Comparison of 176 Registry Cleaner Products: Introduction

These tests were performed in October 2010


Our previous registry cleaners comparison study, released in April of 2009, received much attention and sparked a great deal of interest on the part of both computer users and registry cleaner product authors. In order to show our gratitude and appreciation for the enormous amount of feedback we received regarding the study, we decided that our latest effort would include an even more thorough and exhaustive testing regimen.

Our goal is to provide the best possible data on the performance and effectiveness of a wide range of registry cleaning products. The goal is not to undermine any of the products tested or to say which product is the best, but rather to provide the consumer with accurate and comprehensive data with which to make his or her own informed decisions.

Test Setup

The testing was performed using a virtual setup based on the Oracle VM VirtualBox virtualization environment version 3.2.8 r64453. The tests were run on a virtual client of Windows 7 (64 bit) with a base memory of 2 GB and 20 GB of hard disk space. The system was not connected to the Internet, except for the few products that required an Internet connection in order to install and/or work.

The host computer running the virtual environment was based on Intel Core i7 940 running at 2.93 GHz with 12 GB of RAM and with a system hard disk of 2 TB running Windows 7 (64 bit) with all the updates.

For each product the default scanning method and the default scan settings were used. If the product didn’t have a default set of scan settings (i.e. the user was asked to select which scan modules to run), all the the registry scans were selected. If a product contained a generic “scan my system” feature and a specific “registry cleaner” feature we used the registry cleaner feature.