An app upon installation makes some copies of files in some other folders than the installation folder. These files contain important configuration files that are needed to run the program correctly. However, when you don’t need the application anymore and you uninstall it, these configuration files may not be deleted by the stock uninstaller. Here I will discuss how to get rid of broken registry items.
What Is The Windows Registry?
The Windows Registry is the database collection of configuration settings of the Windows operating systems. It is used as a storage library for the information and configuration settings of the software and hardware that you install on your device, operating system configurations, user preferences, etc.
Although not all software uses the registry to store their configuration files as some use XML format while portable apps store their data in the executable (.exe) file. However, registry stores some other important configuration files that ensure the smooth running of the software.
When you uninstall an application, the registry files may not be deleted alongside the software. A broken registry can lead to all sorts of errors and some hardware or software components not working at all. Hence, getting rid of broken registry items becomes imperative, and here I will discuss how to do that.
How To Get Rid Of Broken Registry Items?
The first thing that you need to know and understand is that the registry is a very sensitive area. You should only make changes if you are absolutely sure about your usage of your system. Remember that one bad move can render your system useless.
Caution: Backup your computer and registry to ensure that you have a copy of these if and when something goes wrong.
There are two ways that you can get rid of broken registry files. I will list them one by one here.
# Solution 1: Clean Broken Registry Items Manually
If you have a deep enough knowledge about what each Registry root key mean, cleaning registry items can be easy for you. You just need to be cautious not to delete something necessary for the operating system to run.
When you uninstall some applications, its registry items may not be automatically deleted. If you are running out of space or see some part of your device behaving not in the way it is supposed to, you may consider and delete broken registry items.
- Open a Run dialog, type regedit and press Enter to open the registry editor. Here, click on File and select Export to back up your registry.
2. Uninstall the application that you don’t need any more.
3. Backup your computer, or create a system restore point.
4. Next, boot into safe mode. Read here how to enable F8 in Windows 10 and enter Safe Mode instantly.
5. In safe mode, open a Run dialog box by pressing Win + R.
6. Here, again type regedit and press Enter to launch the Registry Editor. Click on Yes on the User Account Control prompt.
Read here if you are having error accessing the registry.
7. First, expand the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE. Click on SOFTWARE.
8. Here, you will find the list of configuration files and preferences of installed applications stored in folders.
9. Click on the folder of the uninstalled program to expand it.
10. Right-click on the Key, and select Delete from the context menu.
11. Repeat this for all the programs you uninstalled.
12. Close the Registry Editor and restart your system into normal mode.
This will help you remove all the broken keys from your system.
However, if you are not interested in manually making certain changes to your registry, you can leave the job to a third-party app that does the same.
# Solution 2: Use A Third-Party Registry Cleaner
Using the third-party cleaners, you get additional features like a backup registry before cleaning, checking each entry before deleting, and secure deletion.
However, these cleaners can be too powerful, and clear some important Windows files by mistake. Keep in mind to check each entry before you delete them.
Broken registry items may not significantly boost your device, but it goes a long way in cleaning your device and making sure that everything works optimally. Now you know how to get rid of broken registry items using the two solutions given above. Do comment below if you found this useful, and to discuss further the same.