How to speed up a windows xp computer

How to speed up a windows xp computerEverybody wants their computers to be as fast as new or even a little bit faster. That’s why a lot of users still prefer Windows XP – it’s a fairly light operating system and is particularly good for netbooks and older computers. Even though it’s pretty fast as it is, there are many ways to speed up XP even more – from upgrading your hardware (adding RAM is the easiest solution) to applying various registry tweaks. But if you are looking for a fast and easy solution, here are 5 simple tips which really help if you want to know how to speed up your computer running Windows XP.

1. Cleanup and defrag

Yes, I know, the good old cleanup and defrag. But seriously, you can’t expect your computer to be fast if it’s cluttered with junk and has file fragments scattered all over the hard drive.

Windows XP has built-in disk cleaner and disk defragmenter. To access the Disk Cleanup tool, go to Start –> (All) Programs –> Accessories –> System Tools –> Disk Cleanup. And if you want to use the Disk Defragmenter, go to Start –> (All) Programs –> Accessories –> System Tools –> Disk Defragmenter.

However, a lot of people prefer using third-party defrag utilities, like Auslogics Disk Defrag or Piriform Defraggler, because the built-in XP one is pretty slow and doesn’t do a very thorough job.

2. Uninstall programs you never use

A lot of people love trying out new software. So, they download programs, install them, run them a couple of times, and… sometimes never use them again! Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Having too many programs can make your computer really slow, not to mention the amount of hard drive space they take up.

To see currently installed programs, go to Start –> Settings –> Control Panel –> double-click Add/Remove Programs. Review the list and uninstall programs you never use.

3. Optimize XP appearance settings

If speed is your top priority, it’s recommended to adjust XP appearance settings for best performance. Visual effects that we are so used to waste system resources. And if you think that it’s only the graphics card that has to deal with them, you’re wrong – CPU and RAM are affected as well.

Luckily it’s very easy to optimize XP for best performance by turning off unneeded visual effects:

  • Go to Start –> Settings –> Control Panel;
  • In the Control Panel click System and go to the Advanced tab;
  • In the Performance Options window select Adjust for best performance;
  • Click OK and close the window.

This will turn off all visual effects, which is especially good for less powerful PCs and netbooks. But if you want Windows XP to look sleeker, leave the following boxes checked:

  • Show shadows under menus;
  • Show shadows under mouse pointer;
  • Show translucent selection rectangle;
  • Use drop shadows for icons labels on the desktop;
  • Use visual styles on windows and buttons.

4. Speed up Windows Explorer

If you feel that Windows Explorer takes too long to start, there is a way to speed it up. Windows automatically looks for network files, shared folders, and devices every time you open Explorer. Disabling this option will speed up access to Windows Explorer. To do it:

  • Open Windows Explorer;
  • Click on the Tools menu;
  • Then click on Folder Options;
  • Click on the View tab;
  • Find Automatically search for network folders and printers check box and uncheck it;
  • Click Apply, then click OK;
  • Reboot your computer.

5. Disable indexing

Indexing can be useful, but it can also make your computer slow and loud, as it takes up RAM and makes the hard drive thrash. The indexing service is used to update the lists of all files on your computer to speed up file search. Disabling indexing will make your search a bit slower, but overall it will speed up computer running XP. Here’s how:

  • Go to Start –> Settings –> Control Panel;
  • Double-click Add/Remove Programs;
  • Click Add/Remove Windows Components;
  • Uncheck Indexing Services;
  • Click Next and then click Finish.

To gain an even better speed improvement, you should consider using third-party programs, like Auslogics BoostSpeed. The program allows you to easily tweak hundreds of hidden Windows setting, as well as perform crucial system maintenance tasks to speed up your computer.

Oh no, not another 22 tips list. Everyone knows how to use the defrag on a computer, but most will know that you wont see much changes in the performance. Here are 22 suggestions, other than defrag, that will. Each can enhance the performance and reliability of PC. Best of all, most of them will cost you nothing.

How to speed up a windows xp computer

New hardware

More memory

Set Windows to NTSF

  1. Double-click on My Computer
  2. Right-click on the C: drive and select Properties
  3. Examine the File System type
  1. Back-up any important data
  2. Click Start and select Run
  3. Type CMD and press OK
  4. At the prompt, type: C: /FS:NTFS and press Enter

Disable file indexing

The idea is that the user can search for a word, phrase, or property inside a document, should they have hundreds or thousands of documents and not know the file name of the document they want. Windows XP’s built-in search functionality can still perform these kinds of searches without the Indexing service. It just takes longer. The OS has to open each file at the time of the request to help find what you are looking for.

  1. Double-click on My Computer
  2. Right-click on the C: drive and select Properties
  3. Uncheck Allow Indexing Service to index this disk for fast file searching.
  4. Apply changes to “C: subfolders and files” and click OK

Update firmware

Empty the prefetch folder

  1. The prefetch folder can be accessed at C:Windows\prefetch

Empty the prefetch folder, is incorrect. Regualar cleaning of the pefetch folder will not improve performance, it will impair it. Prefetching of application data does not occur at boottime. Prefetch files contain data allowing Windows to more efficiently load them. Unused prefetch files have virtually no impact on performance. In any event the prefetch folder is self cleaning after 128 entries. This has been extensively tested.
For references, check Comcast and Edbott

Do you want to know how to speed up windows XP computer? In this article we will discuss about the best strategies we should apply to get back our computer performance and maintain its speed to the maximum.

Recently, Microsoft introduced the most successful and user friendly Operating system – Windows 7. However, Windows XP is still the most favorite OS installed on millions of computers. And we should know how to speed up XP installed computer when its operation is halted by a number of reasons.

Reasons for Slow computer

No matter how fast is your PC, computer processing speed degrades through time. The major factors responsible for poor performance of computer operations include:-

• Lack of enough memory space

• Hardware failure (upgrading needed)

There are reasons other than mentioned above, but these are the main ones.

To repair and prevent these problems, several kinds of security and maintenance tools are available on the market. Even without spending a penny you can improve your computer performance.

How to speed up XP computer?

What are the major methods you should implement to speed up windows XP Computer? You will surely prevent most of computer problems if you do these methods properly.

Let us go and see the ways to speed up windows XP …

1. Updating Windows XP service packs

Microsoft updated its windows XP operating system with latest security fixes and new system files. Microsoft released three service update packs (SP1, SP2, and SP3).

If your Windows XP OS is not updated, you can download the latest Service Pack and update your system with new version. You will find the update on

2. Clean up computer hard drive

Computer performance will greatly affected if the files on your hard drive is fragmented and run out of disk space. These are mostly the reasons for slow computer.

To resolve these, use Windows built-in tools: Disk Cleanup and Disk Defragmenter

3. Install Quality Anti-Virus program and update it regularly

Computer virus, worms, Trojans and other malicious codes impede the computing process of your computer. These are the major threats of any computer system. Other than slowing computer operations, computer virus damages valuable information and data.

For example, worms fill your computer memory space so that your computer won’t have enough space to work with and stack the entire system consequently.

Free versions of Anti-virus programs are available for those can’t afford to buy the commercial one.

AVG, Avira and Avast are the popular free anti-virus programs can be downloaded from the vendor site.

4. Upgrading memory and other parts

Computer memory upgrade is the other way to speed up windows XP system. Having enough memory space is a requirement so that computer processor computes quickly. The higher is the speed and the capacity of pc memory, the faster will be the processing speed.

In addition to memory upgrade, other parts such as Graphics Card and hard disk can be upgraded. Graphics card plays great role in computer performance.

Commonly, graphics card is integrated with the motherboard. However, you can still upgrade your card by hooking the new card on the motherboard PCI slot. But first, you must check your system manual for the type of graphics card your motherboard supports.

5. Use registery cleaner

Registry cleaner is used to clean and repair Windows registry database. It is highly recommended to install registry cleaner on your computer. Most system problems such as error messages, slow program load, crash, freezing, and system file corruption are protected by using registry cleaner.

These are the top five methods used to speed up windows XP computer. Having the above tools installed properly, you will surely increase your pc performance and guard it from frequent system problems.

Hope this article shows you the methods that will help you to resolve your pc problems.

Your Windows XP machine has a great deal of power just waiting to be unleashed. Much of its power is being wasted on items you have little use for. All the bells and whistles – literally – can slow your Windows XP machine down. For example, did you know those cute little beeps at start up and during shut down can slow your machine down?

We’ll show you a few simple tweaks that you can do to your computer to speed it up without making any major sacrifices.

In the case of the beeps, you can disable system sounds to help speed things up. This is easy to do, simply go to the Control Panel and find the Sounds and Audio Devices icon.

Click on the Sounds tab and choose No Sounds from the Sound Scheme drop down list.

Click the OK button. Now your PC will be a silent machine as far as system sounds go. (Note that system sounds are things like the start up and shut down jingles, the sound when there is an error, Internet Explorer alerts and the like. If you turn off video games you can still hear music, sounds effects in video games, music on web pages, etc.)

Another performance booster is to periodically clear out your Restore Points. The System Restore has its place and can be a great feature, especially when you are adding new components or are experiencing problems. In fact, having a working restore point can be a real life-saver when you run ino a system problem. But overtime, all those restore points accumulate and can take a big bite out of your hard drive space.

You can either periodically delete restore points to regain lost hard drive space or you can turn off System Restore altogether. Choose whatever you are most comfortable with, remembering how crucial it is to have at least 1 valid, working restore point to return to in the case of an emergency. If you turn System Restore off, remember to manually create a system restore point prior to making any changes to your system such as adding new hardware.

To remove restore points, go to the Start button, click All Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools -> System Restore.

Click on System Restore Settings.

Choose Turn Off System Restore on All Drives. This will turn it off and remove all your previous restore points. Once you turn it off, the restore points are deleted. You can then turn it back on to continue creating periodic restore points or you can leave it off until you want to create your own restore point.

Another tweak to speed up your Windows XP machine is to disable file indexing. While it’s convenient to search for documents using words, phrases and properties that are found inside the documents, creating an index to allow for fast searches based on these queries will slow your PC down. When you have file indexing on, a searchable keyword index is created that extracts and details this information from all documents and files on your PC. This process is ongoing and takes up system resources.

Turning off file indexing doesn’t stop you from searching your hard drive using these criteria, in fact, you can still do these searches as needed. The search itself will take a bit longer but consider how often you use these types of searches. Why suffer with slow performance all the time to have a faster searches if you rarely perform them?

To disable file indexing, double-click the My Computer icon and find your hard drive, usually the C: drive. Right-click on the drive and choose Properties.

Remove the check mark in the box that says "Allow Indexing Service to index this disk for fast file searching." After clicking OK, you will be asked to apply the changes to the hard drive only or to subfolders and files. Choose to apply the changes to the subfolders and files and click OK. If you get an error message such as Access is Denied, click the Ignore All button.

These tweaks will speed up your Windows XP machine without making any major sacrifices. Unless you really love those little beeps, that is. As with all information on this site, you are using it at your own risk. While we intend this article to be helpful for speeding up Windows XP, we can’t be responsible for any damage that may result from adjusting your system settings.

You may be able to improve a sluggish Windows XP system with a trip to the Performance Options dialog box. Here are a few tweaks worth trying.

If some of your Windows XP clients run slower than others, it could be due to some of the default settings located in the Performance Options dialog box. You can change the options in this dialog box to boost the performance of a Windows XP client. Let’s examine the settings you can change to improve Windows XP’s performance.

Note: These tips are based on an entry in our Microsoft Windows blog. They’re also available as a PDF download.

1: Access the Performance options

Figure A

2: Change Visual Effects settings

The Visual Effects tab is the easiest place to start when troubleshooting certain performance problems. By default, Windows XP enables visual effects, such as the Scroll option for the Start menu. These effects consume system resources. If you’re troubleshooting a sluggish system, try choosing the Adjust For Best Performance option, which will disable many of these visual effects settings. Of course, you’ll lose the cool visual effects, but there’s always a tradeoff for performance.

3: Change Processor Scheduling settings

If you’re troubleshooting something more than sluggish screen redraws, you’ll need to adjust the performance options on the Advanced tab of the Performance Options dialog box. There are three sections on this tab: Processor Scheduling, Memory Usage, and Virtual Memory. The settings in these sections have a major impact on how your system operates.

The Processor Scheduling section controls how much processor time Windows XP devotes to a program or process. The processor has a finite amount of resources to divide among the various applications. Choosing the Programs option will devote the most processor time to the program running in the foreground. Choosing Background Services allocates equal processor time to all running services, which can include print jobs and other applications running in the background. If your users complain about slow-running programs, you could try setting the processor scheduling to Programs.

On the flip side, if users complain that print jobs never print or are slow to print, or if they run a macro in one application while working in another, you may want to assign equal time slices (called quanta) to each process by choosing the Background Services option. If you use the Windows XP machine as a server, you’re better off choosing the Background Services option.

4: Change Memory Usage settings

The Memory Usage section governs how Windows XP uses system RAM. The first option, Programs, allocates more RAM to running applications. For desktop systems with very little RAM, this selection gives the best performance. For a server or a desktop with a lot of RAM, however, choosing the System Cache setting will yield better performance. When set to System Cache, the system will use most of the available RAM as a disk cache, which can result in major performance improvements on systems that depend on disk I/O.

5: Change Virtual Memory settings

A number of settings in the Virtual Memory section affect how Windows XP performs. Virtual memory is an area on the disk that Windows uses as if it were RAM. Windows requires this type of system in the event that it runs out of physical RAM. The virtual memory space is used as a swap space where information residing in RAM is written to the virtual memory space (also called the page file or swap file) to free up RAM for other processes. When the system needs the information in the swap file, Windows puts it back into RAM and writes something else out to the disk in its place.

Windows XP has a recommended default page file size of 1.5 times the amount of system RAM. You can let Windows completely manage this file or have no file at all. I highly recommend that you do not remove the paging file because you’ll experience a noticeable degradation of system performance without it.

One way to boost system performance is to place the paging file on a separate physical hard drive from the operating system. The only caveat is if the second drive is slower than the primary drive, you’d want to leave the paging file where it is.

You can also span the paging file across multiple disks to increase performance. To make changes to the virtual memory, click the Change tab on the Advanced tab of the Performance Options dialog box, make your desired changes, and click Set. Any changes you make will take effect after you reboot the machine.

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How to speed up a windows xp computer

Have you ever been wondering how to Speed up Windows XP computer cause it drive you crazy every time you use it? Does your XP computer keep getting pop-up errors which cause programs not working properly? Or does the PC crash and frozen frequently and you don’t know why? Normally almost all these problems share the same reason, that is the Windows registry.

How to speed up a windows xp computer

image source

Every time you copy and move files on the computer, install a program or a driver, upgrade software and surf the internet, there will be multiple entries created in the registry, over time the registry will pack with a huge number of entries.

The worse thing is, the entries will not be removed even the relative programs or drivers were uninstalled, they will become obsolete even corrupted which make the registry jumbled mess, and this is the right reason for computer slowing down.

Is there any thing we can do to clean out the registry and speed up Windows XP?

The first thing you need to do is to run a free registry scan, it will help you detect out all the registry errors and wasted entries in the registry, a good registry scanner is also designed to fix these registry problems all easily.

Don’t even try to think about fixing the registry manually, unless you are a computer tech guy which has enough computer knowledge, otherwise it will end up disaster if you modified or deleted the wrong entries/key.

A good registry cleaner is the best and safe way to fix registry and speed up Windows XP, no need to call a technician and no computer knowledge required, all the problem can be fix in a minutes with a just few clicks of your mouse.

When you logon to your Computer does it seem like it takes forever before you can start using Windows XP? If you answered yes, one reason for slow logon times could be caused by the number of Programs that are set to auto start during the logon process.

During the logon process, one task Windows performs, is to load all programs set to auto run and found in the Startup folder. Behind the scenes, Windows does not set the startup load order of programs. Instead it just starts them up one after another without waiting for a program to load first before starting another program. This creates a bottleneck resulting in a slow down to occur until all Programs have loaded.

To restore order and your sanity, a freeware utility allows you to set the load order and speed up logon times for Windows…

Before we get started, let's clarify what startup and logon times really mean.

Startup, restart, or power on all mean booting up your Computer. This is the time it takes to initialize the BIOS and load the Operating System which includes loading device drivers, starting Services, etc, all the way up to the point where you see the logon prompt.

Logon refers to the time it takes to start Windows Explorer shell, load your profile, startup Programs that are in your startup folder or set to auto run. It is this phase or process that the freeware utility Startup Delayer ( can help speed up logon times.

Startup Delayer is easy to install and setups quickly. To get started, download Startup Delayer and install by clicking on startdelay_v2.3b125.exe and follow the instructions.

NOTE: Startup Delayer is not compatible with Vista, but will run on all previous versions of Windows including XP.

After installation has completed, Startup Delayer will open, showing you a list of Programs that start when you logon. The first thing you want to do is activate it by clicking on the red icon on the toolbar labeled SD and selecting Graphical Version.

How to speed up a windows xp computer

When in Graphical Version mode, Startup Delayer will display showing the status of each Program as it is starting during the logon process.

Next, double click on each Program and set the delay to the time you want to specify then click save. I like to start with three seconds for the first one and increment by three to five seconds for each Program until I'm finished.

How to speed up a windows xp computer

Once you have made you settings, you are finished and ready for a faster logon time. Inthe future, as you install programs, open up Startup Delayer and and set the delay time for the new program.

Other settings include manually adding programs by selecting File \ Add Program from the menu, adding more information to the interface by adding columns (right click and select Columns) or stopping Startup Delayer by selecting Actions \ Deactivate Startup Delayer.

Next time you startup you will see Startup Delayer panel, showing you the status of each programs it is starting.

Over time you can make adjustments to further decrease logon times.

Now you may think by setting the order of how programs load, may seem like it will increase the time to logon.

But by setting the order, your Computer will not need to multi task and provide additional resources to handle multiple programs loading at once. Loading programs one by one, will allow the Computer to respond quicker and eliminate the switching back and forth to allocate Processor time and valuable resources. This benefit will be greatly notice for Programs that require significant resources to start up.

I’m sick of how darn slowly my Windows XP computer boots up, Dave. It seems to just take forever, to the point where I turn the PC on then find something else to do for 5-10 minutes. After all that time, I know it’s ready to use. Worse, shut down seems to take lots of time too. Am I doomed?

Great question, and one that I can understand as my PCs also seem to gradually get slower and slower on boot as this, that and the other app have to check in and get updated definitions, apps, data files, and who knows what else. Fortunately, I have permission from O’Reilly Media to republish some of their best hacks and in the book Windows XP Hacks, by Preston Gralla, it turns out that hack #3 addresses just this topic. Without further ado:

Shorten the time it takes for your desktop to appear when you turn on your PC

No matter how fast your PC boots, it’s not fast enough. Here are several hacks to get you right to your desktop as quickly as possible after startup.
Perform a Boot Defragment
There’s a simple way to speed up XP startup: make your system do a boot defragment, which will put all the boot files next to one another on your hard disk. When boot files are in close proximity to one another, your system will start faster.
On most systems, boot defragment should be enabled by default, but it might not be on yours, or it might have been changed inadvertently. To make sure that boot defragment is enabled on your system, run the Registry Editor (Hack #83 in the book) and go to:

Edit the Enable string value to Y if it is not already set to Y. Exit the Registry and reboot. The next time you reboot, you’ll do a boot defragment.

Hack Your BIOS for Faster Startups
When you turn on your PC, it goes through a set of startup procedures in its BIOS before it gets to starting XP. So, if you speed up those initial startup procedures, you’ll make your system start faster.
You can speed up your startup procedures by changing the BIOS with the built-in setup utility. How you run this utility varies from PC to PC, but you typically get to it by pressing the Delete, F1, or F10 keys during startup. You’ll come to a menu with a variety of choices. Here are the choices to make for faster system startups:

Quick Power On Self Test (POST) When you choose this option, your system runs an abbreviated POST rather than the normal, lengthy one. Boot Up Floppy Seek Disable this option. When it’s enabled, your system spends a few extra seconds looking for your floppy drive — a relatively pointless procedure, especially considering how infrequently you use your floppy drive. Boot Delay Some systems let you delay booting after you turn on your PC so that your hard drive gets a chance to start spinning before bootup. Most likely, you don’t need to have this boot delay, so turn it off. If you run into problems, however, you can turn it back on.

Fine-Tune Your Registry for Faster Startups
Over time, your Registry can become bloated with unused entries, slowing down your system startup because your system loads them every time you start up your PC. Get a Registry clean-up tool to delete unneeded Registry entries and speed up startup times. Registry First Aid, shown in Figure 1-3, is an excellent Registry clean-up tool. It combs your Registry for outdated and useless entries and then lets you choose which entries to delete and which to keep. It also creates a full Registry backup so that you can restore the Registry if you run into a problem.

Registry First Aid is shareware and free to try, but it costs $21 if you decide to keep using it. Download it from
After you clean out your Registry, you might want to try compacting it to get rid of unused space. The Registry Compactor, also available from, will do the trick. Compacting your Registry reduces its size and decreases loading time. It’s shareware and free to try, but it costs $19.95 if you decide to keep it.

Speed Up Shutdown Times

It’s not only startup times that you’d like to speed up; you can also make sure that your system shuts down faster. If shutting down XP takes what seems to be an inordinate amount of time, here are a couple of steps you can take to speed up the shutdown process:
Don’t have XP clear your paging file at shutdown
For security reasons, you can have XP clear your paging file (pagefile.sys) of its contents whenever you shut down. Your paging file is used to store temporary files and data, but when your system shuts down, information stays in the file. Some people prefer to have the paging file cleared at shutdown because sensitive information, such as unencrypted passwords, sometimes ends up in the file. However, clearing the paging file can slow shutdown times significantly, so if extreme security isn’t a high priority, you might not want to clear it. To shut down XP without clearing your paging file, run the Registry Editor and go to:

Change the value of ClearPageFileAtShutdown to 0. Close the Registry and restart your computer. Whenever you turn off XP from now on, the paging file won’t be cleared, and you should be able to shut down more quickly.
Turn off unnecessary services
Services take time to shut down, so the fewer you run, the faster you can shut down.