Ok to delete the registry from windows computer

  1. My friend who's job is to work with computers all day told me to delete my registry completely to speed up my computer. Now obviously this raises a couple red flags. Is he right? Is it really ok to completely wipe out the registry on my computer?
  2. jcsd
  3. Greg Bernhardt

    Staff: Admin

    You computer will not run with no registry :)

    I think he means to clean it. There are several free tools to do this.

    CCleaner is quite good for free
  4. no, he told me to straight up delete my registry. But I am beginning to think that maybe I should not go to him for advise anymore...
  5. Greg Bernhardt

    Staff: Admin

    That's a good call. You're computer will be broken if you do that and you'll need to reinstall Windows.
  6. SteamKing

    SteamKing 8,628
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    You should ask this 'friend' if he has followed his own advice.
  7. He was messing with you. I would not even try to clean it either. You wouldn't notice any speed improvement anyway and you run the risk of seriously messing up your computer. Leave the registry alone.
  8. As other have said, the only way to recover from that mistake would be to reinstall Windows and all the other applications you had installed.
    Some day, when I'm about to overwrite a hard drive anyway, I'll try exporting and then emptying the registry to see if the OS is completely killed or just extensively incapacitated.
  9. Ask your "friend" to demonstrate on his computer.
  10. phinds

    phinds 8,357
    Gold Member

    +1 on that !
  11. I just had the opportunity to try this. I had a Windows 7 system that I needed to sent to my IT department to wipe. So before sending it, I tried deleting the registry.

    It isn't as easy as I thought.

    First: You cannot delete the keys at the "HKEY" level, so you have go to the next level where there are hundreds and hundreds of keys to delete.
    Second: Even after taking ownership and full access to all keys, I still could not delete every key. I could delete about 50% of those under HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT; all but Software under HKEY_CURRENT_USER (although "Keyboard Layout" kept reappearing); and nothing (or, at least, no complete key) under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE. However, when I got to HKEY LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM, things started to fall apart. I kept getting a message box, "LicenseManRes.dll could not be found." and the registry editor hung. Control-Alt-Delete gave me an error message.
    Cycling power put me into "Startup Repair" that gave me the option of restoring to a earlier point in time. I selected "Restore".
    Ultimately it issued the message "Startup Repair cannot repair this computer automatically". It gave me the option to send information about this problem, and a few selections later it gave me the option to restart - which I took.
    This started up "Startup Repair" - so I canceled and recycled power. The only options were Start Repair or open Windows normally - both put me into Startup Repair. There was no option to enter SAFE mode.

    So I restarted with F8 and selected SAFE mode with Command Prompt. This got as far as loading CI.dll (not very far) and then dropped back into "Startup Repair". I allowed this to run one more time - and it failed.
  12. AlephZero

    AlephZero 7,300
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    The answer might be "well, it still runs Linux OK". :smile:
  13. Simply put, the Windows Registry is all your eggs in one basket. Delete the basket = lose all your eggs. Manage it, Clean It, Care for It, but Delete it? Never!

    Regarding managing the beast, for the life of me I can't fathom why only recently has SED come to Windows.
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