What Is Registry Optimization and Why You Need It?

October 29, 2010 (updated 10 years ago) by Chemtable Software

The registry is the most important component of the Windows system. It stores information that is necessary to configure the operating system, such as user profiles, applications and devices. The registry also stores information about uninstalled programs if they were uninstalled incorrectly, parameters that were left behind after the uninstall process, and references to deleted files. In the course of time, the registry accumulates more and more redundant data that slows down registry access and causes system performance loss.

Matters get even worse if you delete the installation folder to the Recycle Bin, rather than use the Add or Remove Programs wizard to uninstall software cleanly. This method affects the performance of keys negatively and causes instability. Other sources of problems with the registry are viruses and spyware. They also cause registry errors, mostly because they write malicious data to the registry to damage the file system.

The registry with too much junk data alerts you to system errors more often and may even bring the system to a halt. To avoid these problems, you need to clean up or optimize the registry regularly. The process of optimization consists of several steps. First you need to compress the registry. Registry compression is a complete removal of redundant records which reduces the total size of registry files. Compression is necessary because after deletion redundant records are only marked as deleted but in fact remain in the registry and occupy space.

Registry optimization does not stop at this point. Even complete removal of redundant records is not enough to minimize the space taken by registry files. Therefore it is recommended to run defragmentation of the system registry after cleaning and optimizing the registry.

Why defragmentation is necessary? When the operating system is installed on a new disk, files are written to contiguous clusters. However, as you install and uninstall programs, delete files, the disk space becomes fragmented, leaving gaps in the sequence of clusters that were formerly occupied. When a new file is written, the new data clusters are placed in gaps between other clusters because there is not enough contiguous space to store a complete file as a single unit. When a fragmented file is read, the head travels a long way from one fragment to another, slowing registry access. As a result, computer performance downgrades.

Defragmentation is the second step of registry optimization. It is a process of rearranging the contents of the hard disk to store fragments of each file contiguously, one after another, rather than scattered all over the hard disk. Besides, during defragmentation all data is moved to the beginning of the hard drive so that free space is located in the end. After reducing the amount of fragmentation, files are accessed in sequence, without moving the head over different areas of the disk. This increases computer performance.