The windows registry is the last place you want to have errors. System crashes and slow performance can be easily prevented with periodical scans. And mostly important, you don’t have to have a diploma in engineering in order to use PC Tools’ Registry Mechanic.
The first thing that hits you when using this application is the fact that it was especially designed for the registry novice. Nicely shaped buttons, few options and a limited registry access come as a confirmation.
On the other hand, not allowing to manually edit registry keys is probably the best solution to ensure an error-free system, as inexperienced users could easily interfere with system stability. Advanced users could modify entries using the paths provided by the program. In the end, this proves itself to be a worthy compromise.
There are three available options: Scan, Optimize and Compact registry (improves performance by removing gaps and wasted space). Compacting is conditioned by creating a restore point, which is strongly advised, by the way. The next step is gathering information – in our tests it only took about 3 minutes – and the results showed the amount of space wasted (and the space saved in percents) and more info related to the registry keys (before compacting and after). The test came to a sudden stop as in the trial version, compacting is not possible, although this is probably the most important feature.
Registry Mechanic doesn’t only delete the invalid registry keys. It also searches for possible replacements or simply adds the value to an ignore list. The following tabs are not accessible in the trial version: Shared DLLs, Startup Programs, Add/Remove Programs, Virtual devices, Program Shortcuts.
Settings include sections to scan (Registry Integrity, Software Locations, Windows Fonts), shortcut settings(users can specify certain locations to scan) and an ignore list where registry values and keys can be added.
In the end, Registry Mechanic is a tool especially designed for novices. The ‘Optimize Your System’ feature is a great tool, but it doesn’t really confirm optimization and stunning improvements are not visible, once activated.
Registry Mechanic 5.0 can be downloaded here.