How to remove registry items correctly.
Start up applications User RUN registry entry
Learning how to carefully remove items from your registry takes time and a little guts. You can completely hammer your computer if you don't take your time. Here I'll show you how to remove a single startup item from the REG RUN folder.
Learning how to clean a single entry out of your registry might seem like something you don't want to waste time over because of all the super deluxe applications you can download that do it for you.
I suggest looking over (reading) this article so you know what the Super Deluxe application is going to do automatically for you.
Registry cleaners are really good and when you know how to run the application they can speed up the response time of your computer.
Programs that defrag your hard drive are built in on MS Windows operating systems but some third party applications seem to work better.
Remove startup items from your start up menu is really the best way to make your computer more responsive. Most all applications that software manufacturers create should only run when demanded to run. Others think it's best to create a shortcut in your startup folder. And my favorite place the registry startup folder. I'll be showing you what all this looks like and offering a few options to making your PC faster by doing some basic house (system) cleaning.
First off, if you're reading this you most likely are looking for specific answers which I may or may not cover. If you have a question about cleaning up your computer to make it more responsive use the comments box below to submit your question.
Let's take a look at what is starting up each time you start your computer.
- Windows XP
- Accessing MSConfig
- Start > Run > MSConfig > Enter
- Windows Vista / Win7
- Start Button > Search line > MSConfig > Enter
MSConfig will look like this:
Are you ready to give up and download that application yet?
Next step: Let's look at what our startup tab has in store for us.
I see one application that is starting up every time I start my computer that I really don't need. This will save my system a little memory and my startup time will be a bit shorter.
I'm going to remove my DUMeter (Download Meter) from starting the application during my computer startup or boot. I can always start this application manually.
MSConfig Unchecked items change start up. Should I uncheck it or registry hack it?
If I uncheck it this will change how my computer starts up.
Below is not set in Selective Startup and not Normal Startup. That's because I only unchecked the startup application from the startup tab. This is to troubleshoot applications and should never be used as part of your computer clean up. Your computer should always be on Normal Startup. If it doesn't run correctly on Normal Startup Settings then you have a problem and need to find answers.
You can see this is not correct at all. Again, never leave your computer in Selective Startup and don't pay someone to tell you this is how you have to set it.
Ready to give up and download that PC Cleaning Software yet?
Next we want to find the location of the application in our registry. This is actually really fun but one slip and you can break your system. Let's be careful and read everything from left to right and top to bottom.
The Location column tells us where this application is located in our Registry.
- HKCR = HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT
- HKCU = HKEY_CURRENT_USER
- HKLM = HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
Notice the location starts with HKCU which is the Current User location. Let's head off to our registry now that we know where we are going.
The Registry location we are looking for is
You can access the registry editor by clicking on the tools tab from MSConfig and selecting the registry editor line and then click launch.
Once you are in the registry you have one important question to ask yourself. Do I backup the registry completely or backup only the item I am removing?
Most will say you need to backup your full registry each and every time you edit your registry. I'm really not going to agree with that for a couple of reasons. If you had to import your registry completely would you know how to do it? And if you did I have a question for you. Have you ever imported a full registry into your current system from a backup after a reboot? (leave your answer below and I'll start another article just for you.)
Now, the idea here is to clean up your computer. Exporting your full registry is going to take up more space than we really want. You should leave the exported registry in a simple file location so if you ever had to import it you could find it fast. Never save it in your My Documents folder. Create a root folder called REGBCK it will look like C:\REGBCK and place all your registry backups in that folder.
We can keep everything in a single folder so if something goes wrong we can then merge the registry back to what it was before we edited the RUN startup.
Here's the export screen shot you have been waiting for. Look near the bottom where it offers you the option to export a single item or the full registry. Label or name each item the name of the application you are editing. This way if you need to recover a registry we can edit the exported data file to only import what you need. I'll write about that if someone asks how to make a merge file.
Now that we have saved this section of the registry we are all clear (set) to delete the entry.
Do you remember which one? DUMeter right? I almost forgot between taking screen shots and posting them.
Are you ready to download software to do this work for you yet? Let's continue the technicians way.
Highlight the item you want to delete then right mouse click and select "Delete" from the menu.
Now that you are finished with the registry editor be good and close all the opened folders so everything looks like this:
We are cleaning up your computer so you might as well make your registry files look like a pro did the work. If not, the next time you open the registry it will open to the location you last visited.
Ok, so you have removed the single item from your startup menu via the registry editor. Now you will need to reboot to make the changes take effect during your boot. Feel free to reboot later because I have more to say.
That's It! You're Finished editing a single startup application.
Now, if you have been thinking you can't do this or it's to long of a process I don't mind sharing with you what I use. (Don't think I spend the time to manually remove registry entries. I only do the process above for servers.
The registry cleaning program that I use when cleaning out an old PC is called. ..... Ready?
RegCleaner 2011 (Not to be confused with another, it's the only one at TweakNow.Com)
We all enjoy the Free things life offers and most of all we enjoy the Free things the internet offers. But nothing is really free someone paid for it. In this case I'm spending time showing you the old school method of editing your startup applications which all could be done with the software I linked to above. I've used this software for years and still have to handle things carefully. Always follow the programmers instructions and only do what you need to do. If you want to edit your startup then only do that. I'll write up a How To Guide based on the TweakNow RegCleaner application soon.
Don't forget to send Mr. Priyo H. the developer a few dollars. Typically $10.00 or more for software that works. I feel this software is in the $20.00 to $50.00 depending on how you use the application. In any case, if you learn how to use the application you can do what others charge $50.00 yearly to do.
I hope you learned some interesting things from this article. Post up comments or article suggestions if you would like. If I confused you at any part post part of the section and I'll try to make it more understandable.
8/18/2011: I also forgot to mention that RegEdit is also another time proven editor. I have used them since the Windows 98 days. But the program above offers a few things I like better. Select the best application for your system and your ability.
Have a great RegCleaner Day! (I had to say that.)