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How to Stop programs leaving junk in your Registry


When you install a program on your PC, it makes changes to the Windows Registry. These changes should all be reversed when you uninstall the software, but that’s not always the case.

You can correct this yourself by using the Registry Editor (or a number of even
better tools, but it’s tricky work and you need to know what you’re doing.

We recommend that you always create a restore point and back up your Registry before you start tinkering with its settings.

Regshot lets you take a snapshot of your Windows Registry before and after you install software, so you can spot any changes.

You can then take more snapshots when uninstalling the software, and check that those changes have been rectified. Regshot’s files are in the compressed 7Z format.

If you don’t already have a tool that will open them, download and use 7-Zip (www.7-zip.org).

Stop programs leaving junk in your Registry

Step1:- The software is portable so you don’t need to install it, just unpack the files. There are four executable files.

If you’re using a 64-bit version of Windows, double-click Regshotx64-ANSI.32-bit users should use Regshot-x86-ANSI.

The Unicode versions are for PCs using international characters.

Stop programs leaving junk in your Registry

Step2:- Choose the HTML option. The text version is quicker to load but the HTML version doesn’t take much longer and it looks nicer, too.

Click the ‘1st shot’ button and choose ‘Shot and Save’. After a couple of minutes, a Save As box opens so you can choose where to save it.

Stop programs leaving junk in your Registry

Step3:-  It’s worth thinking about how you save your snapshots so it’s easy to find and identify them later.

Create a folder specifically for this kind of file somewhere sensible, such as in your Documents folder.

Also, name the files descriptively, so you can see what they are at a glance.

Stop programs leaving junk in your Registry

Step4:- Having taken your first snapshot, you can now install the program you want to monitor.

Try to do this as soon as possible after the first snapshot, to minimize the amount of interference from anything else that’s going on in the background on your computer.

Step5:- When the software has finished installing, click ‘2nd shot’. From the options, choose ‘Shot and Save’.

If you closed Regshot between snapshots, you may need to reload the first snapshot before comparing them.

Click the appropriate snapshot button, choose Load 2 and select the file to restore it.

Step6:- Click the Compare button. If you selected the HTML option, your browser will now open displaying the results.

There will be a lot of Registry changes listed, many of which specifically mention the software you’ve installed.

Step7:- The log files will be saved to the folder specified under ‘Output path’ and automatically named.

To better organize them, right-click a blank area of the page, select ‘Save as’ and save the file to the folder where you’re keeping your other Regshot files.

Give them a name that makes sense to you.

Stop programs leaving junk in your Registry

Step8:- Go through the process again when you uninstall the software, taking one snapshot before you start and another when it’s finished.

Compare the two files and create an HTML document.

Hopefully, it will list many of the changes that also appeared in your first HTML document.

Step9:- If you find references to the program you installed in the first HTML document that aren’t in the second, press Windows+R, type regedit and press Enter.

Back up the
Registry by opening the File menu and choosing Export. Under ‘Export range’, ensure that the All option is selected.

Stop programs leaving junk in your Registry

Step10:- Use the folder tree in the left-hand panel to navigate your way to any leftover Registry entries. Right-click the item and choose Delete.

If the changes you make cause problems on your PC, you can restore your Registry backup using Import from the File menu.

Stop programs leaving junk in your Registry

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