Do you know what is most annoying about Registry related issues? Everything.
These errors can present themselves out of the blue and in a number of ways, leaving you confused and not knowing what to do about it. Issues like cryptic error messages and blue screen of death are more severe errors a user might encounter when dealing with a corrupted registry.
So, if you are facing any Registry errors in your Windows 11, this article is strictly for you. The following is an all-encompassing guide to Windows Registry and how to troubleshoot the related errors. Even if this is the first time you are hearing about Registry errors, you would still be able to resolve them using the newbie-friendly methods we have shared below. So without further ado, let’s get into it.
Related: 9 Best Registry Cleaners for Windows
What is Windows Registry?
In simple words, Registry is a huge database comprised of configuration settings for Windows and third-party programs you have installed on your computer. Mainly, Registry controls how Windows interact with the hardware and software based on user preferences.
Generally, Registry works fine and doesn’t cause any issues to the user unless someone modifies its content incorrectly; it can really create a mess. Now, you might be thinking that I didn’t do anything, so why am I facing these errors.
Well, there are a few more factors (which we have discussed in the next section) that can cause the Registry items or entries to be corrupted and damaged. For that, you might face a number of issues in your computer, including excessive CPU utilization, longer startup and shutdown times, poor application functionality, or random crashes or hangs.
What Causes Errors in Windows Registry?
Before we get into the actual methods to solve the errors with the Registry, you must know what caused it to be corrupted in the first place. Below we have gathered some of the potential reasons that could be responsible for causing you the troublesome Registry errors.
Orphaned Entries: Orphaned registry records are the small fragments in the entries that get left as a residue after uninstalling or deleting a software/program. It’s basically a leftover in the Registry entries that tends to cause issues.
Duplicate Keys: When you reinstall or upgrade software on your PC, including the operating system, that is when the duplicate keys are made in the Registry. Duplicate keys might be a problem to the particular application they’ve been created by, but the chances of it slowing down your overall computer’s performance is darn low.
Fragmented Registry: Registry files can get fragmented due to the accumulation of several empty registry keys within them. Moreover, Registry can get fragments when an application or program is either updated or uninstalled.
System Shutdown Errors: Every time you turn off your PC, a copy of a registry gets stored in the system memory. At times of power failure and unexpected shutdowns, the machine doesn’t get the time to go through the regular system turn-off routine, and it causes corruption in the Registry hives due to the abrupt stoppage in the process. And later, it presents itself as an error as you try to restart your computer.
Malware/Virus Issues: Among all the listed issues, this can be occurred as potentially damaging to the device. If the Registry items in your computer have been misconfigured by malware attacks, this should be taken seriously as it requires immediate action. Registry entries installed by malware or trojan programs can’t be removed manually, and in certain scenarios seeking help from professionals can only fix the problem for you. It might also prevent you from launching executable files on your PC by changing file associations. Thus it is crucial to resolve the issue as soon as possible before it brings your PC to its knees.
How to Fix Registry Issues in Windows 11
By now, you must have got some basic understanding of what Registry is and how it could possibly get damaged to form various errors. Let’s talk about how you can fix the broken Registry in Windows 11.
NOTE: Before you make any modification in the Registry contents, it is suggested that you back it up and create a restore point. You will be on the safe side if you do that. With the following methods, we aren’t going to make any changes in the Registry, so if you want to skip backing it up, for now, you can do that.
1. Run Deployment Image and System File Scans
- To get started, type “cmd” in the search bar, and click on the “Run as administrator” option as the results for Command Prompt appears.
- Now, copy and paste the following command in the Prompt’s window and hit Enter.
DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth
- Wait until the first scan is completed, and then type the system file command given below and hit Enter.
Now, you have to wait for the system file scan to reach 100%, and when it does, you will receive an outcome message on your screen. After that, close the CMD window as you have completed the first method.
Run the Disk Clean-up tool
- Right-click the Start button and click on the “Run” option from the menu.
- Type the following command in the Run dialog box and click on OK.
- You will see the Disk Clean-up window on your screen. Tap on the “Clean up system files” button and let the process get complete.
- Next, select all the checkboxes for the files given, click OK, and hit the “Delete files” button.
2. Use Startup Repair
- Click on the Windows icon at the Taskbar and then click the “Power” button.
- Now, press and hold the Shift key and click on the “Restart” option.
- You will be asked to choose an option in the following screen, so click on “Troubleshoot.”
- Next, select “Advanced options” and then “Start-up Repair.”
Lastly, select an account you want the start-up repair feature to apply to, enter your password, and hit the Continue button to proceed further.
3. Rollback Windows with System Restore
- Search for “run” in the Windows search bar and open the Run app.
- Type “rstrui” in the Dialog box and click on OK.
- In the System Restore Window, first, click on Next, then select the restore point.
- After that, click on the Next button and then hit Finish.
It will start the restoration process, and in no time, it will be completed. This method has helped many users fix the broken or corrupted registry items, and we hope it will do the same for you.
NOTE: Remember that rolling Windows back to a restore point will remove all the software from your computer installed after the specific date and time. You can find it mentioned on the left pane as you choose the restore point. On the same page, you will find the “Scan for affected changes” button, so click on it to know what application will be removed after implementing the restore point method. You can take a screenshot of that list; that might help you re-install the applications once you are done fixing the issues with your Windows Registry.
4. Reset your PC
NOTE: You might already know what resetting a PC means and what it would do. The software/programs that didn’t come pre-installed will be deleted from your computer, so make sure to take a complete backup before you take a step further resetting your PC. Only use this method as a last resort when nothing seems to be working in your favor.
- Click on the Windows icon and select “Settings” from the menu.
- Next, on the left pane, click on “System,” and scroll down to the “Recovery” option and open it.
- Click on the “Reset PC” button, and choose the “Keep my files” option.
- Now, you will be asked how you want to reinstall Windows, so choose either option (cloud download or local reinstall) depending on your preference and convenience.
- Click on Next, and lastly, hit the “Reset” button to start the process.
And that is all for the methods there is to potentially fix the registry errors or issues in Windows 11.
How to Backup & Restore the Windows Registry?
Backing up the Registry will not help you fix the broken items or errors that already exist in the record. However, it is crucial to have a backup and restore point created if you try to modify the Registry files. So if anything goes wrong or you mess up some entries, you would be able to undo those changes by rolling back your Windows to the previous registry using the backup.
- To backup your Windows Registry, search for “regedit” using the Windows search bar option.
- Open the Registry Editor app.
- Right-click on the “Computer” option at the top, and select “Export.”
- Give a name of your choice to the file, or keep it as simple as “registry backup file” and then click on the Save button.
Now, you have successfully downloaded the backup for your Windows Registry. Whenever you are required to restore it, you have to go to the Registry Editor app using the steps mentioned above and choose “Import” to get the job done.
Are Third-party Registry Cleaner Tools Safe to Use?
We thought it would be great to wrap up this article by answering one of the most frequently asked questions about fixing Registry issues in Windows.
Registry cleaning utilities are dedicated software designed to remove broken and duplicate Registry entries. And to some extent, these tools are useful. However, don’t be fooled by the marketing gimmick promising you some sort of magical improvement in your PC’s performance. More often than not, it’s a lie.
Related: 12 Must have Windows 11 Apps
As you might already know, Windows 11 has recently been released. Since it’s new, there are not many registry cleaning utilities compatible with the version of Windows yet. Therefore we advise you to use the methods we have shared above if you are facing registry errors and want to fix them.
Now, coming to the use of third-party registry cleaning tools and how reliable they are. According to Microsoft, these utilities heavily rely on unsupported methods to modify the contents of a Windows Registry, which can cause serious issues to your computer if something goes wrong. To put it straight to the point, Microsoft does not support the use of registry cleaners. But if you insist on utilizing them, it’s crucial that you don’t go for any other registry cleaning program you find on the internet. You must do the proper research and find a reputed publisher that can be trusted.
Well, that’s all for this extensive guide on how to fix registry issues in Windows 11. We hope we were able to provide you with some value.