You can change Registry key values manually using the built-in Windows Registry Editor (regedit) in order to improve performance or make Windows work the way you want, but you need to know what you’re doing or you can seriously damage your OS. In this post, we will show you the safest & recommended ways to fix or repair a corrupted or damaged Registry in Windows 11 and Windows 10.
Usually, the Registry gets corrupted if you make some changes using the Registry Editor. Sometimes, malware infection or Disk issues can also end up corrupting the registry file. That’s why it is more than recommended to back up your registry before changing anything as there you have all the internal settings of your Windows 10 system.
There are several common causes of registry errors. Some are worth worrying about, and others are not.
- Orphaned entries. Orphaned entries occur when you uninstall software and small fragments of registry entries are left behind. Registry cleaner software will often claim these are an immediate issue, but in reality, they will just use up a few kilobytes of free space on your disk.
- Duplicate keys. Duplicate keys are made when you reinstall, upgrade, or update the software on your machine, including the operating system. Registry cleaner software will state that your programs will be confused by the duplicate entries, slowing the performance of your machine, but that is not true.
- Fragmented registry. The registry can also fragment when the software is uninstalled, upgraded, or updated. Registry defragmenters claim to defrag the registry.
- System shutdown errors. Each time your computer shuts down, a copy of the registry is saved to system memory. If your computer is turned off, crashes, or dies without going through the normal shutdown routine, it could cause an issue in the future, but this is unlikely.
- Malware. Many types of malware attacks can modify the registry. In particular, malware is regularly designed to change the values of startup keys so it will be activated each time you restart the PC. Changes to the registry by malware require immediate attention.
As you can tell, a problem on the registry means a problem on your OS, thus you can end up having difficulties in using your device. In most of cases, when the registry gets corrupted, the Windows OS must be reinstalled which means that you are losing all of your data.
Fix corrupt or damaged Registry in Windows 11/10
We should point out the following:
- There used to be a native Windows OS Registry Checker Tool (scanreg.exe) that quickly scanned the system registry for invalid entries and empty data blocks when the OS is started. But it has long been discontinued,
- It’s NOT recommended to use any third-party registry cleaner. These utilities could end up damaging the registry, says Microsoft.
If you have a recent Registry backup, use it. If u have a recent System Restore Point, then restore your system. If not, then read on.
So, if you ever need to repair a corrupted or damaged registry in Windows, you can try any of the following recommended methods:
- Perform SFC scan
- Perform DISM scan
- Perform System Restore
- Reset Windows 10
- Perform Automatic Startup Repair
- Perform Windows 10 In-place Upgrade Repair
Let’s see a description of these methods.
1] Perform SFC scan
Sometimes the corruption of the Windows system files can corrupt registry entries, so here it is recommended to very first run SFC (System File Checker) in Windows to repair corrupt system files. Better still, run System File Checker in Safe Mode, Boot Time, or Offline.
2] Perform DISM scan
In some cases where running the SFC scan won’t help you to fix registry errors in Windows 11/10, you can try running the DISM (Deployment Image Servicing and Management) command-line tool.
Read: Windows\System32\config\SYSTEM is missing or corrupt.
3] Perform System Restore
In less severe cases, restoring your system can help resolve registry errors on Windows 11/10.
Read: How to fix corrupted system files in Windows
4] Reset Windows 11/10
This solution allows you to reset your PC and without affecting any files. This will completely refresh the Windows system files and repair the Windows registry. You may use the option in Settings or Cloud Reset.
5] Perform Automatic Startup Repair
Running the automatic startup repair works as well in fixing registry errors and cleaning the registry in Windows 11/10.
6] Perform Windows In-place Upgrade Repair
The Windows In-place Upgrade Repair is another solution that can repair corrupt or damaged registry in the Windows operating system.
I hope you find this post helpful.
Read next: How to repair a corrupt Group Policy in Windows.