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Problematic registry cleaner

Skip this easy-to-use, but unreliable, registry cleaner.

Free Registry Cleaner has too many problems to be a good choice for anyone except those who prefer to clean their own registries key by key.

Visually, the interface is clean, if unexciting. The program offers a few other functions as well, but nothing that isn't already possible through the Control Panel, Task Manager, or other integrated Windows utilities. It defaults to a wizard interface that not easy to use. Initially, we thought the unpickable picklist was the worst it offered; when asked to select the areas to scan, we found that Ctrl-click did not work. Instead, we could only make a single selection or check a box to select all, after which we were forced to choose to Scan or to Cancel, with no idea whether the program would clean or scan. We were relieved to find that Free Registry Cleaner simply scanned and returned a list. But we quickly became disturbed again, however, when we realized that the program had scanned everything, even though we had specifically unchecked the box to scan all. The error lies in the wizard itself; using the non-wizard Show Options button lets you choose the areas to be scanned and actually follows your instructions.

Free Registry Cleaner worked well for us in a few simple tests. Unfortunately, there are too many user interface issues--and too many good registry cleaners out there without similar issues--for us to recommend this application.

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