Windows XP Speed Up Tips And Tricks

by Rod Dunne on October 27, 2010

in Articles, Hardware, Performance

Windows XP Speed Up Tips And Tricks From Improving Startup And General Performance On XP Computers.
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The Windows XP operating system is still widely used by many people who weren’t tempted to upgrade to Windows 7 or Vista. Unfortunately, these aging XP computers experience slow performance if you don’t keep up regular PC system maintenance. Here, we’ll go through some simple Windows XP speed up tips for improving performance.

Windows XP speed up utilities

The following tips can speed up your computer drastically on an initial run. However, it is essential to run these PC system maintenance tasks on a regular basis in order to retain any performance gains you make.

  • Run the Disk Cleanup utility (accessories/system tools) to remove temporary files and cached data from the hard drive. Use the Add/Remove Programs application to uninstall applications you no longer use. This frees up more space for virtual memory which will speed up Windows XP generally.
  • Run the Disk Defragmenter utility. This reorganizes fragments of data on the hard drive to optimize access times when reading individual files (for applications and OS programs).
  • Open the Performance Options (control panel/system/advanced) and reduce the number of visual effects. While this dialog box is open, you can also re-factor the memory prioritization settings and increase the page file size (which provides more virtual memory to the OS).
  • Close down applications you are no longer using. Use the Task Manager to identify programs that use a lot of memory and can be disabled/removed.
  • Update programs you use often. While the Task Manager is open, check which programs are using a comparatively large amount of RAM memory. Target these applications for investigation to see if there are performance issues, patch updates or configuration tweaks you can make to speed up computer performance.
  • Run the Windows update service to get the latest operating system upgrades/patches and device drivers for the hardware components on your PC.
  • Scan your computer for viruses. It only takes one bug or malware program to get onto your PC for your operating system programs and files to become corrupted. As with the other Windows XP speed up tips listed here, this should be run on a regular basis in order to maintain computer speeds.
  • Scan your Windows registry for faults using a registry cleaner. The registry file contains configuration settings for applications and users which can become out of date or corrupted over time due to viruses, application changes, etc.

Speed up Windows XP startup

In order to speed up Windows XP startup performance you need to target which applications are being initialized as the computer is booting up. To do this, use the Microsoft System Configuration utility (accessed via the start menu, run program, by entering msconfig) which contains a startup tab listing all the applications initialized as Windows boots.

From this tab, you can disable programs by selecting the appropriate check-box. Be sure to only disable applications which you are familiar with or have researched first to make sure that they are non-critical (e.g. Windows update service, anti-virus definition updates, etc). Restart the PC to check if the slow startup speedsĀ  are still an issue (it may take some trial and error to locate which applications in particular are slowing down the boot performance).

Hardware upgrades to help speed up computer

Any list of Windows XP speed up tips would be remiss if it did not include the subject of RAM memory upgrades. Adding more memory to a Windows XP machine is the most effective way of boosting PC performance. If your old XP computer has less than 1 MB of RAM then it will struggle to handle most modern applications which do seem to require an off a lot of RAM memory.

RAM prices are currently quite cheap so this can prove to be a cost-effective way to speed up your computer.

Related posts:
Why is my computer so slow all of a sudden? Solutions to rapidly worsening performance issues.
How to increase computer speed – The top five options.
Windows XP slow startup performance techniques and software.

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