Understanding and Cleaning Windows Registry Keys
Understanding and Cleaning Windows Registry Keys The Windows registry is a very important and complicated area of your computer. Essentially the registry is full of keys (files) that help your computer remember all of the settings and specifications that you give it. It is essentially the DNA of your system, instructing your programs how to interact with one another and with you. If something goes wrong in your Windows registry, any number of annoying or disruptive disturbances may result. Windows provides an automated registry cleaner to look for faulty or disconnected keys and to suggest the appropriate fixes. However, if you are confident in your computing abilities, you may choose to enter the register manually to address the problem. This is not a good idea for novices, as you may cause unintended consequences throughout the rest of the system if something goes wrong. Here are the three basic steps to cleaning up your Windows registry keys:
1. First, back up your files and settings in case something does go wrong. Set a system restore point so your configuration can be rolled back, save copies of all your personal files and settings on an external hard drive, and save a copy of the registry itself so that you can reinstate it if you need to.
2. Find the problem. Go to Start > Run and type 'Regedit' (for 'registry edit'). Click on the area you need (most of the common keys can be found in KHEY_LOCAL_MACHINE) on the left, and change the text you need to on the right. Save your changes and then restart your PC.
3. See if it worked. When your computer reboots, the changes you made should go into effect. If the problem you were trying to address is solved, then you have succeeded. If it is different but not quite resolved, see if you can determine another change to make. If it is no better or if new or worse problems have developed, either undo your changes manually or load the saved version of your old registry, or roll back to the System Restore point you set before you began.
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