PROS / It backs up your registry before making any changes.
CONS / It decreased our test computer’s overall performance by 2.63 percent.
VERDICT / Registry First Aid found the most registry errors in our tests, but this didn’t translate into improved computer performance.
Developed by Rose City Software, Registry First Aid is designed to stabilize and improve your computer’s performance by repairing errors in your PC’s Windows registry database. While this registry repair app certainly found a lot of issues, it failed to improve our PC’s performance. In fact, it made the overall performance slower than it was before.
To review registry repair software, we looked primarily at how much each program could improve a slow computer. To test this, we started with a painfully slow, seven-year-old computer. We used performance benchmarking software to set the baseline performance for word and data processing, graphics processing, web browsing speed, and video chat quality. Afterward, we installed the registry repair software, scanned the computer, repaired the issues it found and ran the performance benchmarking software again. Unfortunately, Registry First Aid was one of the poorest-performing apps in our review.
After finding and fixing 8,195 registry errors on our PC, which was the greatest number of issues found by any of the apps we tested, the computer’s performance actually worsened. It was 2.4 percent slower in the word and data processing tests and 1.25 percent slower in the web browsing speed tests. The 1 percent improvement to graphics processing and .02 percent improvement to video chat quality weren’t enough for an overall positive improvement. That said, the improvements made by even the best registry repair software in our tests weren’t significant enough to be noticeable without the aid of performance benchmarking software.
The software is simple and easy to navigate. Its biggest ease of use problem is that it stops scanning after it finds 1,000 errors. If you don’t read the message closely, you may think it has finished the scan, and you’ll fix the errors and move along thinking you’ve repaired your registry. Fortunately, if you turn this setting off, the program can scan your entire computer in one go, though it may take a considerable amount of time – the scan on our test computer took more than 45 minutes.
On a positive note, Registry First Aid has a registry backup feature. This is a vitally important tool because it allows you to roll back any negative changes “fixing” the registry might cause. One of the reasons Windows recommends you don’t touch the registry database is because some changes that registry repair software make can actually cause major issues. For example, one of the products we tested removed all of the restore points and caused many of the installed apps to stop working. With a backup feature, you can always return to the registry’s state prior to the changes.
Registry First Aid does have a registry defrag tool, but it is missing other utilities the best registry repair software has. Really, all this app focuses on is the registry and nothing else, which would be fine if by fixing the registry errors the program actually improved computer performance.
While Registry First Aid found thousands more registry errors and issues than any other registry repair app we tested, fixing those errors actually decreased our PC’s performance. The interface has a minimalist design that’s easy to navigate, but it wasn’t the easiest app to use. You shouldn’t expect this registry repair app to fix your problems.