Simply put, the Windows registry is a directory which contains keys and values that hold data necessary for the operating system, software and hardware to work properly. The registry contains, for the most part software settings and configurations that would otherwise be scattered around the system as .INI files.
When you install a new piece of hardware (or software for that matter) a new set of keys and values are created within the registry. Sometimes software applications which are poorly coded may alter values within the registry that could affect the way your computer works.
To illustrate this point we can provide the example of spyware applications that change or alter the behavior of other applications within your system such as your browser. The worst-case scenario is that when a user tries to remove a spyware/adware program he will be able to complete this task successfully but because the spyware program has already altered certain keys and values in the registry which is the underlying settings for the Web browser (or Internet access) the user will no longer be able to use the application that was bundled with the spyware/adware and as a terrible side affect the user will not be able to gain access the Internet either.
Since bad registry keys and values can affect the performance of the operating system and other applications within it, registry repair applications have been developed to look for registry entries that are no longer needed (because the software/hardware may have been uninstalled) and repair conflicting or redundant registry values. At this point some PC users may be thinking of doing a registry cleanup and tune-up manually; advanced PC users will definitely know what software and hardware has recently been uninstalled and removed therefore they will try to alter the registry manually.
While the registry can be tuned up manually, it can be quite a hassle because of its sheer size. So to automate the process one can use a registry cleaner, this will be a far more efficient way to address the problem. Most registry cleaning applications provide a list of possible entries that may be in direct conflict with other values that will in turn affect the performance of your system, after the software has scanned the registry you can manually select which item to remove, which ones to repair and which ones to leave untouched.
Registry repair software has been programmed to identify the most common registry values that are created by malware and after the registry has been scanned, the suspicious keys and values will be displayed in the report to show users which entries were removed along with a short explanation.
Windows registry repair options
— Live OneCare: this is a program which was developed by Microsoft to provide the end-user all the benefits of having a security center and PC tuneup application that can increase the speed of the operating system by removing unnecessary and suspicious registry entries. This software program includes a Antivirus, anti-spyware, firewall and backup/restore functions.
— PC Tools Registry mechanic: this is an application developed by PC Tools that is intended to be used by people who want to increase the performance of their system by finding unnecessary registry entries and repairing those that may be damaged.
There are many more software applications that have been designed to clean and solve registry problems. Some of them are: Registry fix, Clean MyPC, Registry first aid, advanced Registry, ACE Utilities, Advanced System , Fix it Utilities, and many more.
Regardless of which software application you choose, make sure that you first make a backup of your registry before you go and make any changes that will potentially alter the way your system behaves. If the application doesn’t offer a way for you to backup your registry then it would be wise to do a quick Google search and get some additional feedback on the different ways you can backup your windows registry before any changes are made.