Free Registry Defrag – Defragment the Windows registry

Michael PietroforteMVP By Michael Pietroforte - Thu, November 19, 2009 - 3 comments google+ icon

Michael Pietroforte is the founder and editor of 4sysops. He is a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) with more than 30 years of experience in system administration.

Contents of this article
  1. Free Registry Defrag

Free-Registry-DefragFree Registry Defrag is a simple tool that allows you to defragment a fragmented Registry database, which can significantly speed up a PC. Don’t mix up Registry defragmentation with Registry cleaning. The CCleaner tool, which I reviewed some days ago, can remove unnecessary Registry entries. In contrast, Free Registry Defrag just removes the gaps within the database.

Windows and third party applications constantly write to and remove data from the Registry database. This produces empty areas in the Registry and data become fragmented (scattered) within the Registry file. This process is comparable to disk fragmentation. However, running a disk defrag tool won’t help to reduce Registry defragmentation. Disk defrag tools don’t change the contents of files, while a Registry defrag tool alters the database. This is why Registry defragmentation usually compacts, i.e., reduces, the size of the Registry file.

However, Registry defragmentation is not as risky as Registry cleaning because a defrag tool doesn’t have to understand what the Registry entries mean. Of course, if the defrag tool has a bug, then your Registry might also become corrupted. Therefore, you should always back up the Registry before you mess with it. You can do this with the Windows regedit tool.

Free Registry Defrag will first analyze the Registry and then tell you how much space will be regained after the defragmentation. You can then decide if it is worth the effort. Notice that Free Registry Defrag will reboot the computer after defragmentation is completed. I tested Free Registry Defrag v2.40.

Free Registry Defrag

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3 Comments- Leave a Reply

  1. CharlesKane says:

    Sounds like snake oil to me. I’ve never seen a skerrick of evidence that “defragmenting” the registry can provide any benefit whatsoever whether it be speed or integrity.

    Were such evidence available surely it would have been published by now – or that one of the paid registry defrag apps would have made such claims as a leverage to their sales.

    As usual it is the usual vague – “speed up your system” claims entirely unsupported by evidence. If there are what you calls “gaps” the OS will simply ignore them, the DB doesn’t need to be “sorted” coz the OS will do its “search and find” anyway.

    MS have never made a registry defrag tool, I’m unaware of them ever referring users to the need to defrag the registry (you’d think it would be in their interest to do so if it were needed).

    Especially on Win 7 DO NOT use a registry defragger – there are endless reports of blue screen and worse with some of the registry defraggers – is it worth the risk for something which may well provide zero benefit?

  2. Charles, the registry is just a database and database fragmentation is a common problem. The longer you work with a database the more fragmented it will become. If your computer will be faster after defragmentation depends on many parameters, for instance how big your registry is, how heavily it is fragmented and how fast your computer is. Microsoft offers many tools you need for Windows but certainly not all. This is a good thing because otherwise there would be no other software companies. And what’s your problem with snake oil? It helps against joint pain. ;-)

  3. CharlesKane says:

    My comment stands.
    For a tool that is so widely offered you would rightly expect that there was some – nay let me say ANY – evidence that it worked or even had any effect whatsoever. I have yet to see any. Whilst fragmentation of a database could occur a bland claim that this is a “common problem” solves nothing at all. What is the problem? Fragmentation alone on a modern rig with present speeds almost certainly means nothing.
    I can’t find it now – but Mark Russinovich talked about this in his blog (or somewhere) – he came down on the side of a view that it was possible that the occasional use of a registry CLEANER might be useful in some particular situations but that a registry defragmenter could not be recommended.
    I have searched high and low. I have found plenty of evidence of users having problems after using Registry cleaners/defraggers and a lot of almost religious claims about how wonderful they are but nothing to suggest there is any benefit after using such a tool at all.

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