Should you be concerned with the health of your Windows registry?

What exactly is a Windows registry? Why do you think they’re so crucial to your operating system? How can you make sure they are trustworthy?

According to Microsoft site, registry are “a central hierarchical database used in For one or more users, applications, and hardware devices, Microsoft Windows… stores the data required to configure the system.” You can include information about different file types, such as what program is used to open them, what icons should be displayed for them, and so forth.

I will try to explain what’s happening on 2 of the most common scenarios that take place on your computer:

1. You receive a new piece of software or game. You install it because you want to give it a try. New information is then written to your Windows registry at that point. This information includes the program’s folder, related files, and various settings used by the program, such as whether it should start automatically (HKCU/Software/Microsoft/Windows/Current Version/Run/) or only once (HKCU/Software/Microsoft/Windows/Current Version/RunOnce/). So far, no issue, but what happens if you choose to uninstall it? Things start to get complicated at that point.

Even if you receive a “successfully uninstall” message, pieces of data remain in your registry. Of course, this does not occur in every instance, but regrettably it does in a lot of them. In a worst case scenario, if for instance files “*.abc” are registered to an application that you just removed and the whole registration process wasn’t properly removed from registry, you will get an error when you try to run that sort of files. These incorrect registry entries won’t constantly bother you outwardly, but they can occasionally slow down or even crash your computer.

2. A new network card or other piece of hardware is installed. When you plug it in, Windows will recognize it and install the appropriate drivers. Of course, a sizable amount of data is entered into the registry. Again, so far, no issues. Registry entries are not deleted when the computer is shut down and the recently installed device is removed. They simply stay put. Conflicts may arise if you attempt to install a similar device later on because your computer might interpret them incorrectly. The outdated and possibly damaged registry entries are the cause of this.

Making regular backups of your entire Windows registry is one way to prevent issues of that nature. As soon as you notice something isn’t working properly, you can quickly restore them in this way. However, take caution because your most recent software or hardware may stop working because of an outdated backup. Using a registry tool to analyze your registry and correct any invalid, missing, or corrupt entries that it discovers is an additional method of troubleshooting the issues.

You can find a variety of registry tools that can solve all of your problems by going to CoreDownload, a software archive with more than 23.000 programs.

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