Tip & How-To about Computers & Internet

How to Speed up a Windows XP Computer

  • Spyware and viruses are leading causes of computer slowdown. Read Rid-Your-Computer-of-Adware,-Spyware-and-Viruses to learn how to remove them and speed up your system.
  • Update and run your spyware and virus software every week.
  • If you do not have tools installed to protect against malware, spyware, and viruses, download free copy of avg (free for personal use). Also, Microsoft's Windows Defender is a widely-used anti-spyware tool that is currently distributed freely for users with a "Genuine" copy of Windows. "Windows Defender" is also included with other Microsoft services and products such as Live OneCare and Vista.
  • Download and install Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome. It will allow you to import all of your Internet Explorer settings, and is much less prone to malware than Microsoft Internet Explorer. It will prompt you with a "Set as Default Browser" message. Check "Don't show this again" and click "Yes". Firefox also has a cool feature to delete cookies, cache, and temporary internet files each time you close it. You are strongly recommended to use this option. It can speed up your internet experience.You should also check Google Chrome which is faster and less prone to virus attacks from internet Chrome
  • If you have a really complicated virus infection, try using the Quick Virus Remover. It is a free utility, though not a replacement for commercial products but can be helpful for removing some of the most common viruses infecting your system.
2Defragment Your Computer - This will place similar files physically closer on the hard disk and will help improve load speeds.
  • Click start, again, then click run.
  • Type, "dfrg.msc" in the text field.
  • Click Defrag to start it.






Perform a disk clean up.
  • Click start in the bottom left corner, then click run.
  • Type, "cleanmgr.exe" in the text field.
  • Press "okay". This can take a while if you have never done it before.





Remove unwanted software.(They are often the reason for slowdown)
  • Click start, then click control panel.
  • Click add/remove programs.
  • Highlight any old software you do not use and then click "remove".
5Stop unwanted Start-Up programs.
  • Run msconfig
  • Choose startup box
  • Select uncheck programs you don't want to run on startup
  • OR
  • Click here and download StartUpCPL.
  • Install the software you have just downloaded.
  • Open control panel, select Start up.
  • Disable any programs you do not want load automatically.





  • Programs can also schedule tasks to launch automatically when windows starts to stop such programs use windows task scheduler.To open Scheduled Tasks, click Start, click All Programs, point to Accessories, point to System Tools, and then click Scheduled Tasks.
  • Disable All Services you do not use or need. Open control panel, open Administrative Tools, and select Services. Disabling the wrong Services may lead to serious problems that you may not notice right away. Please consult a reference such as overclockersclub.comfor information on specific Windows XP Services. If you do not know what it is, do not disable the service




  1. Make Windows Load Faster
    • Click Start, then Run.
    • Type in 'msconfig' and press enter.
    • Click on the BOOT.INI tab at the top.
    • Over to the right there will be a box labeled Timeout with 30 in it. Change the 30 to a 3.
  2. 7Speed Up Processing Time
    • Turning off the fancy Windows XP graphics will noticeably increase the speed of your computer.
    • Go to Start, (Settings), Control Panel, System. NOTE: You may need to 'Switch to Classic Mode' to see the System applet.
    • Go to the Advanced tab. Click the Settings button under Performance.
    • Select the 'Adjust for best performance' radio button, then Apply, and OK.
    • The graphics aren't as flashy, but your computer will run a lot faster.
  3. 8Set Pagefile size
    • Go to Start, (Settings), Control Panel, System. (This is just like the step above this.)
    • Go to the Advanced tab. Click the Settings button under Performance.
    • Now switch to this Advanced tab, and click on 'Change' under Virtual Memory.
    • You will see the 'Initial Size (MB)' and the Maximum Size (MB)'.
    • Change 'Initial Size' to the same value as 'Maximum Size' then click set.
      • NOTE This setting will help your gaming process by speeding up your computer.
      • ADDED NOTE: When your computer consumes your computer's hard drive and uses it as RAM, it is referred to as thrashing. Thrashing is bad for your computer and buying a RAM (it's not that expensive) is much more worthwhile.
  4. 9Set Priorities
  5. 10Press Control (ctrl) Alt Delete (del) at the same time. Once task manager opens, click the process's tab. Now find explorer.exe, right click it, and set the priority to realtime. This makes your computer focus on explorer.exe, which is your task bar and visual objects. Use this method if you want to keep your visual styles (or your using a transformation pack). This method greatly increases speed and if you are noticing that other programs that you use a lot are slow, you can set their priority to either high or above normal, if you have 2 process's on high at the same time, your computer will be unstable, and might crash.

-**For users without Admin password**-12You will not be able to modify, I believe, the value to realtime, if you aren't on an admin account, or you have insufficient privileges, then the best you can do, is set explorer.exe to high. (Edited by SFA)









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