Registry Questions

Dear Computer Lady,

What is the Windows XP registry? How can you see how it works, and is there anyway to clean it up if necessary?

Are there any decent programs available to clean it up?

Thank you in advance for your assistance.
Respectfully, Robert

Dear Robert,

The Registry is part of almost every version of Windows, the only exception was Windows 3.1 many, many years ago. The registry is simply a large database of settings that your computer needs to run smoothly. It holds information about your hardware, and settings that you can change.

Microsoft did not create the registry for the average computer user to access directly. Instead, they created the Control Panel as a way for users to make changes to many of the settings that are contained in the registry.

You can take a look at all the settings in your registry, but before I tell you how to do that, I must warn you that making any changes directly to the registry can be dangerous and result in your computer not working at all!

Windows comes with a program called the Registry Editor. You can access this program in XP by going to “Run” and then typing in “regedit”. In Windows Vista and Windows 7, just tap the windows logo key and type, “regedit” (don’t type the quotation marks).

When the registry editor opens, you can then look through all the settings. Again, don’t change ANYTHING unless you know what you are doing!

Most of the time, a computer will run fine for years without needing to have the registry cleaned out. If you think you need to clean yours up, try using a program like

CCleaner at:
Or Registry Mechanic at:
[ad#Registry Mechanic]

CCleaner is a free program that is made for cleaning out temporary files, but also includes a lightregistry editor, while Registry Mechanic is a paid program that is made just for optimizing your registry.

I hope this answered all your questions.


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