one has a category of issue assigned - like ApplicationsSound EventsHelp filesInstaller, etc.

Some other ones sound pretty ominous, like Missing Shared DLLs, or ActiveX and Class Issues.

AciveX and Class Issues, especially, sounds pretty bad. In fact, it's the only category in CCleaner (and yes, I'm picking on CCleaner - sorry!) that uses the word "issues" in its description. However, this "issue" like all the others in the list in this tool, and others, are referring to registry keys that exist that don't do anything.

Let me repeat that: the issues refer to keys that don't do anything. If they don't do anything, then they don't do anything - good or bad. Get it? None of these things are issues, nor are they keeping anything working, so remove them, or don't... it doesn't matter.

In case it's not yet clear: if you aren't having any kind of computer problem right now, or you're running a registry cleaner on a regular basis, there's really no need. Save yourself some time and energy and just skip it altogether.

See my How Often Should I Run a Registry Cleaner? and What Types of Problems Do Registry Cleaners Fix? pieces for a lot more on that.

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