19 Tools to Get the Junk Off Your PC

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Registry Cleanup Tools

The older your PC is, the more junked-up its Registry becomes. Badly written programs (and there are plenty of those around) don't bother to clean the Registry when you uninstall them, and some programs add unnecessary junk to the Registry. The more junked-up your Registry, the more likely it is to crash or slow down your PC.

Wise Registry Cleaner

This freebie does a neat job of cleaning out the junk in your Windows Registry. It scans the Registry, flagging orphaned or bad entries, and shows you the name and values for each. It identifies entries that may be dangerous to delete and those that are safe to delete, so you can distinguish between the two. It also lets you decide which entries to delete, and which to keep. For safety's sake, it can also back up your Registry before a scan, so that you can restore it if the cleanup causes any problems.

Download Wise Registry Cleaner.

Registry Commander

If you're going to get down and dirty and do system cleanup, you may at times want to edit the Registry yourself. In some instances, adding, editing, or deleting Registry keys can help improve system performance. But there's one very big problem with editing the Registry: Windows's Registry Editor is one of the most user-unfriendly programs every created. It lacks something even as basic as a way to bookmark keys or values so that you can easily get back to them for editing.

That's where Registry Commander comes in. This very nice freebie makes it far easier to navigate and edit the Registry. It color-codes Registry keys, so that you can see at a glance which types are available for editing; lets you easily copy and move keys and values; retains a history of your Registry editing, so you can easily retrace what you've done; lets you bookmark Registry keys and values; and plenty more.

Be aware that editing the Registry, no matter what tool you use, can be dangerous, so be careful when using this or any Registry editor.

Download Registry Commander.

AusLogics Registry Defrag

Even if your Windows Registry is relatively clean, it may still slow down your system. That's because, like your hard disk, it gets fragmented over time. When you uninstall programs or make system changes that delete or alter Registry keys, the Registry's actual size doesn't change--even though those keys may be gone--because the Registry retains the space for those keys. So you may suffer from a too-large Registry, which can slow your system.

This simple, free utility promises to solve that problem. It shrinks the size of your Registry, and also makes it more effective by doing a full defragmentation of it. Run the program, and it will tell you how fragmented your Registry is. You then tell the program to do its work, and it defragments the Registry and restarts your PC. It also creates a restore point before doing its work, so that you can restore the Registry if you run into any problems.

Download AusLogics Registry Defrag.

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