How to Delete Broken Entries in Windows Registry

How to Delete Broken Entries in Windows Registry

What is Windows Registry? All low-level Windows settings and Application settings including, device drivers, user interface, paths to folders, start menu shortcuts, etc, are stored in a database called Windows Registry. The entries of this registry are relatively difficult to edit, but you can modify how programs and applications behave. Since Windows usually, does not delete the registry values hence, all unwanted broken registry entries get accumulated in the system when you run it for a prolonged period of time. Even more so, when you install or uninstall applications often. Moreover, it slows down the overall performance of the system. Therefore, it is necessary to remove these. If you want to do so, read below to learn how to delete broken entries in Windows Registry.

How to Delete Broken Entries in Windows Registry

How to Delete Broken Entries in Windows Registry on Windows 10

What are Broken Registry Items?

Issues like abrupt shutdown, power supply failure, viruses & malware, damaged hardware, and software, etc., corrupt the registry items. These items get bloated and all these redundant files end up occuping most of the disk space. This leads to slow performance and startup problems in the computer. Hence, if your system is not functioning effectively or if you are facing issues with applications or programs, then delete broken registry items from your computer.

To understand it better, read our tutorial on What is Windows Registry & How it Works?.

Note: Since Windows registry is a collection of sensitive data files, all the deleting/formatting procedures must be handled carefully. If you modify/delete even single essential registry, then the functioning of your operating system will be disturbed. Hence it is recommended to backup all your files before deleting any data from the Windows Registry.

We have compiled a list of methods to remove broken registry items on Windows 10 PC and arranged them according to user convenience. So, let us begin!

Method 1: Perform Disk Cleanup

Follow the steps mentioned below to perform disk cleanup:

1. Press Windows key, type Disk Cleanup then, hit Enter.

Open Disk Cleanup from your search results. How to delete broken entries in Windows Registry

2. Select the drive e.g. C:  and click on OK in Disk Cleanup: Drive Selection window.

Now, select the drive you wanted to perform a clean up and click on OK. How to delete broken entries in Windows Registry

3. Disk Cleanup will now scan for files and calculate the amount of space that can be cleared.

Disk Cleanup will now scan for files and calculate the amount of space that can be cleared. It may take a few minutes.

4. Relevant boxes are marked in the Disk Cleanup Window automatically.

Note: You can also check the boxes marked Recycle Bin & others to clear out more space.

check the boxes in Disk Cleanup window. Just, click on OK.

5. Finally, click on OK, wait for the Disk Cleanup utility to finish the process and Restart your PC.

Disk Cleanup utility is cleaning up unnecessary files on your machine

Also Read: How to Fix Corrupt Registry in Windows 10

Method 2: Run System File Checker

Windows users can automatically, scan and repair their system files with the help of the System File Checker utility. In addition, this built-in tool lets them delete files accordingly. Here’s how to clean the registry in Windows 10 using cmd:

1. Type cmd in Windows search bar. Click on Run as administrator, as depicted below.

Open the elevated command prompt by pressing the Windows key + S, type cmd and choose run as administrator.

2. Type sfc /scannow and hit Enter.

Type the following command into cmd and hit Enter. How to delete broken entries in Windows Registry

3. System File Checker will begin its process. Wait for the Verification 100 % completed statement to appear on screen.

4. Lastly, restart your Windows 10 PC and check if the broken registry items on Windows are deleted. 

Method 3: Run DISM Scan

Deployment Image Servicing and Management is an administrative command-line tool used to repair Windows Installation Media, Windows Recovery Environment, Windows Setup, Windows Image, and Virtual hard disk. Running DISM command is an alternative solution to how to delete broken entries in the Windows registry. Here’s how to clean the registry in Windows 10 using cmd:

1. Run Command Prompt with administrative privileges, as earlier.

You are advised to launch Command Prompt as an administrator. How to delete broken entries in Windows Registry

2. Now, type CheckHealth command given below and hit Enter to determine if there are any corrupt files within local Windows 10 image.

Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth

Run DISM checkhealth command

3. Then, execute DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth command similarly.

Run DISM scanhealth command.

4. Again, type the given commands one-by-one and press Enter key after each to get rid of corrupt system files as well as registry items. In addition, it will help you save disk space by reducing the size of WinSxS folder too.

DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /StartCompenentCleanup

DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth 

Type another command Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /restorehealth and wait for it to complete

5. Wait for the process to be completed and restart your computer.

Method 4: Run Startup Repair

Running the in-built automatic repair will help you to delete the broken registry items from your system with speed and ease, as explained below:

1. Press the Windows key and click on the Power icon.

2. Select Restart while holding the Shift key.

Now, select the Power icon and click on Restart while holding the Shift key. How to delete broken entries in Windows Registry

3. Here, click on Troubleshoot, as shown.

Here, click on Troubleshoot.

4. Select Advanced options in Troubleshoot window.

Click on Advanced Options

5. Now, click on Startup Repair, as highlighted below.

Now, click on Advanced options followed by Startup Repair. How to delete broken entries in Windows Registry

6. Click on Continue to proceed by entering your Password. The tool will scan your system and fix broken registry items.

Also Read: Fix DISM Error 87 in Windows 10

Method 5: Reset Windows

Sometimes, your device may not allow you to remove broken registry items from your system. Here’s how to delete broken entries in Windows Registry by resetting your Windows 10 PC:

1. Press Windows + I keys together to open Settings in your system.

2. Now, select Update & Security, as shown.

Now, scroll down the list and select Update & Security. How to delete broken entries in Windows Registry

3. Here, click on Recovery in the left pane and Get started in the right pane, as highlighted.

Now, select the Recovery option from the left pane and click on Get started in the right panel. How to delete broken entries in Windows Registry

4. Now, choose an option from the Reset this PC window:

  • Keep my files option will remove apps and settings but keeps your personal files.
  • Remove everything option will remove all your personal files, apps, and settings.

Now, choose an option from the Reset this PC window.

 5. Finally, follow the on-screen instructions to reset the computer and get rid of all corrupt or broken files.

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We hope that this guide was helpful and you could understand how to delete broken entries in Windows Registry. Let us know which method worked for you the best. Also, if you have any queries/suggestions regarding this article, then feel free to drop them in the comments section below.

Posted by
Pete Mitchell

Pete is a Senior staff writer at TechCult. Pete loves all things technology and is also an avid DIYer at heart. He has a decade of experience writing how-tos, features, and technology guides on the internet.

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