I just noticed that the Windows Registry on one of our computers is 180 MB (when exported to a .reg file). That seem large enough to cause a performance issue. That registry is probably 4 years old.

I'm thinking of using a Registry Cleaner, assuming I can find a good one.

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  • Grats for having a working pc that hasn't been re-formatted/rebuilt after 4 years! Formats FTW. – Pure.Krome May 20 '09 at 0:39
  • Just a side note, the registry itself is not as big as .reg files. Actually it's much smaller, as it is a memory dump (the registry is an abysmal format). – Camilo Martin Feb 2 '12 at 20:32

I use Ccleaner

It removes crap in addition to cleaning up the registry. It's free and easy to use.

I use this along with ATF-Cleaner whenever I touch a family member's computer.


New rule: everyone must stop cleaning their registries. It is completely unnecessary and can inadvertently cause problems. Registry scanning as part of malware detection is one thing, but letting software "clean up" erroneous entries is risky. Address specific problems individually.

Rant over. ;)

  • I agree. I think there's too much risk of doing more harm than good. I would rather rebuild the machine and add back in just the necessary software. – user640 May 19 '09 at 21:26
  • Agreed. If I'm providing support for a customer and see a ccleaner shortcut on the desktop, if it's a non-obvious problem I'll just blame ccleaner and tell them to format/reinstall :) – saschabeaumont May 19 '09 at 23:29

Are you experiencing any performance issues? I'd recommend running SpyBot Search & Destroy as it will scan the system for malware, and also has good tools for fixing registry inconsistencies and cleaning up a variety of other things within Windows, and it's free.

  • No, I'm not having performance issues. I just thought a registry that big was a bad idea. – Clay Nichols May 19 '09 at 21:31

Agreeing with Thoreau, CCleaner is probably your best bet and a trusted solution.

However, after 4 years, you might want to start thinking of just rebuilding to PC, it is a huge pain for some computers, but the results in the end exceed whatever registry cleaning or PC cleanup that you can do.

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