Friday, May 1, 2015

How to improve performance in Windows XP

There is a lot you can do with Windows XP, including tweaking its performance.  Whether your computer's performance has slowed down over time or you just want to give it a little kick, here are some tips for improving performance on a Windows XP computer.

- Performance Options

Windows XP has a group of settings called "Performance Options" that give users a bit of control over how the operating system uses memory.  To access these settings, right click on My Computer and choose Properties.  Under the Advanced tab, click the Settings box under "Performance."

In the Visual Effects tab, select "Adjust for best performance."  This setting will get rid of animated windows, menu shadows, and other frills, leaving more system resources available to run applications and programs.

Next, go to the Advanced tab.  For both "Processor scheduling" and "Memory usage," make sure the radio button next to Programs is selected.  These two settings will make sure that more memory is set aside for the applications you have open than for background programs or other processes.

Under "Virtual memory," click the Change button.  This is where you can edit your page file settings.  Set the page file size (Initial size) so that it is at least as large as the amount of RAM you have installed.  For example, if your PC has 2 GB of RAM, make sure the page file is at least 2 GB.  You may have to increase the maximum size as well.

The page file is where Windows stores open programs that it doesn't have room for in RAM.  The page file takes longer to access than RAM does, but a slow page file is better than no page file.  You might have to reboot your computer in order for the new settings to take effect.

- Disk Cleanup

Disk Cleanup removes unnecessary temporary files from your hard drive.  To access Disk Cleanup, right click your C: drive in My Computer and choose Properties.  Then click the Disk Cleanup button toward the middle of the window.  Once Disk Cleanup opens, choose which file types you want to get rid of.  (The program will show you how much space you will reclaim by deleting each group.)  Once you have selected the files to remove, click OK to begin the cleanup.

- Startup programs

Many programs are set to run when your computer boots up, whether you actually want them to or not.  To view the list of startup programs, click Run on the Start menu and type "msconfig" and then press <ENTER>.  When the System Configuration Utility loads, go to the Startup tab.  Any program with a check next to it is a program that launches on startup.  If you see any programs that you don't want (or need) to automatically load, remove the check mark.  Click OK when you are done.

The next time you boot your computer, you will get a message about selective startup.  Check the box that says not to display that message in the future and click OK.

Reducing the number of programs that launch when Windows launches will make your system load faster and save more memory for programs that you choose to run.

With these tips and tweaks, your Windows XP computer should become quicker and more responsive.  If you are still having sluggishness issues or Windows doesn't respond as quickly as it should, you might need to add more RAM.

(Originally published on, February 2010)

No comments:

Post a Comment