Solved How to Clean the Registry


MrWho

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I installed a program and a few days later uninstalled it.
It left a lot of residue in the registry. Is there a good safe way to clean the registry?
 

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FrancoDT

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One of the reasons I like to use Revo Uninstaller as it allows you to clean up the residual program traces from your registry as you do the uninstall. As far as reg cleaning I've never had any problems with Wise Care 365. However, most experts say you really don't need to do reg cleaning and that the residual stuff doesn't hurt anything.
 

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    Microsoft Surface Laptop 3
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    Intel Core i7-1065G7 (Ice Lake)
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Bree

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I installed a program and a few days later uninstalled it.
It left a lot of residue in the registry. Is there a good safe way to clean the registry?
It wouldn't do any harm to leave it there. But if you want to remove it Revo Unistaller can find and remove such leftovers.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

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    Windows 11 Home
    Computer type
    Laptop
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    Acer Aspire 3 A315-23
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    AMD Athlon Silver 3050U
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    8GB
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    1366x768 native resolution, up to 2560x1440 with Radeon Virtual Super Resolution
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    fully 'Windows 11 ready' laptop. Windows 10 C: partition migrated from my old unsupported 'main machine' then upgraded to 11. A test migration ran Insider builds for 2 months. When 11 was released on 5th October it was re-imaged back to 10 and was offered the upgrade in Windows Update on 20th October.


    My SYSTEM THREE is a Dell Latitude 5410, i7-10610U, 32GB RAM, 512GB ssd, Windows 11 Pro.
  • Operating System
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    Dell Lattitude E4310
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    i5 M 520
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    unsupported machine: Legacy bios, MBR, TPM 1.2, upgraded from W10 to W11 using W10/W11 hybrid install media workaround.


    My SYSTEM THREE is a Dell Latitude 5410, i7-10610U, 32GB RAM, 512GB ssd, Windows 11 Pro.

Archigos

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As Bree said, it probably won't hurt to leave it, but if you want to remove it, make sure you install Revo, run that, and if it doesn't show anything, REINSTALL the 'crap' software so Revo detects it, then have Revo remove it a second time and it 'should' clean up the remaining files, reg entries, etc.
 

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    Windows 11 Pro β
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    HP Pavilion Laptop 15-eg0070wm
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    Intel® Core™ i7-1165G7
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    16 GB DDR4-3200 SDRAM
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    Intel® Iris® Xᵉ Graphics
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    512 GB PCIe® NVMe™ M.2 SSD
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    Apple iMac 27" 5K (2017)
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Porthos

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A few recommended articles to read on registry cleaners:

Registry cleaners are not supported by Microsoft

"Microsoft cannot guarantee that problems resulting from the use of a registry cleaning utility can be solved. Issues caused by these utilities may not be repairable and lost data may not be recoverable"



In most cases regardless of which Registry Cleaning tool you use it's not going to outright break Windows from booting or running. Normally the damage done is rarely seen or even attributed to the cleaning. How it can sometimes manifest itself is with an application simply not behaving as it used to, a program feature that no longer launches. In some cases on a computer with detailed auditing enabled it can show errors that were not there prior to the cleaning, but again these are typically things that would be nearly impossible to know after the fact what caused it.

The bottom line is WHY are you cleaning the Registry? The system can typically read through the entire Registry in under a minute, but that is not how software reads, writes to the Registry. It makes a specific call to a location where it expects its configuration to be or where it needs to possibly interface with other COM objects to complete an operation and can typically make that read in milliseconds. Reading all the keys for my HKCU hive took 249 ms with a total of 21047 keys. So how is removing a dozen or a few dozen going to really help speed up my computer?

If you can show proof positive 100% that some value in the Registry is actually causing an issue then change or remove THAT entry. Not hundreds or dozens of entries because someone that has been programming for a few years now somehow feels they or their team know the Billions of possible values and every single one that is good or bad and can automate fixing it. Sorry but I call BS, no one knows every single entry and what it means let alone if its good or bad.
 

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z3r010

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It left a lot of residue in the registry. Is there a good safe way to clean the registry?
No, just leave it alone and forget about it, cleaning the registry is not needed, and more often than not does more harm than good.
 

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    doofenshmirtz evil incorporated
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    Ryzen 9 5950X
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    Asus ROG Crosshair VIII Formula
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    Corsair Vengeance RGB PRO Black 64GB (4x16GB) 3600MHz AMD Ryzen Tuned DDR4
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    Windows 10
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    Surface Laptop
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    i7

cereberus

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A few recommended articles to read on registry cleaners:

Registry cleaners are not supported by Microsoft

"Microsoft cannot guarantee that problems resulting from the use of a registry cleaning utility can be solved. Issues caused by these utilities may not be repairable and lost data may not be recoverable"



In most cases regardless of which Registry Cleaning tool you use it's not going to outright break Windows from booting or running. Normally the damage done is rarely seen or even attributed to the cleaning. How it can sometimes manifest itself is with an application simply not behaving as it used to, a program feature that no longer launches. In some cases on a computer with detailed auditing enabled it can show errors that were not there prior to the cleaning, but again these are typically things that would be nearly impossible to know after the fact what caused it.

The bottom line is WHY are you cleaning the Registry? The system can typically read through the entire Registry in under a minute, but that is not how software reads, writes to the Registry. It makes a specific call to a location where it expects its configuration to be or where it needs to possibly interface with other COM objects to complete an operation and can typically make that read in milliseconds. Reading all the keys for my HKCU hive took 249 ms with a total of 21047 keys. So how is removing a dozen or a few dozen going to really help speed up my computer?

If you can show proof positive 100% that some value in the Registry is actually causing an issue then change or remove THAT entry. Not hundreds or dozens of entries because someone that has been programming for a few years now somehow feels they or their team know the Billions of possible values and every single one that is good or bad and can automate fixing it. Sorry but I call BS, no one knows every single entry and what it means let alone if its good or bad.
There is a big difference between tools that just clean up leftovers from installations like Revo Uninstaller versus those that do a lot more dangerous cleaning like Ccleaner.
 

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Ghot

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I don't buy into the "it won't hurt to leave it there", mythos.
Registry leftovers are pretty much like "dust" you find around the house.
A little bit here and there... no problem. BUT, over time it will build up and become a problem.

Registry leftovers will become a problem, sooner or later.
So far, as others have mentioned... Revo Uninstaller (even the free version), is about the best solution out there, for cleaning up program removal leftovers.

Have Windows and program uninstallers, gotten better about cleaning up after themselves? Yes.
Can it stay ahead of the... dust? For a little while. But it still won't replace a cleaner of some kind.


/edit
The people that say registry leftovers aren't a problem, are the same people that reinstall Windows 2-3 times a year.

/edit2
Keep in mind that some programs are better than others at cleaning up after themselves.
Some... seriously don't care how much junk they leave behind.

/edit3
Are registry cleaners dangerous? YES. Use backup software always.
 
Last edited:

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    Built by Ghot® [May 2020]
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    AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
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    Asus Pro WS X570-ACE
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    G.Skill (F4-3200C14D-16GTZKW)
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    2x Samsung 860 EVO 500GB,
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    AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ (OC'd @ 3.2Ghz)
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    Still assembled, still runs. Haven't turned it on for 13 years?

    http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?183088-5000-B-E-on-M2N32-SLI-Dlx-Overclocked&p=2891724#post2891724

Winuser

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There is a big difference between tools that just clean up leftovers from installations like Revo Uninstaller versus those that do a lot more dangerous cleaning like Ccleaner.
IMHO, it's not the reg cleaner program but the person that is using it. When I use to use CCleaner I would only remove entries that pointed to software that I knew for sure I had deleted. If one just starts deleting entries haphazardly then they can run into problems.
 

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    Windows 11
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    PowerSpec B746
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    Intel Core i7-10700K
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    ASRock Z490 Phantom Gaming 4/ax
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    16GB (8GB PC4-19200 DDR4 SDRAM x2)
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    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 TI
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    Realtek Audio
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    Samsung SAM0A87 Samsung SAM0D32
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    1920 x 1080
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    NVMe WDC WDS100T2B0C-00PXH0 1TB
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    PowerSpec/Lian Li ATX 205
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    Logitech K270
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    Logitech M185
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    Microsoft Edge and Firefox
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    ESET Internet Security
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    Windows 11 Dev
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    HP Envy x360 15-ds1083cl
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    AMD Ryzen 7 4700U 2.0GHZ
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    16 MB DDR 4-2666
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Winuser

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Most people that say registry leftovers aren't a problem,
are the same people that reinstall Windows 2-3 times a year.
(y)
 

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System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11
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    PC/Desktop
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    PowerSpec B746
    CPU
    Intel Core i7-10700K
    Motherboard
    ASRock Z490 Phantom Gaming 4/ax
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    16GB (8GB PC4-19200 DDR4 SDRAM x2)
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    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 TI
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    Realtek Audio
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    Samsung SAM0A87 Samsung SAM0D32
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    1920 x 1080
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    NVMe WDC WDS100T2B0C-00PXH0 1TB
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    ESET Internet Security
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    Laptop
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    HP Envy x360 15-ds1083cl
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    AMD Ryzen 7 4700U 2.0GHZ
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    16 MB DDR 4-2666
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    AMD Radeon
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MrWho

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I appreciate the answers. My decision is to just leave things as they are now, and if I suspect the leftover crap is causing problems later, I will try the Reveo Uninstaller app.
Thank you, everybody!
 

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  • OS
    Windows 11
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    Manufacturer/Model
    Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd.
    CPU
    11th Gen Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-11700F @ 2.50GH
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd.
    Memory
    Installed Physical Memory (RAM) 16.0 GB
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    Windows

mackie

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I don't buy into the "it won't hurt to leave it there", mythos.
Registry leftovers are pretty much like "dust" you find around the house.
A little bit here and there... no problem. BUT, over time it will build up and become a problem.

Registry leftovers will become a problem, sooner or later.
So far, as others have mentioned... Revo Uninstaller (even the free version), is about the best solution out there, for cleaning up program removal leftovers.

Have Windows and program uninstallers, gotten better about cleaning up after themselves? Yes.
Can it stay ahead of the... dust? For a little while. But it still won't replace a cleaner of some kind.


/edit
The people that say registry leftovers aren't a problem, are the same people that reinstall Windows 2-3 times a year.

/edit2
Keep in mind that some programs are better than others at cleaning up after themselves.
Some... seriously don't care how much junk they leave behind.

/edit3
Are registry cleaners dangerous? YES. Use backup software always.
I agree. Also, do some programs leave their bits & pieces laying around anticipating we'll be back..... or for other reasons? I've lways wondered about that.
 

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    Dell Optiplex 960
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    Intel Core 2 Duo CPU E8400 @ 3.00 GHz x 2
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    8 GB
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Ghot

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I agree. Also, do some programs leave their bits & pieces laying around anticipating we'll be back..... or for other reasons? I've lways wondered about that.


Oh yeah.
Two of the worst programs for doing that are anything Google, and anything Malwarebytes.
I'm not saying their programs are bad... just that they leave TONS of leftovers, even when uninstalled properly.

Malwarebytes isn't near as bad as Google at leaving leftovers, but it does leave a bunch.

Let's say you run... Google Chrome.
Let's say Windows weighs seven pounds with Chrome installed.
After you uninstall Chrome... Windows weighs eight pounds!

Now if you use Revo to uninstall Chrome, then Windows will properly weigh 6.5 pounds when Chrome is removed.



Note1: Google doesn't leave any leftovers, by accident. It's 100% on purpose.

Note2: Windows doesn't "weigh" anything. That was just an analogy. :cool:
 
Last edited:

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Win 11 Home ♦♦♦22000.675
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Built by Ghot® [May 2020]
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
    Motherboard
    Asus Pro WS X570-ACE
    Memory
    G.Skill (F4-3200C14D-16GTZKW)
    Graphics Card(s)
    EVGA RTX 2070 (08G-P4-2171-KR)
    Sound Card
    (onboard) Realtek ALC1220P / ALC S1220A
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Dell U3011 30"
    Screen Resolution
    2560 x 1600
    Hard Drives
    2x Samsung 860 EVO 500GB,
    WD 4TB Black FZBX - SATA III,
    WD 8TB Black FZBX - SATA III,
    LG GH22LS30 CD/DVD Burner
    PSU
    PC Power & Cooling 750W Quad EPS12V
    Case
    COOLER MASTER ATCS 840 Full Tower
    Cooling
    CM Hyper 212 EVO (push/pull)
    Keyboard
    Ducky DK9008 Shine II Blue LED
    Mouse
    Logitech Optical M-100
    Internet Speed
    100/100
    Browser
    Firefox (latest)
    Antivirus
    Bitdefender Internet Security (latest)
    Other Info
    Speakers: Klipsch Pro Media 2.1
  • Operating System
    Windows XP Pro 32bit w/SP3
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Built by Ghot®
    CPU
    AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ (OC'd @ 3.2Ghz)
    Motherboard
    ASUS M2N32-SLI Deluxe Wireless Edition
    Memory
    TWIN2X2048-6400C4DHX (2 x 1GB, DDR2 800)
    Graphics card(s)
    EVGA 256-P2-N758-TR GeForce 8600GT SSC
    Sound Card
    Onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    ViewSonic G90FB Black 19" Professional (CRT)
    Screen Resolution
    up to 2048 x 1536
    Hard Drives
    WD 36GB 10,000rpm Raptor SATA
    Seagate 80GB 7200rpm SATA
    Lite-On LTR-52246S CD/RW
    Lite-On LH-18A1P CD/DVD Burner
    PSU
    PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750 Quad EPS12V
    Case
    Generic Beige case, 80mm fans
    Cooling
    ZALMAN 9500A 92mm CPU Cooler
    Mouse
    Logitech Optical M-BT96a
    Keyboard
    Logitech Classic Keybooard 200
    Internet Speed
    100/100
    Browser
    Firefox 3.x ??
    Antivirus
    Symantec (Norton)
    Other Info
    Still assembled, still runs. Haven't turned it on for 13 years?

    http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?183088-5000-B-E-on-M2N32-SLI-Dlx-Overclocked&p=2891724#post2891724

Winuser

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do some programs leave their bits & pieces laying around anticipating we'll be back..... or for other reasons?
I think it's because they didn't put much effort into making the uninstaller for the program.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    PowerSpec B746
    CPU
    Intel Core i7-10700K
    Motherboard
    ASRock Z490 Phantom Gaming 4/ax
    Memory
    16GB (8GB PC4-19200 DDR4 SDRAM x2)
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 TI
    Sound Card
    Realtek Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Samsung SAM0A87 Samsung SAM0D32
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    NVMe WDC WDS100T2B0C-00PXH0 1TB
    Samsung SSD 860 EVO 1TB
    PSU
    750 Watts (62.5A)
    Case
    PowerSpec/Lian Li ATX 205
    Keyboard
    Logitech K270
    Mouse
    Logitech M185
    Browser
    Microsoft Edge and Firefox
    Antivirus
    ESET Internet Security
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Dev
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Envy x360 15-ds1083cl
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 7 4700U 2.0GHZ
    Memory
    16 MB DDR 4-2666
    Graphics card(s)
    AMD Radeon
    Monitor(s) Displays
    15.6"
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    PCIe NVMe M.2 512GB
    Browser
    Firefox, Edge and Edge Canary
    Antivirus
    ESET Internet Security

mackie

Member
Local time
11:20 PM
Posts
89
Location
Maryland U.S.
OS
Windows 11/Linux Mint
I've tried a lot of browsers, and many are notorious for the 'incomplete uninstall' also.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11/Linux Mint
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Optiplex 960
    CPU
    Intel Core 2 Duo CPU E8400 @ 3.00 GHz x 2
    Memory
    8 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel 4 Series Chipset Integrated Graphics Controller
    Monitor(s) Displays
    HP x22LED
    Hard Drives
    Crucial 250 GB SSD

cereberus

Well-known member
Power User
VIP
Local time
4:20 AM
Posts
1,691
OS
Windows 10 Pro + others in VHDs
I use Soft Organiser (I bought a licence after using it on a permanent free licence offer but although it was permanent, you did not get updates). It works really well and shows you everything before you commit.

Maybe it is just me, but if I see a really useful and well supported tool, at a reasonable price, I am happy to pay for it.

Having said that, Minitool Partition Wizard Free is useful, but the cost of a pro licence is far beyond its additional benefit (in my personal opinion). The only paid feature I would use is copying system partitions but I do that with Macrium Reflect. By contrast, the paid version of Macrium Reflect adds a lot of extra functionality, and is well worth it (especially with the "traditional" Black Friday deals of 50% off (inc 4 licence packs).
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Pro + others in VHDs
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    ASUS Vivobook 14
    CPU
    I7
    Motherboard
    Yep, Laptop has one.
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Integrated Intel Iris XE
    Sound Card
    Realtek built in
    Monitor(s) Displays
    N/A
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    1 TB Optane NVME SSD, 1 TB NVME SSD
    PSU
    Yep, got one
    Case
    Yep, got one
    Cooling
    Stella Artois
    Keyboard
    Built in
    Mouse
    Bluetooth , wired
    Internet Speed
    72 Mb/s :-(
    Browser
    Edge mostly
    Antivirus
    Defender
    Other Info
    TPM 2.0

Archigos

Well-known member
Power User
Local time
11:20 PM
Posts
371
Location
Upstate New York
OS
Windows 11 Pro β
@cereberus I just installed Soft Organiser and it seems great... that's for the name drop. :wink:
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro β
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Pavilion Laptop 15-eg0070wm
    CPU
    Intel® Core™ i7-1165G7
    Memory
    16 GB DDR4-3200 SDRAM
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel® Iris® Xᵉ Graphics
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    512 GB PCIe® NVMe™ M.2 SSD
  • Operating System
    macOS Big Sur
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Apple iMac 27" 5K (2017)
    CPU
    3.4 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5
    Memory
    40 GB 2400 MHz DDR4
    Graphics card(s)
    Radeon Pro 570 4 GB
    Monitor(s) Displays
    27" 5K, 34" UW
    Screen Resolution
    Mon 1: 5120 × 2880 Mon 2: 2560 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    32GB NVME, 1TB SSD

FrancoDT

Well-known member
Member
VIP
Local time
8:20 PM
Posts
244
Location
Nevada
OS
Windows 11
I've only used a couple reputable reg cleaners, one use to be ccleaner but with the changes and bad press calling it a PUA I switched to Wise Registry Cleaner and from that to Wise Care 365, free versions. Never had a problem with either doing moderate level reg cleaning. To be honest all my problems have always come from Windows updates, bad driver updates, or app and program software updates.

PS, While I've never noticed any harm I can't say I've noticed any improvements cleaning the registry either. Us OCD types just like to keep everything clean and tidy lol.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Alienware M17 R3
    CPU
    Intel Core i7-10750H (Comet Lake)
    Motherboard
    Alienware
    Memory
    32GB DDR4
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 and Intel UHD Graphics
    Sound Card
    Realtek ALC3281-CG
    Monitor(s) Displays
    17"
    Screen Resolution
    3840x2160
    Hard Drives
    Micron 2300 NVMe 1TB
    PC SN530 NVMe WDC 512GB
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3
    Internet Speed
    50mbps
    Browser
    Vivaldi and Firefox
    Antivirus
    MS Defender and Malwarebytes Free
  • Operating System
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Microsoft Surface Laptop 3
    CPU
    Intel Core i7-1065G7 (Ice Lake)
    Motherboard
    Microsoft Corp.
    Memory
    16GB DDR4
    Graphics card(s)
    Intel Iris Plus Graphics
    Sound Card
    Omnisonic Speakers with Dolby Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    13.5” PixelSense Touchscreen Display
    Screen Resolution
    2256x1504
    Hard Drives
    Toshiba Memory 512GB
    Internet Speed
    50 mbps
    Browser
    Vivaldi and Firefox
    Antivirus
    MS Defender and Malwarebytes Free
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