I’ve tested tons of registry cleaners through all these years. In fact, I’ve been testing them since year 1999 through Windows 98 up to current Windows 8.1. It’s kinda my obsession I guess. But over all these years, I’ve learned that in case of registry cleaning, cleaning less is in fact more!
Let me explain why. Large majority of registry cleaners want to show user how effective they are by finding massive number of entries to clean. And majority of users actually prefer cleaners that clean more. But the thing is, majority of these cleaners will mess things up sooner or later. You can trust me on that one. And if you’re not the kind of type of person who is willing to do a manual cleaning of registry using RegSeeker, RegScanner or old freeware JV16 PowerTools, you want to stick with easy to use, automated, but tested and trustworthy registry cleaners.
And out of all of them, only two got my “certification” for being absolutely problem free. I’ve been using both of them for years and never ever had a single error because of them being too eager at cleaning. And best of all, they are both free!
I’ve been using CCleaner for years and years and while it probably cleans the least out of all registry cleaners, it is probably the most reliable of them all. Very reliable tool that also comes with few other goodies like cookies cleaning, system startup control, junk files cleaning, but I mostly use it for registry cleaning.
Wise Registry Cleaner
The second one that I’ve been using for quite a while now, might even be years already is Wise Registry Cleaner. It usually finds a bit more than CCleaner, but seems to be just as reliable with one important condition that I’ll describe below…
It is very reliable, but only if you set it to search with “Safe Scan” mode. Those that are found to be potentially risky to remove are entirely ignored and I suggest you keep it this way. Otherwise I cannot guarantee for problem free cleaning. Open the settings and select “Safe Scan” option. Like so…
Best thing about Wise Registry Cleaner is that it also comes in a portable version so you can throw it on USB drive or if you simply prefer if registry cleaning program itself isn’t making the registry more dirty with its own presence 🙂
You can also use the Registry Defrag option which compacts the physical registry files, but I highly recomend you DO NOT use “System Tuneup” feature. While registry cleaning works amazingly well, the Tuneup part is something I’m not so sure about. Avoid it if possible…
PORTABLE VERSION: http://portableapps.com/apps/utilities/wise-registry-cleaner-portable