Third-party clean-up tools – including CCleaner – include Registry cleaning tools, with the promise of streamlining and speeding up Windows. These tools scan areas of the Registry for supposedly redundant Registry entries, offering to delete them with one click. Hundreds or even thousands of entries get removed at a time, but even if your cleaning tool doesn’t accidentally delete an important Registry entry (and it will sooner or later), Registry cleaning offers no benefit to performance whatsoever.
You can potentially improve performance – but not by much – by defragging the Registry files (known as ‘hives’) using a dedicated tool, such as Registry Defrag Free (www. registry-clean.net/freeregistry-defrag.htm). It’ll analyse the Registry and tell you if significant ‘bloating’ has taken place; if it has (more than 10%), you can take a Restore Point then let the program compress and defrag the files.
If you’re running Windows on an SSD, however, there’s little benefit in defragging the files. In most cases, you’ll also find that Windows has done a reasonable job of keeping the hives in good order, making the process redundant.
On rare occasions, you’ll see that the Registry needs defragging – in most cases, however, Free Registry Defrag will tell you it’s not required.