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What is the Registry and why do I need to maintain it?

The registry is a key component of the Windows operating system. Without it, Windows would not be able to run. The registry is stored on your computer in several files. Depending upon your version of Windows there will be different files and different locations for these files.

The registry records the relationship between hardware, memory space, and addressing. It contains information and settings for all the hardware, software, users, and preferences of the computer. Whenever you make a change to the Control Panel settings, file associations, system policies, or installed software, the changes are reflected and stored in the registry. The operating system continually references this information during its operation.

When the registry becomes very large, the computer's performance can decrease and may cause it to be unstable. Some computer users will spend a lot of time and effort going through the registry and editing it manually. Not only can this be a daunting task, it is also a risky one.

Note: Making changes to the registry can cause damage to your system. You need to proceed cautiously and be certain of what you are doing.

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