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Wise Registry Cleaner
Another registry cleaner program is being offered and marketed for Windows users, and it's called Wise Registry Cleaner by ZhiQing Soft Ltd. from China. The program has been downloaded 2 million times already, ever since it was added onto CNET's Download.com this month, but so far you won't find any user reviews from the people who actually downloaded or installed the software.
The program: Wise Registry Cleaner is like other ordinary registry cleaners that scan the Windows registry, fix errors, invalid keys and already removed software in Windows. It can also defrag the registry to reduce the size. An automatic back-up of the registry on is offered during the initial run of the program. There's also an option to create a system restore point before running registry fix. Read more about Wise Registry Cleaner below.
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Editions of Wise Registry Cleaner and Installation
The software vendor of the registry cleaner is offering three editions of Wise Registry Cleaner: Free, Pro and Portable editions.
I tried the free and portable editions of Wise Registry cleaner and found the free version is bundled with the unwanted toolbar by Ask.com. There's no option to not install the Ask toolbar, but unchecking the 3 boxes for the Ask toolbar installation means that the third-party add-on will not install. However, there are user reports that unchecking those boxes doesn't actually prevent it from installing the Ask toolbar, which is not surprising because many software vendors have done the same trick. Foxit Reader is an example of software that was found to install the Ask toolbar to some computers, even if the user unchecked the installation option for the toolbar. Not all people have seen this but there are reports of it.
Thinking that the EULA and Ask toolbar in the Wise Registry Cleaner installer are the only items that people should be conscious about, I proceeded to install Wise registry cleaner and was surprised that users have to deal with a few more items during the installation process:
- An offer to download Wise Disk Cleaner for free.
- The optional e-mail newsletter subscription, which is pre-checked.
- The Information box that says Wise Disk Cleaner should be run first, before using the registry cleaner program.
- If a user opted to download and install Wise Disk Cleaner, it will offer Wise Registry Cleaner which does not make sense, if Wise Registry Cleaner is installed already. The installer lacks the functionality to detect whether the its sister software is installed.
- The advertisements or nag that can be disabled the first time, but the program continues to display the nag screen anyway when a new ad is offered by the developer. It is because the settings window continues to keep it checked or selected. It means that each time a user runs Wise Registry cleaner, there is a nag screen which the program named a "newsletter," if a new ads is available from the vendor. The "Auto get newsletter" should be disabled by the user to prevent it from displaying such nag screens.
Note that the portable edition of Wise Registry Cleaner does not include the Ask toolbar installer, you'll only see the nagging "newsletter."
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Wise Registry Cleaner Performance
The User Interface of Wise Registry Cleaner is neat and the fact that it prompts user to create a backup (a restore point or registry backup) is a plus. A restore option if trouble starts after using the registry cleaner and a scheduler to run the program automatically are available.
The problem is that when I tried the registry cleaner from Wise in Windows 7, it found 244 items to fix. I've customized the registry scan by unchecking some items that it will not scan, but the scan result continues to display 244 items that needs fixing or deletion from the registry. I was curious about this, so I analyzed the detected items and found most of them should not be fixed at all or that the invalid entries are not actually invalid. I then proceeded to install Wise Registry Cleaner free onto a clean install of XP that has not received any security updates or changes to the system. I expect it to not find any errors, but only some invalid entries. Unfortunately, the registry cleaner by Wise has detected 50 items to fix, and then 5 to remove. That's too many errors or invalid entries for a clean system and you won't see this registry analysis from other registry cleaner programs that I've tested on Windows XP and Windows 7:
Image credit: Screenshots taken by the author.