The Windows Registry is a database of settings and configurations used to manage the operating system and installed software. It contains information about hardware, software, user preferences, and system settings. The Registry can be accessed and edited using the Registry Editor tool, which allows advanced users to modify settings that are not available through other system settings menus. Registry Cleaner software is designed to scan the Registry for errors or obsolete entries and remove them to improve system performance. However, it is important to use such software with caution as incorrect modifications to the Registry can cause system instability or even prevent the system from booting up.