What Does a Registry Cleaner Do?

Does a Registry Cleaner Actually Clean Something in the Windows Registry?

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What exactly is a registry cleaner program? What exactly does it do?

It's probably obvious that a registry cleaner does something in the Windows Registry but what sort of cleaning is done?

Does the registry get "dirty" or cluttered somehow?

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

"What exactly is a registry cleaner and what does it do in the Windows Registry?"

A registry cleaner is a software program that scans the Windows Registry for entries that once had a purpose but, for at least one of several reasons, no longer needs to be there.

Once found, the registry cleaner presents those entries to you on the screen, will sometimes rank them by importance, and then suggest that you allow the program to automatically remove some or all them from the registry.

While that all might sound pretty straightforward, and I suppose it is, what makes one registry cleaner different from another is how well a program does this task, as well as what entries, called registry keys, a program has predetermined is bad or unnecessary.

Please know, however, that just because registry cleaners exist, and they do something in the registry, doesn't mean that they're necessary tools that computer users everywhere should be using.

No, the Windows Registry does not get "dirty" and thus need cleaning. Registry cleaners do, however, do a great job at fixing certain kinds of problems.

If this is the first place you're learning about registry cleaners and what they are, I highly recommend that you read through the rest of my FAQ.

If you're in a hurry, at very least read through these four pieces:

There's a lot of misinformation out there about the value and necessity of registry cleaning that those pieces should help clear up for you.