The registry is a database lying at the heart of all Windows operating systems where all settings and options for the computer hardware, operating system and application software are stored. Per-user settings are also stored in the registry.
Each time an installer for an application program is executed, additions are made to the Windows registry.
This can result in increased memory overhead both when the PC boots at start up and also in operational use, causing the dreaded PC slow downs as time passes and the user installs more and more application software.
Most users try to counteract this effect by uninstalling specific applications which are no longer required.
However, applications which have poorly coded uninstallers, or do not have uninstallers altogether, can leave entries in the registry – the term “Software Rot” refers to the process which occurs as the PC registry fills up with possibly malformed and unused entries.
In addition to this, over time the PC registry becomes fragmented, meaning that it is stored in different parts of the system hard disk, resulting in increased disk I/O and CPU cycles each time reads/writes to the registry are required.
The consequences of Software Rot are system slowdown, increased boot up times and system instability.
Tools are available with the Windows operating systems such as regedit.exe and regedit32.exe which allow manual editing of the registry, however this is not something for the faint hearted!
The registry’s sheer complexity makes the use of specialised registry cleaners essential, such as Total System Care, which operates by performing a deep scan of the registry, checking for errors, correcting fragmentation and ensuring optimal PC performance through regular scans which keep the registry in tip-top shape