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Computer optimization software

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#1 reginaldvw


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Posted 26 January 2016 - 11:06 AM

Could someone please confirm, or deny, that computer optimization software such as registry cleaners or speed optimizers are a very bad idea and that you should NEVER use any of those?
They cause more problems than they fix and they don't cure anything. On the contrary: some of them are even dangerous and are malware disguised as computer optimization software.
I'm trying to convince someone not to use them but I'm looking for good arguments.

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#2 Aura


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Posted 26 January 2016 - 11:40 AM

This is what I usually post.

warning.gifPC Booster/Tune-Up Program Warning!
"PC Booster/Tune Up" programs are part of the worst programs you can install on a system. When it comes to messing up your system (Windows), these are as worst as malware. They are completely worthless and useless to use. The worst is that they'll often take action on your system without you knowing, nor authorizing it, which could lead to your system being altered in a way you don't want it to be or even worst, a "broke" system. Every feature they provide, you can either do it natively under Windows, do it via another standalone executable (which is way easier and safer to use) or they aren't providing something you need. Here's a few examples:
  • Cleaning temporary files: TFC (standalone executable), CCleaner (installed), Cleanmgr.exe (in-built);
  • Managing start-up entries: Autoruns (standalone executable), CCleaner (installed), Task Manager and Registry (in-built);
  • Driver Updater: Not needed, all you need is to go on your manufacturer website so you'll be sure to get the right, official, working drivers for your computer or hardware;
  • Registry Cleaner/Defragger: Completely useless and also dangerous;
  • Disk Defragging: Disk Defrag (in-built), O&O Disk Defrag (installed), Defraggler (installed);
  • Powerful uninstaller: Not needed, only needed when you have to make sure a program is completely uninstalled. Revo Uninstaller have a portable version you can use;
  • "Enhanced" Task Manager: Procexp (standalone executable), Process Hacker (portable or installed);
  • "Active security": Any Antivirus and Antimalware can beat that, easily. These programs aren't made to replace Antivirus or Antimalware products and shouldn't be seen as such;
  • Repair Hard Drive issues: Simple chkdsk /r command under Windows (in-built);
Having such program installing on your system will just bloat it down and you have more chances to have issues by using them than without. These products are advertised as a program that can solve all your issues, remove every malware, speed up your computer performance over 100%, etc. The truth is that there's not a single program that can do that. First of all, these programs aren't made to remove virus and malware, leave this in the hands of Antivirus and Antimalware, period. Secondly, there's so many kind of issues under Windows that there's not a single program that can address them all. If you think that BSOD (Blue Screen of Death) issues can be solved by opening a program and clicking on a "Fix" button, then I'm sorry to tell you but, you're wrong. Also, you cannot boost the performance of a hardware over it's hardware capabilities. Of course you can overclock some components, like your CPU, RAM and GPU, but these aren't done via these programs, but via your BIOS interface. I could recommend you a program for every feature these programs advertise, and also tell you exactly in detail why most of them are completely useless, such as Registry cleaner (dangerous to use), and driver updater (dangerous to use, and also completely useless, it'll not improve your system performance). In the end, buying such programs is the exact same as being scammed (because this is what it is, a pure scam) and using one of these programs will result you in having a system less performant than prior to using it.

Relevant articles if you want to read more about PC Boosters/Optimizers and why they are useless:warning.gifRegistry Cleaners Warning!
Registry Cleaners are known to be harmful to the system and should not be used for any reason there is. It's a known fact that using these programs can easily break a Windows installation, to the point where a complete reinstallation might be needed. Here's a few myths about using these programs, and why they are just plainly false.
  • "Using a Registry Cleaner will improve a system's performance" - False. The Windows Registry is a big database which contains information on everything present on the system, from the boot settings to how your programs looks when you open them. There's so many entries in it that cleaning even thousands of them isn't enough to boost a system performance. Also, there's no studies, tests, benchmarks, etc. which shows that using Registry Cleaners actually improve a system speed;
  • "Using a Registry Cleaner will fix all your errors" - False. Using a Registry Cleaner won't fix any problems at all. In fact, it have more chances to create them if anything. There's no program that can fix every problems in a simple click, and there probably never will. If you have an error, it's better to troubleshoot that error in particuliar by finding what's causing it and fixing it than using a software that might give you more errors;
  • "If you don't use a Registry Cleaner, you'll leave a door open for malware" - False. It is rare that malware will actually hijack orpheans keys and keypairs in the Registry to create persistence or install themself. They'll usually create their own keys/keypairs since they have been instructed (coded) to do so, and the creator cannot expect every system he'll infect to have leftover keys. Also, pretty much only Reg Loading Points in the Registry would be of any interest for a malware to hijack, and these are usually occupied already, or quickly deleted when empty;
  • Registry Cleaners aren't Registry Defraggers - These are two different kind of software who have two distinct function each.
  • On a last note, there's a lot of Registry Cleaners out here that won't create a back-up of your Registry before applying the changes they make. Which means that if you use them and clean entries that prevents Windows to reboot after, locking you out of your computer, you won't be able to restore a precedent Registry back-up via the Recovery PE. This means that if you can't fix the boot issue after that, you'll most likely be forced to reinstall Windows;
Registry Cleaners were used back in the days by developers who were using a OLE-schema for their applications. They used these to clean the Registry after uninstalling their programs, just in case there was traces of it left behind that could affect a reinstallation. These were back in the Windows 95 and Windows 98 days and this practice isn't in effect anymore. Therefore, there's no reason for you to use such programs and quite a few to avoid them instead.

Here's more articles on Registry Cleaners that are worth a read if you want to learn more about them and why you shouldn't use them.

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