[Windows] Backup, clean, and defrag your registry with Athtek Registry Cleaner

2013-02-19_212827Have an increasingly slow computer? Some people would like you to believe that cleaning and/or defragging your registry will help boost performance. To clean and defrag your registry, you need a registry cleaner or defragger. Athtek Registry Cleaner is both; let’s see if it is worth your time.

WHAT IS IT AND WHAT DOES IT DO

Main Functionality

Athtek Registry Cleaner is a program that will clean and defrag your registry. It also has registry backup/restore features, for a fallback in case your registry gets screwed.

Pros

  • Scans and corrects registry errors/redundancy in the following areas: ActiveX/OLE/COM entries, application paths, empty registry keys, file extensions, font entries, help section, invalid file associations, invalid shortcuts, most recently used files, shared DLL sections, sounds section, start menu items, startup programs, invalid MUI referrer, uninstall entries, system services, system program settings, and other program settings
  • Allows users to pick and choose what type of error to look for, and gives users the ability to manually deselect found errors from being fixed (if desired)
  • Can easily undo changes made to the registry during a scan/clean
  • Has the ability to defrag registry
  • Has the ability to backup/restore registry
    • Note: A backup of your registry won’t help in the situation that you cannot even boot back into Windows, if something goes very wrong with Athtek Registry Cleaner. Just sayin’.
  • Has a built-in basic startup manager and basic uninstaller
  • Provides quick access to five Windows tools: System Restore, Windows Backup (if applicable), Disk Checker, Disk Defrag, and System Files Checker

Cons

  • Is aggressive (relatively speaking, compared to CCleaner)
  • Is a bit slow
  • Prompts you to do a full backup of your registry the first time you run the program. However, does not prompt you afterwards. It should prompt you to make full backup prior to every cleaning and defragging.
  • Has a built-in scheduler but the scheduler is very odd and confusing to use
  • Developer lists a bunch of fake awards from popular downloading websites — such as Softpedia and Download.com — on the program’s homepage
  • No offline help

Discussion

2013-02-19_213444Two weeks ago we wrote a review on Soft4Boost PC Win Booster. In that review I talked about how I am against registry cleaners and defraggers simply because they don’t provide a significant performance boost to most people, and the tradeoff of minimal performance boost vs the risk of screwing up your computer (vis-a-vis screwing up registry) is not worth it. I’m not going to repeat the same rant here (go read it in PC Win Booster’s review, if you want to learn more) but I would like to point out I’m not a big fan of registry cleaners and defraggers.

That being said…

Athtek Registry Cleaner is both a registry cleaner and a registry defragger, plus it has the ability to backup/restore your whole registry. On top of that, Athtek Registry Cleaner has the ability to undo any changes made to your registry after a cleaning, in case you realize something went wrong after the fact (this feature is different from the full registry backup feature). Undo points are made automatically prior to running a cleaning; full backups are not automatically bad prior to a cleaning.

Athtek Registry Cleaner is pretty standard when it comes to registry cleaning and defragging. When defragging you are allowed to see an analysis of your registry prior to the actual defrag. When cleaning, you are allowed to pick and choose what type of registry error to look for; then you are shown the scan results prior to the cleaning, from which you can manually remove specific entries from being cleaned if desired.

In terms of speed Athtek Registry Cleaner is a bit slow, taking roughly 6 minutes to scan my registry. Most of these 6 mins were spent looking for broken shortcuts, so if you want to cut down on scan time you can pick to not scan for registry entries related to shortcuts.

In terms of performance, Athtek Registry Cleaner is definitely more aggressive than CCleaner (roughly 7x more aggressive) but not as aggressive as other registry cleaners I have come across. For example, CCleaner found 425 errors while Athtek Registry Cleaner found 2831 errors. Of course more aggressive doesn’t necessarily mean bad… it just means more aggressive. I’m no registry expert but I took a look at the errors Athtek Registry Cleaner found and did not found any glaring false positives, which is a good sign.

I typically don’t let registry cleaners clean my computer, especially new ones I just came across. However, I was feeling a bit adventurous today and decided to let Athtek Registry Cleaner clean my registry. I held my breath as it spent about a minute cleaning everything, after which it told me 2830 errors were cleaned while 1 was not cleaned due to it being in use or some other reason. The result? My computer did not blow up and I noticed nothing unusually wrong. I even restarted my computer to make sure everything was working fine. (The fact that nothing went wrong is definitely a plus sign for the program.) Then things got interesting.

Right after running Athtek Registry Cleaner, I told it to scan my registry again (this is prior to me restarting my computer). Athtek Registry Cleaner found roughly 350 more errors (most of which were empty registry entries)… right after it just cleaned my registry. This is a bit weird but not uncommon with registry cleaners; even CCleaner does it sometimes, although not to this extent. (I did not let Athtek Registry Cleaner clean the 350 errors this time.) What is more interesting, however, is after I restarted my computer I ran Athtek Registry Cleaner again. It found another 2268 errors!

I literally just cleaned my computer with Athtek Registry Cleaner and it finds another 2k errors?! I did nothing major (e.g. didn’t install or uninstall anything) between the time that I ran Athtek Registry Cleaner the first time around to when I restarted to when I ran the program again. So why in the world (and how) is it finding another two thousand errors? Suffice to say, I didn’t let Athtek Registry Cleaner clean my registry this second time — my trust only goes so far.

What eroded my trust further in this program is the fact that the developer lists a bunch of fake awards on Athtek Registry Cleaner’s page:

2013-02-19_212141

Softpedia, Download.com, and Softonic have not even reviewed Athtek Registry Cleaner much less give it 5/5 stars. 3kdownloads has reviewed Athtek Registry Cleaner but gave it 3/5 stars, not 5/5. The only real awards are from software.informer and DownloadPipe, both which actually did give Athtek Registry Cleaner 4/5 stars and 5/5 stars, respectively. The PCMag logo is simply there to make you think PCMag endorsed this program, whereas they didn’t; the logo doesn’t even lead to PCMag’s website — the logo is linked to PC World’s website.

Now the caveat here is the developer claims these are awards for “AthTek Software” and not specifically Athtek Registry Cleaner. However, with the exception of Softonic’s rating which is not linked to anything, all the logos/ratings link to Athtek Registry Cleaner’s page on each respective website. Plus the logos are displayed on Athtek Registry Cleaner’s homepage. So, yes, technically the developer never explicitly claimed these are Athtek Registry Cleaner awards but the developer is definitely being deceptive; some may even call it explicitly lying.

What further hurts the credibility of the developer is the fact that the program has a typo in it. (Look under ‘Registry Undo’ tab at the bottom — it says “Reomove all” instead of “Remove all”.) I realize that typos happen. Heck, dotTech has typos all the time (because I hate proofreading). And a typo in a program does not necessarily correlate to programming skills or lack thereof. However, a typo does hurt the developer’s credibility and credibility is very important when it comes to registry cleaning.

CONCLUSION AND DOWNLOAD LINK

Athtek Registry Cleaner is aggressive. However, I let it clean my computer and nothing bad happened (yet)… which is very good. Plus it comes with two tools instead of one, registry cleaning and defragging. …But I am finding it hard to recommend the program. Why? Due to lack of trust.

When a program finds an extra two thousand errors simply after restarting my computer, that tells me the program may be trying a bit too hard to impressive me. Trying a bit too hard to tell me I need to download the program. And trying too hard is not good for a registry cleaner. It doesn’t help that the developer touts fake awards for this program.

You are more than welcome to give Athtek Registry Cleaner a try and see how it treats you. As for myself and others willing to listen to my advice, I suggest sticking to CCleaner. CCleaner is an excellent free program that is the industry standard when it comes to cleaning your computer. If you want to venture outside the bounds of CCleaner, there are many other cleaners — and/or all-in-one utilities that do cleaning — that have more of a proven history than Athtek Registry Cleaner; programs such as Advanced SystemCare, Toolwiz Care, Glary Utilities, WinUtilities Free, and Puran Utilities, all of which are freeware or have freeware versions.

Price: $29.99

Version reviewed: 2.0

Supported OS: Windows 2000 and higher

Download size: 6.1MB

VirusTotal malware scan results: 2/46

Is it portable? No

Athtek Registry Cleaner homepage

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17 comments

  1. Fix registry errors?

    I don´t believe a free registry cleaner will be able to fix all registry errors. Maximum they can clean temporary internet files and recycle bin. However, we could clean these two files manually. So, what is the idea behind installing a free registry cleaner on a computer?

  2. Shawn

    I installed it in a Sandbox first then I just copied the modules I wanted.

    As for Puran size and other separate files the program used to be for sale now it’s a freeware. In my book I don’t care if the thing is in Morse code for text as long as what I’m looking for works.

    Most of the apps are in the main pack some others are available separate.

    @Rob

    It’s a full install but like I mentioned you can just extract the tools you need from the folder they pretty much work like portable apps.

    @WildCat

    I remember that article here’s what I use instead as I can add what I want to it.

    NirLauncher http://launcher.nirsoft.net/

  3. WildCat

    [@Rob (Down Under)] Very interesting…. When you click the download button for the ‘full version’ of Puran Utilities it states: Filename: PuranUtilitiesSetup.exe File Size: 9.87 MB… When you click download link for Minimal PC it shows the EXACT same thing. All of the others on main page that I right clicked and opened in a new tab show different .exe and file size. Strange thing is the FULL Puran download is supposedly only 9.87 MB, according to the site. But when I opened up- Delete Empty Folders, Disk Check, Uninstaller, Defrag, Delete History, Gaming PC and Registry Defrag the total combined MB of only these seven downloads equaled 12.37 MB with Puran Defrag being the largest of the seven at 3.32 MB. Maybe they need a new ‘web guy’, one who owns a calculator? Or is there something else going on there???

  4. Rob (Down Under)

    [@Shawn]
    I personalloy would only be interested in Minimal PC (as it appears to know which services are safe to stop)
    They mention that individual utilities can be downloaded, but I cannot find an individual download ?
    Does the full setup, allow you to choose which ones are to be installed ?

  5. WildCat

    [@Shawn] Sigh… I miss Win 3.1, so simple and DOS commands worked with it as well. Those were the days… lol Hmmm… “By fluke”??? This is dotTech!( yelled like a Spartan! )… http://dottech.org/81845/windows-collect-all-of-your-windows-utilities-in-one-place-with-puran-ultilities/ NO FLUKES ALLOWED! lol Glad you found what you were looking for. Hmmm… maybe another look, fuller article, at/on Puran Utilities is required?!?! Anyone? Bueller…

  6. Shawn

    @Rob…

    Sorry about that.

    XP was the OS in question… But every windows OS was giving me the same issues with my recorder.. and considering I was trying to record a screen saver type of animation well needless to say the PC didn’t want to share it’s resources nicely. None the less problem solved.

  7. Shawn

    @WildCat

    Thanks for the information I tried Game Booster the problem I was having is that I was getting a overlay bug with the software recorder I was trying to use.

    Good news is that I did find what I was looking for in Puran Utilities (By fluke because I was looking to defragment my system go figure) there is a Minimal PC option (makes your windows practicaly look like windows 3.1) and I was able to produce the screen recordings I needed in 30 frame rate.

    - Thanks all for the suggestions

  8. WildCat

    [@Shawn] Only “toggle switch” type of program I know of to shut down “unneeded services” would be IObit’s Game Booster. I usually start it up before running games like BF3, COD:MW3, Planetside 2, etc. If I remember correctly, it suspends around 25 “unneeded services” ( Examples: print spooler, DivX Update, Java Update Scheduler, etc…) that I don’t need while I’m gaming. I’m using version 3.4.054, but I think this was the last free “full version” under IObit. Versions 3.6(?) and up are called Razer Game Booster as last release that I know of by IObit was Game Booster 3.5.0 Beta. If this isn’t what you were looking for then I would say to follow Rob(down under)’s advice. If this is the type of program you were looking for you should be able to find & download it, ver. 3.4.054, from Major Geeks, TechSpot, or other similar safe geek/techie freeware type websites. Hope this info helps.

  9. Albert Otojunk

    There are four different registry files located in four different locations. I don’t remember the names or the locations of the files.

    When evaluating registry cleaners, you chould check the size of the these files before and after cleaning. Since ARC first found 2,830 errors, then 350 more, and then 2,268 more, the difference in file size would be interesting.

    ‘Preciate you and your site. Keep up the good work!

  10. BearPup

    I use the registry cleaners and deframenters in System Mechanic Pro (iolo systems) and 360amigo Speed Up. Both have worked well for me as part of their broad range system utilities.

    Hmm…there might be an article / review in those programs….

  11. Louis

    I would add Auslogics’ Registry Cleaner to the list of (relatively) safe cleaners, as I’ve used it for quite some time now.

    As mentioned in the article, one can get into trouble after using any registry cleaner, by not being able to boot into Windows. The only sure defense (as far as I know) to this, is to only ever run any registry cleaner directly after making a system image file of your Windows system drive — for that I use Win 7′s utility : That way you can immediately recover without booting into Windows, by the F8 method during startup and selecting the ‘Repair Computer’ option.

    @ Shawn : I would rather use WinPatrol, it’s user friendly, and allows you to shutdown (and manage for the future) non-Windows services if you select that option, in addition to managing your startup programs list — you can even set startup software to only load after a specified period of time (a feature I find to work very well). Just switch off the yapping dog !

  12. Rob (Down Under)

    [@Shawn]
    I may be ‘teaching my grandmother to suck eggs’
    If so I apologize.
    Have you checked ‘the usual suspects’ first by running msconfig, and unticking applications that really don’t need to be starting with windows ?
    You could even browse the services for any that you recognize, and could untick’ safely.
    You could also go to the start menu’s Startup folder and delete some shortcuts. I have created a companion folder called Startup_Disabled, and I just drag them into there.
    What version of Windows are you using ?
    The next suggestion creates controversy, as there are widely differing opinions about what they do (or how they do it).
    In XP there is a prefetch sub folder under Windows. I deleted the contents. In XP that will do no harm, and it might do some good. (Actually I found a setting, and mine is permanently empty.)
    I would switch off Indexing for all of your partitions/drives.
    In fact switch off as much of MS’s crap as you can.

  13. Shawn

    @Ashraf

    I’m the same with cleaners unless I know what it’s doing no thanks.

    Btw do you know of any free program that will shut down services and free up as much resources as a toggle switch.. Reason I’m asking is that I have a screencast recording that I am trying to do and the video is just way too choppy.

    Thanks in advance..