Article: Registry Cleaners and Speed Boosters – DON’T DO IT!

Registry Cleaners and Speed Boosters – DON’T DO IT! | Tech Tips Article by PcCG

I often receive calls from customers with slow computer issues. Very often when I plop down in-front of their computer I notice they have installed registry cleaners and “speed boosting” programs such as RegCure or "double my speed". One of the first things I do is kick those bad-boys to the curb.

I ask my customers if they noticed any speed increase by using said programs – and the answer has always been “no”. Of course I should probably have guessed this – I mean they are calling on me the super awesome PC Computer Guy to save the day. Never-the-less I like to still ask, just in case I get a yes one of these days.

It gets better.

Not only do these programs not help in speeding up the system, the often make it worse! They can (and frequently do) slow down your system, or even break it.

“How,” you might ask?

Good question Timmy! Someone pass that boy a piece of candy.

To answer this question we have to briefly discuss what these programs do… and that is mess with the registry. The registry is a massive database that the computer uses to keep records on where files are, what files are used by what programs and so on. They even contain information as to how the files are supposed to act. Anything from the screen saver to your background is stored in your registry. When you click on a “.doc” file, the registry is what tells the computer “Hey, this .Doc file is supposed to be opened by Microsoft Word.”

Messing with the registry can have very bad results.

For the sake of my customers, years ago I decided to try a couple of these registry programs. I made the foolish mistake of loading it onto my personal computer, curious to see the results. And as we all know… curiosity killed the computer.

Not only did I get no benefit in terms of speed, but the program actually destroyed critical information pertaining to my icons. I spent hours trying to restore those little boogers – but finally gave up. It was a pointless task to try and sort through the hundreds of thousands of entries stored in the registry to try and find what had been broken.

Now most of the time these programs offer a restore feature. Fortunately for me, the restore was somehow corrupted, leaving me up the creek…
The only way I was able to ultimately fix my icon problem was to format and reload windows on my system which had been running perfectly fine before the use of said programs.

The actual reason for writing this article has to do with a customer that called me a few days ago with a computer that had been working fine… until he started messing with these registry programs and speed boosters. And my first bit of free advice to him was – uninstall that crap and never use it again.

Miscellaneous Danger Placard.