Registry Recycler: scan, defrag and backup the Windows Registry

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 7, 2014

Registry Cleaners don't have the best reputation thanks to scareware products and advertisement that goes along with it.

The majority of programs promise that they improve performance, resolve errors and other issues, and improve the system's stability and while there may be edge cases were users may see a positive effect after cleaning the Registry, it usually does not have an effect on a running system.

That does not mean that users should not remove or correct invalid entries. The Windows Registry is loaded on system start for example and reducing its size and defragmenting it may have a positive effect on the startup time of the system.

Registry Recycler is a free program to scan, defrag and backup the Windows Registry. It is available as a portable application and installer.

The first thing you should do after starting the program is to use it to create a backup of the Registry. If you plan to run the scanner that is, as you can use restore the backup at a later point in time if you encounter issues after running the scan operation. Note that a backup is also created when you use the program to fix Registry errors.

You can also enable the creation of a System Restore point before repairs in the program settings.

Once that is out of the way you can start the scan of the Registry. The program scans the usual locations and for common issues that most Registry cleaners seem to look for (usually for invalid entries, e.g. entries that point to locations that don't exist anymore):

  1. Com/ActiveX entries.
  2. Windows Startup Items.
  3. Uninstall entries.
  4. File / Path references.
  5. Font entries.
  6. Program shortcuts.
  7. Shared DLL.
  8. Empty Registry Keys.
  9. Application paths.
  10. File associations.
  11. Help file information.
  12. Windows Services.

It displays the number of problems found after the scan for each group, and provides you with a list view that you can use to check each entry individually if you want. Considering that it may find thousands of problems it is safe to say that this can take a while.

The Registry location of each key is highlighted by the program. What it does not do is explain why it is a problem. There is also no option to quickly jump to the key with a double-click which means that you will have to open the Registry Editor manually to check .

You can use it to repair none, some or all of the issues found. Once that is out of the way you can head over to the defrag tool to analyze the fragmentation level.

Please note that you need to restart the computer for the defragmentation process to complete.

This may reduce the size of the Registry file on the system which in turn may speed up the startup of the system.

You will also find a startup management option which you can use to enable or disable the start of programs when Windows boots.

Closing Words

Running Registry Recycler won't fix any serious issues that you may experience when using your Windows PC. The biggest benefit is that you may be able to reduce the size of the Registry file using it and if that is what you want you should give it a go.

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Registry Recycler
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  1. Mike Maxwell said on November 9, 2014 at 1:17 am

    I’ve been using Piriform CCleaner for years to registry scrub, but this is great that the scheduler is built in and automates the process without a lot of user input required.

    To RR’s developer, thanks for the freeware, when I can, I’ll register this fine piece of software and help you keep the lights on, I’d like to see more of what you can do.

  2. GiddyUpGo said on November 8, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    Fred Langue (Windows Secrets) long ago taught that if a cleaner keeps finding errors over and over with each run right after the first run is not to be trusted.
    Registry Recycler does this over and over, finding over a 100 each time it is ran right after the first time, at least on my computer.

  3. ilev said on November 8, 2014 at 7:50 am

    The Registry should have been dumped in Windows long time ago, but Microsoft is too chicken to take this step. OSX and Linux are doing fine without it.

  4. Dwight Stegall said on November 8, 2014 at 1:29 am

    I learned the hard way. Leave the registry alone or you’ll be sorry. :(

  5. CHEF-KOCH said on November 7, 2014 at 9:55 pm

    Exactly that comes to my mind reading this article and most users ignore the fact that we not anymore in win2k times, means windows only loads the key which are really needed. No matter if there are corpses or not, it’s still a myth that delete old entries speed up your computer, Microsoft also said long time ago that it normal users not need such products. I only use ccleaner for startup scripts, auto starts and such things but it does not speed up the registry..As said it’s a myth…

    1. Pants said on November 8, 2014 at 1:39 am

      Exactly. Cleaning a few keys out of the registry is a drop in the ocean – literally. Removing 0.01% does absolutely nothing – its already indexed or whatever by/for the OS. As for defragging .. seriously? The registry is loaded into RAM, right?

      People need to leave the registry alone – sure, edit it for OS changes/tweaks whatever … startups, file associations whatever .. but FFS you can’t improve it

      1. gem said on November 10, 2014 at 11:33 am

        @zzz @CHEF-KOCH @Pants
        I agree 100%. Leave the registry alone as much as possible. I’ve used many similar programs especially when i was a novice and started using my computer for the first time, thinking i was going to make it faster.
        Every time i used one of these programs, i kept crossing my fingers that they would not erase something important. Years later i found that i only needed CCleaner for cleaning, Ultradefrag for defraging and a good AV (i use Kaspersky). That’s all. I keep my startup programs to the minimum.
        And after all these experiments with the registry over the years one of my pc’s with windows xp became so slow and problematic that i had to do a Windows re installation. Thankfully i found this site: that helped me to reinstall Windows xp without losing my data.
        After i did that, my pc was like new and all my files in place.

  6. ZzzZombi said on November 7, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    Wow. There must be hundreds of these cleaner softwares. And most of them bring nothing new to the table. It’s like they’re racing to make the best UI and nothing else.

  7. jasray said on November 7, 2014 at 8:01 pm

    All interesting this week: BeeDoctor, Registry Life, and Registry Recycler (portable). May as well add RegSeeker to the group. Now a cool, neon defragger please.

    1. darkco said on November 8, 2014 at 12:03 am

      Best one and I’m still using it is Eusing registry cleaner, it can clean better than CCleaner isn’t a very known software but it’s a beast.

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