Free 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.
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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.