Simnet Registry Defrag 2010 is a free tool that analyzes and defragments the Windows Registry, restoring some of the performance that daily use tends to erode. And, like many free registry utilities, it will also scan your system for other performance problems, find them, and offer to install shareware to fix them. However, unlike many "free utilities" that do nothing but find problems for other software to fix, Simnet Registry Defrag actually defragments the registry. It's easy to use, too, and seems to do a good job.
Registry Defrag has a stylish interface with a minimum of settings and options; just selections for automatic updates as well as creating system restore points. We consider automatic restore points a basic requirement of any tool that accesses the registry, even one that merely tidies up the physical structure without changing or deleting anything, but most especially when it's designed to be easy enough for inexperienced users. The Help button accesses a link to a PDF-based user guide as well as a video demo, but Registry Defrag is fairly straightforward in operation. The Status button accesses the scanner interface, which is basically just a large button labeled Analyze Now. As always, we recommend closing all programs and windows before running a registry cleanup, even a scan. We clicked the Analyze Now button, and Registry Defrag displayed a color-coded fragmentation map of our registry and an estimation of how much space we'd save if we defragged. We clicked Defrag Now, and a pop-up advised us that the program would restart our system when it finished. We clicked OK, Registry Defrag did its thing, and our system rebooted. We reran Registry Defrag, but it indicated our registry was no longer fragmented and wouldn't start the defrag operation. We approve; there's no point in running a tool over your registry again and again. We did run our usual registry cleaner as a check, but it turned up nothing that Registry Defrag missed.
There's a small button on the program's interface labeled, "Check your PC health." This scans your system for registry errors, junk files, and unneeded start-up items, offering to install other software products to optimize your PC, for a price. However, it's not unnecessarily dramatic about it, as so many free system scanners are when they find "problems." And, in any case, Registry Defrag actually does something useful.