As you browse the internet you might find yourself bombarded with advertisements and pop-ups for registry cleaners, computer tune-up programs, PC Boosters and so on. Often these ads will try to show you that your computer is full of errors. So what’s the deal? Do you need these programs? Do they help?
Y-Not Tech Services knows how annoying a slow computer can be. When we first look at a new client’s PC we often see a collection of software and programs the owner has installed over time trying to get their machine to run faster.
What is a Registry Cleaner?
To understand what a Registry Cleaner is and what it claims to do, we first need a basic understanding of what the Registry is. The Windows Registry is a collection of settings that govern nearly every part of your computer – from your desktop to installed programs and how it all works together. The Registry is a vitally important part of your computer. If it is corrupted or incorrectly modified it can have disastrous results on your PC.
So you might be thinking, “OK, it’s so important – I should definitely have a program cleaning it up for me!” That kind of thinking is understandable, but with the Registry being so important, do you really want some random program making changes to it? You really don’t.
Here are 3 reasons you don’t want a Registry Cleaning Program making changes:
- Microsoft Recommends against it
- The Registry doesn’t need to be cleaned – leftover entries don’t negatively affect performance
- Trained Computer Technicians only make changes to the Registry when absolutely needed – and they make sure to have a backup in place before any changes are made
What Do Registry Cleaners Do?
The cleaners you see advertised online and in pop-ups are seldom legitimate. Some of them will show you a bunch of serious-looking errors they ‘found’ on your computer and prompt you to enter your Credit Card info to pay to ‘fix’ the errors. If you’re lucky they will only charge the amount they claim to. Worse, some are outright malicious! Stealing your credit card information and maxing out your card, or installing malware and viruses on your computer to steal your data and cause even more issues on your machine.
There are some Registry Cleaners that do simply attempt to clean your Registry. Ccleaner comes to mind as a popular program we see on many machines. And it usually doesn’t do anything malicious. It still doesn’t produce any real, measurable advantages or performance improvements. There’s also been instances where the program has inadvertently caused problems in the Registry. There just isn’t enough benefit to offset the risk of having an automated program make changes to the Registry.
Boosters, Cleaners and Tune-Ups – Oh My!
What about other programs you might see that claim they will speed up your computer? Most will fall into the same categories as Registry Cleaners. They will either create a bogus report of ‘errors’ found on your PC and request payment for the ‘fix’ or they will install malware or viruses on your computer and cause you a real headache. Some programs attempt to be more legitimate and don’t lower themselves to false reports or malicious actions. However, they still fail at speeding up most PC’s. We commonly see AVG Antivirus and their suite of PC Boosting tune-up offering programs installed on new client’s computers. The PC Tune-Up software offered by AVG appears to try and do some legitimately good things to improve performance, but it also adds another program (itself) that needs to be running and monitoring the computer at all times – thus negating the performance improvements it’s trying to make. Without fail, we find that removing all the AVG programs, installing a better, light-weight Antivirus Program (like Emsisoft) and doing even a basic tune-up results in much better performance than AVG’s tune-up program ever could.
Trust us, if the speed-boosting claims of these programs were true – we’d be using them! It would make our jobs as technicians much easier! And truth be told, there are programs out there that can aid in increasing performance. We use some, but they make up a small part of our tune-up services and are not designed as a stand-alone solution. In our experience, the good ones are marketed and sold to technicians only because it still takes special knowledge and experience to know how to safely use them.
While Registry Cleaners, Speed Boosters and Tune-Up programs, with their promises of better performance and more speed are tempting, the risk just isn’t worth it. Now, that doesn’t mean you have to just deal with using a slow computer. Why not check out our post on How to Speed Up Windows 10 to learn how to increase speed.
If you’re dealing with a slow computer, why not contact Y-Not Tech Services to get your machine up to speed. You can call us at (403) 915-8574 or use the form below.