Should I Fix All the Problems a Registry Cleaner Finds?

Is it okay to delete all the registry keys a registry cleaner identifies?

Assuming you pick a good registry cleaner, like one of the top rated ones in our 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.

Now, with 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.

Image of red check marks with a magnifying glass
mstay / Digital Vision Vectors / Getty Images

The Benefits Are Negligible

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.

In our test, we scanned a computer with CCleaner and it found 864 "issues" in the registry. Every single one has a category of issue assigned—ApplicationsSound EventsHelp filesInstaller, etc. Some other ones sound pretty ominous, like Missing Shared DLLs, or ActiveX and Class Issues.

ActiveX and Class Issues, especially, sounds pretty bad. In fact, it's the only category in CCleaner (and yes, we're 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's 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. In other words, none of these things are issues, nor are they keeping anything working, so remove them, or don' 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.

Don't Pay for a Registry Cleaner!

Are you trying to remove everything a registry cleaner finds but you can't because the "extra" features, like deleting all of the problems, costs extra? It's entirely unnecessary to pay for a registry cleaner. Do yourself a favor and promptly delete that program.

There are lots and lots of completely free registry cleaner programs that don't charge even a penny for cleaning the registry. Not only is that the case, but again, deleting every problem won't necessary make your computer run any faster or be any safer.

If those reasons aren't enough, some registry cleaners are actually unsafe to install and use because they contain malware or trick you into believing that your computer is at risk if you don't pay for the extra cleaning abilities.

Be safe and download a reputable registry cleaner if you think you need one. In our list linked above are several safe suggestions in addition to CCleaner, like Auslogics Registry Cleaner, Registry Repair, and Wise Registry Cleaner.

See Why Is CCleaner Asking Me to Pay? if that's what you're experiencing. CCleaner is 100 percent free and will not ask you to pay if you download it from the official website.

More Information on Registry Cleaners

Whether you're new to using registry cleaners and you're not sure what they do, or you've been running them for years, there are some things about them that you might not know.