STRONG ADVISORY: No matter how safe and sound the method, or who suggests it to you, it is always smartest to backup the Windows Registry before attempting to make any changes in it!
A special utility is provided for this purpose.
There is no special tool provided for this purpose, so we have made one. But you have to do a couple of extra steps.
After backing up the Registry as recommended above, launch the program REGEDIT.EXE. (You can do this by clicking on Start, then Run, then typing REGEDIT and clicking OK.)
Click on the very first line in the left window of RegEdit. This is called the “root” of the Registry. It is almost always labeled “My Computer.” Click Registry, then Export Registry File. Export the Registry to the root folder of C: (that is, to C:\) and call it COMPACT.REG. (NOTE: On later versions of Windows 95, you could do all of this from the MS-DOS system prompt by typing: REGEDIT /E COMPACT.REG.)
Restart your computer. Bring up the Boot Menu. Choose the option to boot to a DOS system prompt only. When you get the C: prompt on the screen, launch the Registry Compaction Batch File which you can download by clicking here. WARNING: When you click on this link, you should pick the option to download it to your hard drive, preferably in the C:\ folder (for convenience of later use). If you pick the other option, it will begin executing the batch file, possibly with undesirable results.
The batch file is launched from the MS-DOS prompt by typing its name: REGCOMP
It will first repeat some of the above instructions to make sure you are really ready to run it. It will also pause in the middle to give you the chance to abort if there has been an error reported on the screen. If you give it the final okay, it will finish the job of rebuilding your compressed Registry.
When it is finished, restart Windows. You are done.