The registry is the backbone of your computer’s software. It contains settings and databases for almost everything you use, and generally holds the keys to the castle for the day-to-day operation of your machine.

It does require cleaning up every now and again to make sure there aren’t any broken or rogue entries, to ensure the general health and wellbeing of your computer.

Save a backup of your registry

When you do anything with your registry, it’s always important to ensure you back it up first..

Regardless of what your intentions are, you’re very much under the hood of your machine when you're working in the Registry. There is a good reason why it’s not immediately obvious how to access, as there are no checks and balances here. If you delete the wrong thing you could seriously damage your computer’s ability to function.

Having said that, as long as you’re sensible and don’t start clicking furiously around while mashing the delete key, then I'm sure you will be fine.

How to clean your Windows 10 Registry

For this guide we’re going to recommend the Auslogics Registry Cleaner. This is a free program that is widely considered one of the most safe and thorough ways to ensure your registry’s integrity.

  1. Download and install the program, and select ‘Custom Install (Advanced)’ as you’re setting it up. Make sure ‘Install Auslogics BoostSpeed’ is unticked so you don’t get that as well.
  2. Once you’ve done that, hit ‘Click to install’. Decline the offer of another download, and then close the browser that opens.
  3. If you haven’t done it already, create a save point for your registry now. It is important you do this, because if anything goes wrong, you can always revert back to this save.
  4. Open up Auslogics Registry Cleaner, and go into the settings. Make sure ‘Back Up Changes’ is ticked. On the left hand side, the panel will show which areas of the Registry are due to be scanned. Right click here and select ‘Check Safe Only’.
  5. Once you’ve done this, hit the ‘Scan Now’ button and give your machine some time to complete the scan.
  6. The next step is not to panic. You’re probably going to see a whole load of errors, but don’t worry. The vast majority of these don’t affect your machine’s performance, and are very common.
  7. The errors will be divided up by category and also be severity, so if there is something specific that you were looking for, you can find it here.
  8. All of the problems will be selected when you finish your scan, so if you’d like to try a blanket fix and try correcting them all, that’s certainly an option. However, this does come with some risk, as it MIGHT do more harm than good.
  9. If in doubt, you can always try to fix all the problems, and then reboot your PC. If you notice any issues, you can always revert back to your save point which you definitely took my advice on making earlier in the article.
  10. You can also right-click ‘All results’ and then hit ‘Uncheck all’ which will allow you to select specific entries manually, if you know exactly what you’re looking for.
  11. If you have an idea of the specific registry key that is giving you trouble, then you can navigate to it by going to ‘View > Find Registry Keys’.
  12. If you wish to go back and restore any entries you’ve removed, then you’re able to do this by simply going to ‘File > Rescue Centre’ where you can see your restore points. Right click on your backup of choice and hit ‘Restore’.

If you’re in any doubt about a specific registry entry, then you can always google it and you’ll find discussions around it which will give you a good idea on whether it’s a problem or not.

You now have all the tools at your disposal to clean up your registry. So go forth, make sure you save a restore point and clean up any of those nasty rogue entries.