10 useful methods to speed up Windows XP

Many times you might have experienced that you Windows PC is running slow or takes a long time to perform an action. This is because of various factors that utilize the system resources and make your PC work slowly. From this article, get to know 10 useful tips to speed up your Windows XP.

Here are 10 tips that are intended to explain how to improve the working speed of Windows XP with only a few mouse clicks.

1. Disable the Indexing Service

The Indexing Service is a very large consumer of system resources. It builds an index of the contents and properties of files on local and remote computers and provides rapid access to files through a flexible querying language. It is supposed to run when the PC is idle but sometimes it does run erratically, and usefulness is often questionable. Once it is disabled, you regain a lot of resources.

Steps to disable it:

- Click Start Menu --> Run and in the given field type "services.msc"
- This can also be accessed by the management options in the Control Panel.
- Start Menu --> Control Panel --> Administrative Tools --> Services
- In the window that appears, right-click "Indexing Service" and go to "Properties"
- In the properties window, make the "Startup type" to "Disabled" and click on "Apply" and "OK" to finish.
- After making this change, restart your PC

2. Disable visual effects in Windows XP

Windows XP is full of visual effects, but if these options are enabled, they waste a lot of system resources.

To optimize follow these steps:

Click Start --> Control Panel --> System --> Performance and Maintenance

Now click on the "Advanced" tab --> "Performance" --> "Settings"

For a good value, speed and performance, enable only the following options:

- Show shadows under mouse pointer
- Show shadows under menus
- Show rectangle translucent selection
- Using shadows for icon labels on the desktop
- Use visual styles on windows and buttons
- Smooth edges of screen fonts
- Fade or Tooltips

3. Disable unnecessary performance counters

Among all counters enabled by default in XP, not all are useful for a normal user.

Download the program "Extensible Performance Counter List" (Exctrlst.exe) and install it.

It will be stored in "C:\ Program Files\ Resource Kit \". Now run the program.

Then for each counter, uncheck the box surrounded it and the corresponding counter is disabled

4. Disable option "Automatically check for shared folders and printers"

This option is useful if you have multiple PCs in a network. With this feature enabled, Windows searches for printers and shared folders every time the files are opened, even if there is none.

To disable it follow these steps:

My Computer --> Tools --> Folder Options --> View

Now uncheck "Automatically search for network folders and printers" option

5. Improve the utilization of the memory

There is a free software called "Cacheman" optimizes the cache of your PC and a number of other parameters. If you run several programs at the same time, the memory becomes full quite quickly. To circumvent this, Windows uses a portion of the hard disk to simulate the memory and store data.

Cacheman will help to optimize this Windows virtual memory and thus reduce disk access which will in turn result in an increase in system performance. At first, you must choose the profile that corresponds to your PC. Depending on the characteristics of your computer, Cacheman will then configure your PC for optimal performance.

You can choose between:

- Desktop Computer (desktop)
- Server (Server)
- Low memory system (PC with little memory)
- Games (PC Games)
- Mobile system (Mobile)

Once the choice is made, click on the tab "Load" then click OK in the confirmation window. Restart your PC and there you go.

6. Optimize your Internet connection

There are lots of ways to for optimizing your Internet connection. One such suggested software is the "TCP/IP Optimizer"

How to work with TCP/IP Optimizer:

- After you have downloaded and installed the TCP/IP Optimizer program, open it.
- Now click "General Settings" and select your connection speed (Kbps)
- In the "Network Adapter" section, select the interface used for your connection
- Then select "Optimal Settings" and click "Apply Changes"
- Reboot the PC to finish

7. Optimize the Pagefile

It is important to know that the "Pagefile.sys" file is absolutely necessary for the proper functioning of Windows.

When you start Windows XP, it automatically creates a paging file (Pagefile.sys) on the drive on which you installed the operating system. Windows XP uses the swap file to provide virtual memory. The paging file size advisable is equal to about 1.5 times the RAM size on your system. However, the file size also depends on the amount of free space on your hard disk when the file is created. You can know the actual size of the paging file on your system by viewing the file size indicated for Pagefile.sys in Windows Explorer.

Considering that you are not running out of disk space, size of the paging file can be increased. If you run multiple programs simultaneously, and you'll probably notice that these programs start faster after increasing the size of the paging file.

To change the size of the paging file in virtual memory, follow these steps

- In the Control Panel, open the component "System"
- Under the "Advanced" tab, click on the button "Settings" under "Performance"
- A new window "Performance Options" opens.
- Click "Advanced". Here under "Virtual Memory", click "Change"
- In the new window, click the drive that contains the paging file or swap file to edit it
- Under "Paging file size for selected drive", type in the area "Initial Size (MB)" or "Maximum size (MB)" the new size in MB
- Then click "Set"

If you decrease the minimum or maximum size of the swap file, you must restart your computer to capture the effects of these changes. Generally, increases in these values do not require a restart.

You must be logged on to the local computer as an administrator to change the size of the swap file. For best results, specify an initial size greater than or equal to the recommended size under "Total size listed paging file for all drives" option. The size advisable is equal to about 1.5 times the RAM size on your system.

Example: With 512MB of RAM, you'll need a swap file: 512 * 1.5 = 768MB

It is generally advisable to leave the paging file to its recommended size, but you can increase it if you frequently use applications that require a large amount of memory.

To delete a paging file, set the zero to the initial size and the maximum size.

8. Decrease the boot time of Windows XP

In Windows XP, Microsoft aims to start your computer in less than 30 seconds. But in reality, this is not always the case. Microsoft has developed the program "BootVis" that allows you to first analyze the Windows startup and loading drivers.

9. Disable the desktop wallpaper

For those who do not yet, know that the wallpaper on the desktop consumes a considerable amount of memory and may slow down your system. It is therefore advisable for machines that lack power to dispense away with this graphics option.

To remove the wallpaper:

- Right click on the desktop and select the menu "Properties"
- Click on the tab "Desktop"
- Under "Background", select "None"
- Click Ok

10. Uninstall some fonts

Fonts, especially TrueType fonts, use a lot of system resources. For optimal performance of your system, uninstall some fonts. Allow only those fonts which you use daily and those that your applications require.

How to uninstall fonts in Windows XP:

- Click "Start" --> "Run"
- Type "%windir%\fonts" and click OK
- Now choose the font that you want to remove.
- Right-click on it and press "Delete"

Read Difference between Windows XP and Windows 7

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