Registry errors can cause a number of different problems for your computer. If you haven’t regularly cleaned your registry, it may have collected plenty of useless information over the years that slows down your computer and reduces the effectiveness of your system.

To prevent this from happening to you, it’s important to fix your registry as soon as possible. While most people choose to use a registry cleaner to do this, tech geeks out there might want to learn how to edit the registry themselves.

Keep in mind that doing this to fix your entire registry is crazy: it could take days to sort through the millions of registry entries, and checking which entries are associated with which program is a frustrating waste of time. However, if this isn’t doesn’t dissuade you, then keep reading.

Fortunately, registry entries are text-based and human-readable, which makes it slightly easier to send and receive various portions of the directory. Plus, the coding is fairly basic – to delete a specific key, you simply need to add a minus symbol to the front of the line of text. Or, if you want to remove the entire value, you must place both a minus and an equal sign at the front of the entry.

First, run ‘regedit.exe’ as a process. This will open Windows’ registry editing tool. Using this tool, you can effectively do the following tasks:

  • Create and modify new registry entries, like keys, subkeys, and value data
  • Modify existing registry data in order to fix system errors and other anomalies
  • Bookmark certain registry keys as ‘favorites’
  • Search for specific strings in keys, values, or value data
  • Use a networked computer to remotely edit the registry on another computer on the same network. In the eyes of some people, this was a security threat to your PC.

In previous versions of Windows, like NT, users could also load and manipulate registry hive format files, or set various permissions.

Keep in mind that all of these above steps should only be attempted by experts; anybody who doesn’t have experience in swapping around registry files risks doing permanent damage to their PC. For example, if your program or operating system is unable to find its configuration files (which are stored in the registry), then it may cause serious errors.

Alternatively, you can use a registry cleaner

Of course, the far easier solution is to use a registry cleaner, which does all of the above steps in just seconds. Effective, safe, and easy to use, registry cleaners will save you hours of time.