Clean Registry

Want to keep a lean, clean Registry? Understand that the computer software collector’s mentality is the primary cause of Registry problems.

Say what?

Safe computing habits promote Registry protection. Most every installed application makes hits, deposits, and withdrawals against this primary Windows database. Digital computer clutter grows and accumulates: in the Registry, on the hard drives, and in system memory. Software is added and though it may be quickly removed consequences tend to remain in the Registry. Data holes develop. Empty Keys add confusion. Dll errors seep in. Computer problems follow.

In a world of computer widget lovers, the Registry becomes a tromping ground for Malware, spyware, and virus routines. All software is a risk, even Microsoft products. Custom Internet Tool bars abound. Fancy, pretty, and exciting screen savers leap out to the mind and imagination of both child and adult. Weather busters and games combine into master art shows designed to capture your download trigger finger.

Dead Space: How To Burst Free of The Software Collector’s Mentality.

Though some system tools can perform a file scan for unused software, we are going to carry out a hand crafted, program usefulness analyses. Part of keeping a clean Registry is in always having an awareness of what applications are installed on your system. This is a first step in computer behavior management.

Pause for a moment. Relax. Settle your mind. Now make ready pen and paper.

Without looking at the Program Manager or the screen icons, write down the names of every application that you deliberately click and run on a daily basic. On the bottom of that list, write down the names of the programs that you run once a week. Do the same for the once a month applications.

Don’t start looking at icons and managers yet. Some applications are pre-programmed to execute upon system startup: virus software, Registry tools, audio applications, and the like. On your paper, skip a few spaces and then write down the names of software that you know runs without your personal intervention.

Now count your items. Are you surprised by the small size of the list?

Left click on Start. Point at Programs. How does your personal list compare to the Program display? Do you see folders and applications that have not been opened since they were first installed?

Now make an exception for linked files such as Quicktime, Windows Media Player, and other applications that you may have forgotten to list merely because they run by default. Study the Program listing, and on a separate paper record all the items that did not make the first list. Be sure to check within individual folders; some contain multiple applications.

Let the Programs listing close. Minimize any open windows. Use the icons on the desktop to create a third list of items that do not fall into either of the earlier records. Are you starting to see the image of a software collector?

Making Hard Decisions: How To End The Hoarding.

Warning: know what you are uninstalling, where it came from, and what it does. When uncertain of an application’s function, search out the file name on the Internet. This should make clear any program that is Windows system specific.

Though I cannot pick the unused files for you, I can motivate you into trimming away some of the excess program and Registry weight.

It begins by understanding that the refrigerator is always stocked. Because we fear the unknown future, we hoard software. But modern applications come through two sources: portable media and Internet. In either event, if we own the rights to the software we have access to a restore process. The time that we spend waiting on an overcrowded hard drive to pump up what we need, the risk of system crash that we endure due to a bloated Registry, and the waiting due to RAM congestion can be applied toward future reinstall efforts.

Dumping The Waste.

After identifying unused software, confirm via Internet that it is indeed a mere add-on package, and then get rid of it.

· Start first in the Programs listing.
· Locate the file in question.
· Look for an attached uninstall option. If you find one, click it and follow the prompts.
· If prompted for a system restart, do so.
· Move to the next fatty file on your list.

If there was no uninstall option available through the Program listings, you will need to run the Window’s uninstalled feature: Start, Settings, Control Panel, Programs and Features (Fig. 1).

· Locate and then right click on the fatty tissue (the program).
· From the list of options, Uninstall, Change, or Repair chose Uninstall.
· Confirm the request (Fig. 2)
· Follow the prompts to finish.
· Close the Programs and Features window.
· If prompted for a system restart, do so.
· Address the next fatty file on your list.

When you have finished setting your system free of the unused space wasters, download a free or purchased Registry cleaning software. Install it and run it twice. Do not leave it set as memory resident. Do not program it to execute upon system restart. Every access and modification of the Registry is a point of possible failure.

If you want system speed, run only what you need and only when you need it.