When you bought your PC or notebook that was the point it ran the smoothest and fastest. This is because the Windows OS, regardless of version, is at its cleanest. Whenever you install a program, add a user or generally change settings, you’re also changing the Registry, which is the heart of the OS and logs all your system settings and drivers.

Keeping the Registry in tip-top condition is important and Registry Mechanic is recognised as one of the best on the market. Now in its seventh version, this is as lean an install as we’ve seen. The interface is easy to get to grips with, consisting of three main controls in the centre of the front page, consisting of Scan, Compact and Optimise.

The first step is to run a scan of the system, which looks for deadlinks, the remnants of uninstalled programs and the other assorted detritus that Windows isn’t that great at handling when no longer needed.

Our test machine reviewed that just under 250 problems were discovered. Once the scan has been carried out you’ll be presented with break down of these problems, neatly filed under similar heading. They are also prioritised into high, medium and low risk, as well as highlighting where they have come from.

Choosing the repair option will quickly clean up most of these problems. We ran a second scan and found that most problems had been cleaned on the first scan, which is something other tools often can’t handle.

It’s worth pointing out that before any changes are made, the software makes an automatic backup of your current Registry, so should you elect to make changes that don’t work out you can always roll back to your current settings.

Cleaning up the worst effects of Registry bloat is one thing but this software is also able to streamline the whole thing using the Compact tool. Once again, this runs a scan of your Registry, looking for duplicate entries and other tweaks that can be made to make it run faster. We found our Registry was over 1MB lighter as a result. While you won’t see any immediate speed boosts, it’s worth having the best system possible.

You can choose to have the software run as part of your standard boot sequence. This means it will scan your PC for changes whenever you start up, it does slow boot-up times down quite considerably – adding almost a full minute to our boot-up – but if you regularly make changes this is a worthwhile trade-off.

You can also choose to have Registry Mechanic sitting in your system tray and running in the background checking for changes as they happen. Once again, if you download and install a variety of tools, this may well be worth using as it will monitor your system for potential changes, so preventing potential viral threats from getting through.

Price when reviewed:

There are a wide variety of Registry tuning tools on the market and while Registry Mechanic doesn’t offer more than the basics, it’s a solid and reliable piece of software that can make a serious impact on the size and efficiency of your Registry.