May 21, 2009 6:03 AM   Subscribe

I would like to dowwnload a registry cleaner, but find all the comparisons seem to be sponsored by a software company trying to sell THEIR cleaner, which of course, is "the best" of those compared. Is there a truly independent comparison I can refer to? Or, is RegCure REALLY the best one to try or do they just have a huge marketing budget!?? My problem is the stupid flash player ver 10 won't download properly, and I'm hoping a reg cleaner will help. Anyone know?
posted by bbfunluvingal to Computers & Internet (16 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I've had good luck with CCleaner, which is free!
posted by Arbac at 6:12 AM on May 21, 2009 [1 favorite]

I will not say that it is the best, but in the past I have used CCleaner for registry cleaning purposes. It's a free download from Just be careful during the installation or you'll end up with a copy of the Yahoo toolbar installed.

However, while cleaning the registry *feels* really good, I've actually never had it fix a specific machine issue. Could you tell us a little more about your Flash 10 issue?
posted by kbanas at 6:13 AM on May 21, 2009

Can you explain what you mean by "won't download properly"? A registry issue wouldn't be my first guess if you're having a download issue.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 6:13 AM on May 21, 2009

I'm not sure I'm answering your question, but when I decide to download free software from the interet, I always go to, read the reviews and choose freeware from there. CCleaner works well for me as a registry cleaner. The "clean," free download can be found via As for whether it will fix your flash problem, I have no idea.

* I have no affiliation with I just like it because I'm not all that computer literate and it is easy to use and reliable.
posted by vincele at 6:14 AM on May 21, 2009

Registry Cleaners were handy with Windows 98, but like kbanas I have rarely found they solved any problems with XP.

And, as Inspector.Gadget says, your symptoms don't sound like the kind of thing a registry cleaner will help.
posted by Busy Old Fool at 6:38 AM on May 21, 2009 [1 favorite]

You don't need a registry cleaner to fix the Adobe flash problem. Just run their uninstaller from here. and then reinstall the app directly from adobe's webpage. That has fixed the problem for me with many of my clients about 99% of the time. Be VERY careful with registry cleaners. They tend to wreak more havoc than they actually fix. I run a nationwide remote computer support business (click here for blatant plug) and we see a lot of registry cleaner based issues that involve myself or my partner having to go in and manually edit the thing - never fun. Good luck with the issue and you can always MeFi mail me or contact me on the site if you need more guidance.
posted by darknemus at 6:42 AM on May 21, 2009 [1 favorite]

I'd advise to go to one of the registry help forums that have you post hijackthis logs and such, and they walk you through step by step processes with custom chosen freeware to solve your problems.
posted by stratastar at 6:48 AM on May 21, 2009

Speaking as a programmer I've always maintained that the best registry cleaner is a Windows reinstall, due to all the interdependencies going on in the registry. The only effective way to take care of the registry is through due diligence about what is executed on the computer (containerizing it in a separate, limited account if in doubt) and what browser active content is allowed to run.
posted by crapmatic at 7:01 AM on May 21, 2009

I've also found that deleting cookies solved Flash installation problems on one of my users.
posted by alasdair at 7:03 AM on May 21, 2009

Four words:

Registry cleaners don't work.

That's why the bulk of them you'll find are snake-oil and hokum from spam sites and scammers.

And it's hard for me to imagine why the registry would cause a download problem, Even if it did cause the problem, you'd be better off just going into the registry and deleting that single key yourself.

Describe your problem a little more. You say you're having trouble installing Flash v10—what's happening when you try? What kind of error messages are you getting? I'm sure we can walk you through this.
posted by koeselitz at 7:18 AM on May 21, 2009

Reg cleaners are dangerous things. One that worked well for me is Auslogics Registry Defrag, but I agree with koeselitz - it's highly unlikely to be a registry-based issue - and darknemus - use a legit uninstaller first.
posted by cyniczny at 8:03 AM on May 21, 2009

CCleaner. I try to always download free programs from Filehippo because they don't hide the download link among a bunch of ads for other products.
posted by coolguymichael at 12:49 PM on May 21, 2009

RegScrubXP always worked well for me, but you may not be running XP.
posted by Dr. Send at 1:05 PM on May 21, 2009

Flash 10 standalone installer for IE.
Flash 10 standalone installer for Firefox, Opera, Safari.

Try using these installers to install (or reinstall) Flash 10. Close any open browser windows before you start. When you are done, go to this page and see if it detects your plugin. If not, then try reinstalling Firefox or upgrading to IE8, as the case may be.

Most registry cleaners are junk.
posted by tracert at 6:07 PM on May 21, 2009

After reading this thread I freaked a bit and uninstalled CCleaner. I liked it though, because it did increase the speed of my clunky machine (not confirmation bias). So, does CCleaner pose that big a threat to my Windows XP system? If this derail is inappropriate, mods please delete.
posted by vincele at 6:52 PM on May 22, 2009

vincele, the worst people are saying is that registry cleaners don't work and that some are spyware-infested. CCleaner is the best-regarded of them and there's no particular reason to uninstall it. There are some situations (messed up uninstallations, for example) where they do definitely help clean up messes.

However, assuming it did increase your computer's speed, that should have been a one-off improvement and uninstalling it won't undo the changes it made. If you found that you were running it regularly and each time it was making major changes, then there is an underlying problem with your system that you should address rather than patching it up with CCleaner.
posted by Busy Old Fool at 12:28 AM on May 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

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