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Having trouble fixing obsolete software registries


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Hello,

I have been using CCleaner for years, but I found that fixing "obsolete software registries" does not always work. CCleaner usually ignores some software I had completely uninstalled (even for years). I can still find a lot of obsolete registries there: "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\".

For example, I tried to install 2 software and uninstalled them, run CCleaner to see what will happen with obsolete software registry. 1 of them is highlighted and I can choose to remove it, another is ignored (not being scanned). Any suggestion? Is this a bug?

 

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It isn't a bug.

The registry cleaner will find things that it thinks are 'wrong', leftover entries from an install are not wrong they are just leftover.
You can leave then there they are not doing any harm.
Think of them like a note you scribbled down and left in a drawer

PS. you shouldn't use a registry cleaner on a regular basis, especially not with Windows 10.
It won't speed up your machine, and could break it or cause it to behave oddly.

If you want to remove leftover reg entries from uninstalled apps/programmes you could try Revo uninstaller which can find and remove 'leftovers' that the standard Windows uninstaller missed/left behind.

You can download a Free trial of the Pro version, so that you can use the Pro feature 'Forced Uninstall'. (Or buy the Pro if you think you will need the feature again in future).
'Forced Uninstall' lets you use their log database to remove leftovers of stuff you had installed/uninstalled before you even got Revo.

Here is the manual page for 'Forced Uninstall':
https://www.revouninstaller.com/online-manual/uninstaller/#3.6

You can download the Pro trial here:
https://www.revouninstaller.com/products/revo-uninstaller-pro/

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Thanks for reply.

I have been using CCleaner for years on windows 7, CCleaner never messes up my system (I do double check the registries before I delete them).  I am surprised that you do not recommend using a registry cleaner regularly. I thought removing wrongly assigned or useless registries is always a good thing. I trust CCleaner, but do you mean even CCleaner has its risk of deleting important registries and cause problems? If that's true, I won't bother other tools that I am not familiar with.

There is a scenario I encountered today: google chrome updated to 79.0.3945.79, the updater folder of previous version is now empty,  and CCleaner indicated that there are 2 ActiveX/COM issues: 2 dll files no longer exist. I wound delete those 2 if I haven't read your warning. But I think deleting those 2 should be safe(?)

So, what's the good timing to use a registry cleaner?

cc.jpg

Edited by hydralisk_mk2
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56 minutes ago, hydralisk_mk2 said:

  I am surprised that you do not recommend using a registry cleaner regularly. I thought removing wrongly assigned or useless registries is always a good thing. I trust CCleaner, but do you mean even CCleaner has its risk of deleting important registries and cause problems? If that's true, I won't bother other tools that I am not familiar with.

 

Years ago with the operating systems  in use at the time registry cleaning may have been a good idea.

Nowadays it's not needed, except in special circumstances, and some registry cleaners can delete the wrong things and cause problems.
Here is what Microsoft have to say about registry cleaning:
https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/help/2563254/microsoft-support-policy-for-the-use-of-registry-cleaning-utilities

The registry cleaner in CCleaner is one of the gentler ones, but it can still cause problems if used indiscriminately.
We see a number of posts on this forum where someone has broken their operating system by using the reg cleaner willy-nilly and without making a backup when using it.

For that reason one of the forthcoming changes to CCleaner will be to move the registry cleaner into the advanced tools section so it's less likely that non-technical users will be tempted to run it.
This is already noted in the Ideas and suggestions board: https://ideas.ccleaner.com/

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Thanks, but I still have some questions:

1.The example I mentioned above with picture (chrome version updated), it's safe to delete but not necessary, right?

2.What's a good timing/situation to run registry cleaner?

3.If I do not need to clean registry, then what about file cleaning?

I only clean what I know exactly (I am still on Windows 7 though), because I don't want to have oversized temporarily files or tons of error reports generated several years ago. Recently I have read some articles indicate that we should not use file cleaning tools such as CCleaner, they said it is very risky to clean your system files especially on Windows 10.

Edited by hydralisk_mk2
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To go in order:

1. I don't use Chrome but don't see anything wrong there. Just a couple of leftovers that Windows or Chrome will eventually remove themselves.

2. Registry cleaning is usually a step in fixing a computer that has been virused. It's not needed, or necessary,  on a regular basis.

3. The file cleaning is totally seperate from the registry cleaning.

When you think about it a defunct registry entry is going to take a few bytes, with modern computers (Since the 1990's) you would need thousands  or millions of defunct reg entries to make any difference to performance.

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Back in the WinXP era I would regularly clean the registry with CCleaner and another tool, and still do on that old desktop but then again just about nothing gets updated on it anymore other than antivirus and antimalware definitions so nothing essentially changes. But on my Win10 laptop I avoid it, and if I put CCleaner on someone's Win10 machine I untick every box in the registry cleaner portion.

You may be able to get away with using the registry cleaner on older OSes that aren't constantly getting new patches and feature updates such as WinXP to Win7, but with Win10 it always a moving and changing target.

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