Registry cleaner programs are crucial in a way that they will remove hundreds of useless registry entries from a Windows device. For example, files that do not exist anymore and which would take hours to delete manually. Rather than publishing a typical list of top programs, we’d like to test and compare free registry cleaner tools.
We’ve selected 10 top registry cleaners that have the most positive user reviews online. Overall, all of them remove entries like Invalid class keys, program shortcuts, shared DLLs, application paths, help files, file associations, empty registry keys, etc. Most of them provide useful features such as scan progress, scan scheduler, severity indicator, ignore list, automatic backups, startup manager, run on startup, log files. And, of course, all these registry cleaner programs have one click repair feature.
The idea of testing was obvious: see how many errors would each registry cleaner find and clean, and how would it affect a PC performance. We used a median desktop PC with 8GB RAM running on Windows 7 Professional. But first, a quick basic data summary and short descriptions.
|Product||Version||Installer size||Disk space||License|
|Auslogics Registry Cleaner||v.126.96.36.199||12.2 MB||42.0 MB||Freeware|
|Ccleaner||v.5.47.6716||16.0 MB||36.7 MB||Free / non-commerce|
|Eusing Registry Cleaner||v.4.2||1.0 MB||1.95 MB||Freeware|
|jv16 PowerTools||v.188.8.131.528||7.3 MB||10.7 MB||60 day trial|
|AVG PC TuneUp||v.184.108.40.206215||3.5 MB||41.8 MB||15 day trial|
|Wise Registry Cleaner||v.220.127.116.111||2.7 MB||8.61 MB||Freeware|
|Little Registry Cleaner||v.1.6.0||5.4 MB||6.39 MB||Freeware|
|JetClean||v.1.5.0||3.6 MB||13.2 MB||Freeware|
|Registry Fixer||v.18.104.22.168||0.6 MB||1.0 MB||Freeware|
|WinUtilities||v.15.4||6.4 MB||27.7 MB||Freeware|
Now, let’s briefly describe what we’ve experienced with each of 10 free registry cleaners.
The program will group detected errors and issues into “file associations”, “history lists”, “missing software”, which is convenient. It also shows registry errors locations that one can open right there. During our test Auslogics found 31 errors.
- totally free
- easy setup, one click fix
- automatic backup available
- might install additional software
Undeniably, Ccleaner is one of the most popular free registry cleaners among users globally. In our test it found 16 errors, though we’d also want to point out the following. Ccleaner isn’t just a registry cleaner program, as it doesn’t only optimize registry. One can install it from an executable file or as a portable version. There’s also a Pro version that offers real-time monitoring, automatic updates, premium support, and costs $25.
- ignore list
- big set of features
- regular program updates
- frequent pop-ups
- does not improve boot time
With Eusing we were able to find 63 errors on our PC. It is another free registry cleaner tool, and is as simple as such a program could be. It does not speed up the system so well, though is good to clean out the registry.
- no license - totally free
- compatible with older versions of Windows
- multiple languages, portable version
- insufficient data on registry issues after the scan
- may require a follow up clean by RegEdit
This is actually a set of PC optimization tools, that includes “The clean and speedup my computer” – a registry cleaner tool. During our test it detected 35 errors. Other useful tools by Macecraft Software include History Cleaner, File Cleaner, Startup Optimizer, Registry Compactor, Windows AntiSpy, Software Uninstaller. Free version works as a 60-day trial with full functionality, subscription costs $11 per year.
- simple to use
- automatic registry backups
- lots of settings
- less user-friendly than other tools
A big powerful security software vendor has introduced this registry cleaner called AVG PC TuneUp. On the website, AVG claims that TuneUp will improve a boot time by 77%, but our little test showed not so optimistic figures – 95 seconds before cleaning and 91 seconds after cleaning, which is about 13%. Nevertheless, it has good characteristics. Finally, it uncovered 108 registry errors in our test.
- runs quietly in background mode
- rich functionality, clean interface
- clears disk space after cleaning
- no “undo deletion” option
- $50 annual license
A free version of Wise Registry Cleaner offers a lot in itself: a cleaning scheduler, automatic registry backups, restore points, various types of scan (normal, safe, or deep). A Pro version for $15 grants such extra features as multi-user access, system boost, tune-up or optimization, customizations. When we scanned our PC, it found 160 errors, which is more than others.
- scan scheduler
- simplicity, clean interface
- quick performance
- will try to install other programs
Though it didn’t display the number of errors upon initial run, Little Registry Cleaner claimed to have cleaned more issues than other free registry cleaner tools did. This cleaner is absolutely free, and you can specify a folder for backups, certain files/folders as exclusions, as well as set a scanning schedule.
- actual freeware, open-source
- positive performance
- easy workflow
- vague descriptions of errors
- possible slowdowns while cleaning
- little guidance
The biggest number of errors – 347, was detected by JetClean registry cleaner, which is free. There’s one-click repair, automatic shutdown after the repair, scanning for specific issues (e.g. application paths, startup, DNS cache, memory, sounds, fonts, virtual devices). Few extra tools won’t hurt – program uninstaller, startup optimizer, performance booster, registry defragger.
- emergency backup
- quick scans, nice interface
- portable version
- some features only in Pro version
- unnecessary programs in the installer
Another free registry cleaner program, easy and as straightforward as it gets. In a way, it is a good quality – you look for a registry cleaner – you get a registry cleaner. Nothing more, no ads, no license, no limitations. Just a clean program to start fixing errors in seconds. Only one extra option is a backup before cleaning.
- detects traces of old software
- only basics provided
With WinUtilities tool we found 161 errors. With it you can also choose which areas to scan, make a restore point, and export the log of errors as HTML file. Additional settings to automatically remove restore points after a number of days is quite handy as well – to keep your PC light. Paid License offers 3 devices support, disk optimization, file encryption, 24/7 support.
So, we measured how many registry errors each of ten tools found and cleaned, as well as how it did affect PC startup time. For fair results, each time we had created a restore point, and went back to it to test the next program. You can see the results in a table, though remember that a registry cleaner isn’t a PC maintenance tool and it isn’t designed to speed up or optimize a computer. Registry cleaners only help fix registry errors.
|Product||Errors found||Errors cleaned||PC startup time before||PC startup time after cleaning|
|Auslogics Registry Cleaner||31||579||102 sec.||110 sec.|
|Ccleaner||16||213||105 sec.||109 sec.|
|Eusing Registry Cleaner||63||173||111 sec.||119 sec.|
|jv16 PowerTools||35||429||80 sec.||76 sec.|
|AVG PC TuneUp||108||348||95 sec.||91 sec.|
|Wise Registry Cleaner||160||525||102 sec.||95 sec.|
|Little Registry Cleaner||n/a||432||108 sec.||102 sec.|
|JetClean||347||n/a||95 sec.||96 sec.|
|Registry Fixer||n/a||n/a||110 sec.||112 sec.|
|WinUtilities||161||n/a||111 sec.||103 sec.|
Download extensive version analysis .xls from Github here:
P.S. Few more decent registry cleaners
If you’re still like none of those ten tools, you can go explore AML Registry Cleaner, Registry Repair, SlimCleaner, Kingsoft PC doctor, EasyCleaner, Argente, Cleanersoft Free Registry Fix, nCleaner, ACleaner, Pointstone, Registry Distiller, Registry Life, System Mechanic, RegSeeker.