Dec 21, 2008
Valerie Hayworth

The Truth About Registry Cleaners

Part of the challenge Reimage encounters in the course of our marketing efforts is the public’s confusion on what we do. Being an innovative technology this is not surprising. However, it gets really insulting when we are compared to registry cleaners.

According to WikiPedia:

A registry cleaner is a type of software utility designed for the Microsoft Windows operating system whose purpose is to remove redundant or unwanted items from the Windows registry. However the necessity and usefulness of registry cleaners is a controversial topic, with experts not agreeing on their benefit. The problem is further clouded by the fact that malware and scareware is often being associated with utilities of this type.

Here is what the award winning technology writer, Ed Bott, has to say on registry cleaners:

Scam 2009: Coming to a PC near you this winter.

Don’t run registry cleaner programs, period. I won’t go so far as to call them snake oil, but what possible performance benefits can you get from “cleaning up” unneeded registry entries and eliminating a few stray DLL files? Even in the best-case scenario the impact should be trivial at best. Maybe a second or two here and there, maybe a few kilobytes of freed-up RAM, and I’m being generous.

Ed, of course, is not alone in feeling uneasy about the usefulness of registry cleaners. Indeed, both Microsoft and Washington State’s Attorney General are pursuing legal action against companies that dupe users

into downloading a fake scan (of the computer) and then duped into paying for software they don’t need.

A 160 year old saying by Abraham Lincoln still holds true you can fool some people some of the time, but you can’t fool all the people all of the time. A public outcry is mounting via the Internet on the deceptive nature of the registry cleaner industry. One of my favourite excerpts is:

(It) really looks classy on the outside, but it finds loads of errors to begin with and when you re-boot and run (the software) afterwards, you get load more errors. Very strange as (the program) was meant to have fixed the errors beforehand.

I don’t want to point my finger at a particular company or product but a simple search of the the registry cleaner previously reviewed, for example, yielded 443 complaints made on ComplaintsBoard.com, have a look. It’s an interesting read.

Final words on the matter are given by Chris Pirillo a leading technology blogger and former PC technician:

And in case your wondering how Reimage.com fares when pitched against a registry cleaner, have a look at this previous blog post.

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