How is a Windows registry cleaner helpful?
I can delete temporary files, cookies and even registry entries from msconfig on my own, so what is the use of registry cleaners? I would like to know before I buy one.
In general, a registry cleaner may or may not be helpful to you. My instinct is to say not. The idea is that a registry cleaner will scan your Windows registry and delete entries that are malicious, redundant, duplicate, or unneeded. These are mostly left over from programs that didn't un-install themselves very well, and the problem is worse in Windows 95 and 98. XP and Vista handle things differently.
Why can't I do that myself? Well, in theory you could, but you would be insane to do so. The registry is too large and too complicated for people to dig through, and considering the danger that can result from making mistakes in that particular playground you are better off not trying it yourself.
So a registry cleaner sounds pretty good, doesn't it? Then why did I say you are better off not using one?
The quality of registry cleaners varies quite a bit and if you get the wrong one you can do some serious damage to your install of Windows. Even if you get the right one, there is a lot of debate about just how well an automated program can tell the difference between the useful and the useless. You might end up with bigger problems after using a registry cleaner than you did before hand.
In addition, there is no proof that having your registry "cleaned" improves system performance. Cleaners rarely delete anything more than a tiny amount of data, and that does not add up to enough to slow your system down at start up.
So, overall, I would have to vote "no" on a registry cleaner. The only time I would recommend it is if you have a habit of installing and removing a lot of software, and only then if you were the anal type of person who needs everything to be neat. The negligible benefit from "cleaning" doesn't balance the potential headaches caused if the program does it wrong.