How To Clean Invalid Registry Entries on Windows – 10

How-to-clean-invalid-registry-on-Windows

Is your Windows PC sluggish, or does it crash often? Chances are registry garbage or invalid registry entries are causing this behavior. This makes cleaning invalid entries from the Windows registry essential. But how to clean the registry on Windows 10?

Manually cleaning registry entries is not recommended, nor can a layman do it. So, what to do? This is when the registry cleaner software for Windows 10 comes into action. Using them, you can repair and fix registry errors.

Here comes a professional, free registry cleaner for Windows 10 offered by Advanced System Optimizer that will automatically scan for invalid registry entries and will let you clean them with a click.

Download Advanced System Optimizer

What is Windows Registry?

A registry is the central database of the Windows operating system. It comprises the settings, configurations, and options for Windows to function. Every time a program is installed, registry entries linking to the files on the system are created. But when the applications are uninstalled, not all registry entries get deleted.

These entries, over time, clutter the Windows registry and are known as invalid entries. Moreover, they affect the system’s performance, crash it, or result in frequent run-time errors.

Also, the data access time increases, and the system speed is eventually affected. To avoid all these errors, Windows Registry Cleaner is required. They help clean and streamline Windows Registry regularly.

With its advanced scan engine, Registry Cleaner deeply scans through the Windows Registry and identifies invalid, obsolete entries that do not point to valid references on the system.

Must Read : How To Perform Automatic PC Cleaning?

How Does Registry Cleaner help?

Registry, as explained, is a critical part of Windows, and users with no little knowledge should never modify or tamper with it. But, as Windows Registry is constantly used, it accumulates clutter. Hence, Registry Cleaner for Windows 10 can be used to maintain and clean these obsolete entries regularly.

Advanced System Optimizer

How Are Invalid Entries Created?

Reasons for Invalid Registry Entries:

The two most common reasons are:

  • Entries related to uninstalled programs stay in Windows Registry.
  • The entries become invalid when they point to document files, sound files, help files, font files, history files, and application paths that no longer exist on the system or have been moved from their original physical locations.

To deal with this problem and remove such entries, Registry Cleaner uses an expert mechanism that helps distinguish between valid and invalid registry entries. The detected invalid entries/errors can then be wiped out from the Registry and prevent the Registry from being disorganized.

How To Clean Registry Using Registry Cleaner

Registry cleaner

Registry Cleaner has an uncomplicated structure and can be used with ease. It has four tabs on the top, Scan, Undo Changes, Settings, and Schedule, and they have different functionalities.

Registry scanning and cleaning are done under the Scan tab. The unwelcoming changes can be undone under the Undo Changes tab. The Settings tab helps reset the scan settings and add genuine entries to the Exclusion List, and under the Schedule tab, you may schedule automatic unattended Registry scans.

Must Read : How to Deep Clean a PC the Right Way?

Scan Tab

ASO Scan

Under the “Scan” tab, the scanning operation is performed. After that, the scan results are shown, and the detected errors are cleaned in the end.

The left panel of the module explains the cleaning process in 5 easy steps:

Step1: Welcome

Step2: Scan

Step3: Results

Step4: Clean

Step5: Finish

Step1: Welcome

With time, the volume of invalid entries increases and clutters the Registry. Therefore, regular cleaning of the registry to remove invalid entries that might give fatal results in the future is recommended.

From the Welcome screen of the Registry Cleaner, you can scan the registry and get a summary of the last scan performed on the system. The scheduled date and time of the next scan can also be viewed from this screen.

The scanning can be initiated by clicking on the “Start Scan Now” button. Registry Cleaner will then thoroughly scan the Registry and read through each entry and the respective reference it points.

System Summary will also be displayed, showing the details of the Last Scan Date, Last Scan Results, Last Registry Backup, and Next Scheduled Scan.

Step2: Scan

ASO Registy cleaner start

Scanning Registry

The second step shows the scanning progress.

Registry Cleaner checks each Registry section in detail, leaving no loopholes in the process. It is broadly divided into 14 areas and allows canceling the scanning process by clicking the “Stop” button.

ActiveX and COM

An ActiveX and COM is a program that comprises a set of rules that tells how programs should share information. ActiveX and COM components are installed on the system while browsing the internet or installing any application, and as their size increases, the size of the registry also increases. This might contribute to the malfunctioning of many programs on the system, in system crashes, application failures, and loss of information.

Application Paths

Application Paths are system-wide setting Registry keys stored in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Current Version.

Each app path key refers to a file name and a file path of an application installed on the system. Launching an application can directly type the app in Start=>Run instead of typing the complete file path.

Sometimes applications are uninstalled or moved from their original physical locations. In such scenarios, the app paths become invalid, referring to wrong file paths and application file names, thus causing problems while executing other applications. Registry Cleaner identifies such invalid app paths and removes them from Registry.

File Types

Registry stores information regarding all file types, their extensions, attributes, functionalities, and specific actions that can be performed on them one by one. Any file on the system will be associated with a particular file type in context to Registry. Some modifications can create invalid file type entries. Registry Cleaner helps remove such invalid entries from Registry.

Fonts

The registry contains information regarding the installed font types. The key which refers to a specific font type contains its filename and file path. If the paths are edited, or names are changed, invalid entries are created. These can cause problems; therefore, these invalid font entries should be removed from the Registry.

Help Files

Help files create Registry entries referring to the file paths and file names. The moment help files are removed or moved from their original location; these entries become invalid. Registry Cleaner identifies such invalid Help file references existing in Registry and helps to remove them.

History Lists

Registry also stores entries of files and documents accessed recently. The entries become invalid when the files are moved from the original physical location or deleted from the system. Registry Cleaner scans and finds out such orphaned entries and cleans them from Registry.

Shared Files

Registry entries include paths of shared files and program libraries (DLLs) used by various programs. These entries become invalid when they point to the shared files that are moved from the original locations or have been deleted. Registry Cleaner intelligently scans and identifies such invalid Registry entries.

Shortcuts

Program shortcuts are also stored in Registry. Some shortcuts refer to programs that do not exist on a system. Such entries that refer to invalid shortcuts increase the size of the Registry. Registry Cleaner also targets such entries and reports the user of the same.

Software

When a software application is installed on a system, it also creates a few Registry entries storing all the information regarding its configurations and settings. But when these software applications are uninstalled from the system, the associated Registry entries are not removed, thereby cluttering the Registry. It is essential to remove such invalid entries.

Sounds

Registry stores information related to all the sound files on the system. Some entries in the Registry may point to the sound files that do not exist on the system or have been relocated from the original physical locations. Registry Cleaner helps to get rid of invalid sound entries.

Start Menu

Programs in Start Menu are read from Registry before being launched at startup. The Registry entries that refer to startup programs that are moved from the original location or are no longer on the system will become invalid. Registry Cleaner contributes to identifying all such invalid entries and cleans them from the Registry.

Startup

Some programs are scheduled to run at Windows startup. The registry maintains the entries of such programs. In many cases, the entries become invalid, pointing to programs that are no longer on the system or are moved from their original physical locations. Registry Cleaner finds the invalid entries that bloat the Registry and reports the user.

Deep Scan

Deep Scan is a more comprehensive model of scanning and thus takes longer. It scans everything in the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE Registry hive and identifies more erroneous entries pointing to invalid data references in comparison to any other type of scanning.

Current User

Current User refers to the profile of the user contained in HKEY_CURRENT_USER currently logged on to the computer system. The user profile includes environment variables, personal program group settings, desktop settings, network connection settings, printer settings, and application preference settings. Registry Cleaner will identify erroneous entries in the HKEY_CURRENT_USER subtree and inform the user of the same.

Step3: Results

Scan Results

ASO Registy issue found

Once the scanning is done, the number of errors detected under each category/area is shown separately. The details can be viewed by clicking on the link “Details” or the category headings. You may click the “Fix All Issues” button to remove all detected errors. To go back to the Welcome screen and rescan Registry for errors, click the “Scan Again” button.

When you click on the category headings or click on the“Details” link, in either of the cases, the details of the errors detected can be viewed in a separate window. Corresponding to each erroneous Registry entry, a checkbox is positioned. You may checkmark the entries to be deleted or select the option “Select All” to select all entries in one go. After you finish selecting, you may then click on the “OK” button to continue.

Step4: Clean

ASO registy cleaner process

Cleaning Registry

The selected errors in the previous step are cleaned from the Registry, and an automatic backup is taken as a precaution. In case the changes are not satisfactory, the backups can be restored using the options under the “Undo Changes” tab.

The cleaning process can be stopped at any point by clicking on the “Stop Cleaning” button.

Note: Although changes can be undone, one must be very careful before deleting Registry entries from the system.

Step5: Finish

Registry Cleanup Summary

ASO registy issu found

In the last step, the cleanup summary shows the details viz, Scan Results, Issues Repaired, and Issues Remaining to be repaired.

You may click on the “Scan Again” button to rescan the Registry for errors, and the “Finish” button takes you back to the Welcome screen, where again, you may choose to rescan the Registry.

Undo Changes Tab

ASO partial backup

Registry Cleaner facilitates with an option to undo changes. Each time a change is done in the Registry, a backup is automatically taken. Without fail, the current backup should be taken to revert to any of the best-known configuration if needed.

Must Read : Best Way to Optimize Memory and Manage System Cache

Backups can be taken in two ways:

Partial Backups

Following the scanning process, all detected errors/selected errors may be removed from the Registry. But before any action is taken, a backup of the erroneous entries should be taken.

The list of all such backups taken from time to time can be viewed under the section “Partial Backups” (accessible from the left panel).

To restore any partial backup item from the list, you may select the item and click on the “Restore” button, and to remove the unwanted items click on the “Delete” button.

Full Backups

ASO Full Backup

This undo option helps back up the entire Registry before changes are attempted in it. The full backup can be restored, and the system can be reverted to the last known good configuration in case the changes made in the Registry crop up serious issues.

You may click on the button “Take Full Registry Backup” to take the backup of the whole Registry.

The list of the full backups taken previously can be viewed under the section “Full Backups” (accessible from the left panel).

To restore any full backup item from the list, you may select the item and click on the “Restore” button, and to remove the unwanted items click on the “Delete” button.

Settings Tab

Settings tab lets you change the default settings. The left panel shows two items:

Scan Settings

ASO Registy scan

The registry has been divided into 14 areas/categories. During the scan, by default, all the areas are scanned. You may change the default settings, select the areas as per your need and preferences. All the selected areas will then be scanned by excluding the unchecked areas during the Registry scanning operation.

Changes in the default settings can be applied by clicking on the “Apply” button.

The original/default settings can be restored by clicking on the “Restore Defaults” button.

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Exclusion List

aso Exclusion list

Registry Cleaner includes an Exclusion list where the Registry entries added are meant to be skipped while scanning. The Registry entries considered to be genuine can be added to the list. The specified entries will not be scanned and marked as errors until removed from the list.

Skip entries referring to Removable Media (Recommended)

It is recommended that this option remains checked during the Registry scan.

Explanation: When Removable Media is attached to the system, some associated entries are created in the Registry. When the Removable Media is removed, these associated entries become invalid. But these entries may be required when the Removable Media is re-attached. Therefore, it is highly recommended that such entries should be ignored when Registry Cleaner is scanning for errors. To do this, please keep this option checked and save these entries to be detected as errors.

Schedule Tab

ASO schedule registyr

For a system to run smoothly, the registry should be constantly monitored and made free from invalid entries that clutter. This helps maintain consistency in system speed and performance. Hence, Registry cleaning is regularly recommended.

Scheduler helps to schedule automatic Registry scans. This important task will be done on the predefined day, date, and time without bothering to remember. This is a helpful mechanism as we might skip doing this quite often.

You may set the time of the scan by using the various options given.

Options to schedule scan:

“Every Day”

OR

“Run Once”

OR

“Every Week”

OR

“Do Not Schedule” scan (undo the scheduled scans)

Using these simple steps and this best free registry cleaner, I hope you have learned how to clean the Windows registries. Do share your feedback and suggestions in the comments section below.  If you have any questions regarding the product, email our support team at support@systweak.com.

Must Read : How To Wipe Hard Drive Completely?

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About The Author

Preeti Seth
Preeti Seth

A UX writer who loves explaining technical details in a clear, crisp, and concise manner. She loves writing about technical troubleshooting, How-To's, product reviews, etc. In her free time, she loves reading, meditating, and traveling.

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