Table of Contents

What RegCleaner does?
Why would you use RegCleaner?
Important information

About the Features:

Remove software's registry entries
StartUp list
Uninstall menu
File Types
New file
Shell Extensions
Shared DLLs
Remove .Reg files
Registry Cleanup


Keyboard shortcuts
Tips & Tricks
Info for Experts

To Download this program:

To download the self-extracting version of this program, click this link: Download now.


RegCleaner v 4.0 gives you the ability to easily remove obsolete registry entries leftover from old software installations that you may have deleted ages ago. The user interface is one of the best we've seen thus far, and you really don't need to know all that much about the Windows registry. We always caution people, however, to always backup their registry in any situation that involves the registry.

What RegCleaner does?

(1) Permits you to cleanly delete registry entries.
(2) Permits you to delete DLLs with the Shared DLLs feature.
(3) Permits you to delete shortcut files with the Startup feature.
(4) Most importantly, you don't even have to know what a registry is to use RegCleaner.

Why would you use RegCleaner?

The Windows© Registry, over time, becomes bloated with entries that are no longer related to programs currently in use or as the result of changes in software as well has hardware. When this bloat occurs, your system requires more resources, such as memory, in order to load Windows©. It's a good idea to keep the registry as clean as possible. Here are a few examples that will help you to understand how RegCleaner can truly work for you:

1. Let's say you have recently download a 30-day trial version of a program that you are reviewing. During your evaluation you accidentally damage the program or one of its files. Suddenly you notice the damage, you attempt to reinstall it, only to find out that you can't because the program thinks that you're just trying to get another 30 days. If you first remove the program's registry entries, however, you may very well be able to reinstall the software and recover your trial period again. Obviously this is not meant to in any way circumvent the trial period, however in the middle of an evaluation, it could be quite handy to recover work already done.

2. Here's a problem that all of us long time users have faced at one time or another. Just a short time ago you load an old version of one of your favorite programs only to learn that the latest version has just been released and you can get a super deal on the price. There's only one catch though, the earlier version of the program doesn't have any uninstall utility. Okay, easy enough you think, you simply delete its files, remove the shortcuts and cross your fingers. But, as fate would have it, when you try to install the latest version, you see a dialog box such as this:

"Please uninstall the old version of this program before attempting to run this installation".

Now you ask yourself, "Great, now what do I do?"

Now there's no reason to give up! All you need to do is remove the old program's registry entries with RegCleaner and then continue installing the newer program version.

Note (1): Some programs register their file types (such as: '.Txt'), so when you delete the program, Windows reports an error when you try to run files that are registered to that program. RegCleaner removes (when possible) all of the registrations done by that program. Now when you try to run files that were registered to that program, Windows will bring up a dialog box and ask what program you now want to use with this particular file type. You can then select a new association.

Note (2): In some cases where programs have made particular file type registrations that aren't written into the registry. In those cases, RegCleaner won't be able to help. This is not RegCleaner's fault though, it's simply the way the programs were written.

Important information:

If you are not 100% sure that you have the original disk(s) for all items of software on your computer, we recommend that you do not remove anything unless you are certain you no longer need it. In theory, it's not dangerous if you remove registry entries of most software that you may be using as in most cases you may only lose some of your settings and maybe some options, but be aware that there's always the risk that the software won't work at all!

You may see some entries such as 'product', 'author' or '!"#WFDSf"!4e2e2'. This is an indicator that this information has been written into the software section by accident, so DO NOT remove it! It's most likely a program's copy protection. As an example, Re-Volt and F-Secures virus scanners do this.

Remove software registry entries:

RegCleaner will search the entire registry to remove every entry that has been created by the software you wish to remove. Of course, it's impossible to remove all the entries for various reasons, but RegCleaner does a fantastic job of removing all of the entries possible. The main issue is security, there is no risk what so ever in using RegCleaner according to the author, presuming that you use it correctly. Although you really don't need to know too much about a registry to use RegCleaner, it wouldn't hurt to take some precautions such as backing up the registry using the SCANREG/BACKUP feature of Windows 98, or if you're using Windows 95, export the registry and save it to an area where you can restore it if need be. The author is quite adamant about advising users to take precautions anytime someone makes changes to the registry.

Note: You can't remove any Microsoft Windows© operating system related entries unless you were extremely familiar with the operating system and knew exactly which entries were an integral part of the Windows© Graphic User Interface and whether Windows could operate without them.

Startup List:

Here you will find a list of every program that starts from either the registry or from the start menu during the Windows startup process. These programs can easily use a great deal of your computer's resources, such as memory, and decrease performance. Try and reduce the size of this list as much as possible.

Uninstall menu:

Here you will find listed all of the programs that are available for un-installation through Windows. You can access this list also from Control Panel, Add/Remove programs. The theory behind this feature is that you can remove the junk from the Add/Remove programs list. As an example, if you have recently deleted a program rather than really uninstalling it, much if not all of the related un-installation information will remain in the Add/Remove programs list. By using RegCleaner you can remove them easily. You can also use the "Uninstall Button" to uninstall programs.

File Types:

Here you will find listed every file type or file extension. As an example, if you have recently tried a demo of some program and it has registered the file type "txt" to itself, thereby destroying the association with Notepad etc., and then you decide that the program is useless and uninstall it, the "txt" file type will still be registered to that program. With this feature of RegCleaner you can remove those unneeded file extensions and then re-associate the file type.

Note: Although this feature is reported as not working under Windows95, we have not been able to confirm this. Try it!

New Files:

When you right-click on your Desktop and select 'New', there are a few files that you can create. Now, with RegCleaner you can remove some of these file types from that list.

Note: WinZip (and sometimes Adobe Photoshop) add their files ('Winzip file' and 'Adobe Photoshop image') to that list automatically. If you remove them, they add them in there again.

Note: This feature is reported as not functioning under Windows95, we have not been able to confirm this. Try it!

Shell Extensions:

Here you will find a list of all the file associations. If you were to right-click on an mp3 file, there are some special items on the popup menu. With RegCleaner you can remove those extra commands you don't need. as an example, if you don't have a printer you won't need the ability to print some files with a right-click.

Shared DLL's:

With this feature you can delete unused shared files. Usually here you will only find listed those files that are not used by windows or another programs, therefore they should be safe to delete. Note though RegCleaner will delete the file and the registry entry and both will be saved in a backup.


Here you will find a list of current backups. If you can not see the sections of text for some reason, such as the lines are too long, you can right-click the item you want to see and a popup will show it. Click the popup to hide it. This works also in other sections of the program. You may, however, have to only move the mouse over the popup to make it disappear.

Note: The backups are not removed even after you have restored them. If you want to delete some backups, you will have to delete them by clicking the 'Remove selected' button. It's safer this way!

Remove .Reg Files:

You can remove .reg files from the registry with this feature. This can be done within the RegCleaner (File, Remove .regs, Remove...) or by enabling the shell extension (File, Remove .regs, Enable shell extension). If you choose to enable the shell extension, you can remove .reg files from the registry with right-click menu. Just right-click a .reg file and select 'remove from registry'. You can afterwards remove the shell extension.

Registry Cleanup:

This feature is basically the same as those found in those expensive 'automatic' registry cleaners. That is, this feature automatically removes all kinds of junk from the registry, such as corrupt data is. You can lose some program options or such if you use this feature, so be careful and always backup your registry first! In such cases try to add the programs name (not the filename) to the Ignore List. (Options, Registry Cleanup, Ignore list...)


Marking as old:
-Automatic: All entries are marked as old when you exit the program
-Manual: You can manually mark entries as old

Registry Cleanup:
-Automatic: RegCleaner will do an automated registry cleaning when you click the Registry Cleanup button.
-Manual: RegCleaner will show you a list of all entries that are found to be invalid and they can be removed,
You can then remove them if you like to. One by one or many entries at the same time. When you're done,
click the Done button on the lower left corner.

Uninstall Menu:
-Show all software: all software are shown in the uninstall menu
-Show only hidden software: only hidden software are shown, by hidden I mean software
that are not listed in the Windows´ Add/Remove software list.
-Don't show hidden software: All the same items as in the Windows´ Add/Remove software
list are shown in the uninstall menu.


Q: How do I remove the entries that I want to delete using RegCleaner?

A: Simply highlight those entries that you wish to delete (with your mouse "select" key), and then click with your mouse on the "Remove Selected" button in the lower right corner next to the "Exit" button. The entries you've selected will automatically be deleted.

Q: What does "age" mean?

A: It's a method to point out the new entries. By new, entries that you haven't seen before. So that you don't have to read the entire list, "age" places the new entries at the top of the list.

Q: Does the registry cleanup work with every Operating System?

A: Yes. It supports every OS's as the RegCleaner itself (Win95, 98, 98SE, NT4, 2000)

Q: What are those "unknown entries" ?

A: They can be anything. They can be copy protection, or just some program's settings. Some programs add entries to the registry but don't bother to actually mark what program added them. Although this is sloppy programming, but some programs were written this way.

Q: Even though I have restored a backup it still is in the backup section, why?

A: If you don't need that backup again, then just delete it.

Q: Do I have to delete the old version of RegCleaner before I can install a new one?

A: No. You can delete it, but there is no need to.

Q: How do I uninstall RegCleaner?

A: Just delete it. RegCleaner doesn't make any entries to the registry nor to any other files in your computer.

Q: Is RegCleaner free?

A: Yes, 100% free. No sponsor banners, nothing. True freeware.

Q: Where's the catch?

A: Jouni Vuorio is a student, with about three or fours years to go before graduation. RegCleaner as well as a number of other programs are definitive examples of a young mans talent and a willingness to contribute to the computing community.

Keyboard shortcuts:

ctrl + s : Save the list as a text file
ctrl + q : Exit the program
ctrl + a : Select all items
ctrl + d : Select none
ctrl + i : Inverse selection
ctrl + f : Open the find dialog

F1 : Open this Readme
F2 : Open the old readme

Tips and Tricks

If you can't see everything on RegCleaner, you can use the More Info feature by right-clicking on the item you can't see entirely. When you have seen what you want, you can make the "More Info" disappear by moving the cursor over it. In the backup section it disappears by clicking on it.

Info for Experts:

You can view the contents of backup files by right clicking the backup you want see. If you have chosen to mark entries as old manually, you can mark all as old by selecting none and clicking 'mark as old'.

RegCleaner is a copyrighted product of  Jouni Vuorio
All right reserved

Copyright ©1999-2000 DEW Associates Corporation. All rights reserved.

This page updated 2/12/2001