Is XP the fastest version of Windows ever? That's debatable, but this is not: like every operating system that came before it, it's not as fast as it could be without a whole bunch of fine-tuning.
Windows operating systems are never streamlined by default. Part of the reason is that their install base is huge--many times that of any other operating system (in fact, probably every other operating system combined). No matter how well polished and optimized any Windows OS may be, Microsoft must balance performance with ease of use and across-the-board compatibility. Here are some tricks about how to optimize Win XP:
- Disable File Indexing- If you don't use the XP search feature often to look for documents, you can turn this feature off, and the difference you'll notice is a slight increase in the time it takes for your computer to find a file, but an overall increase in general speed for everything else. How to : From My Computer > right-click on the C: Drive > select Properties. Uncheck "Allow Indexing Service to index this disk for fast file searching." Apply changes to "C: sub folders and files," and click OK.
- Turn off Windows Animations and Visual Effects -Fancy sliding, fading and animated effects that windows uses by default are easily turned off, and will make the reaction time of simple tasks like opening and moving windows, taskbars, etc... much quicker. How to :From the Control Panel, click on the "System" icon. Click on the Advanced tab. Click the "Settings" button underneath "Performance". Uncheck the options related to animations, and other unneeded visual effects. The best option here would be to uncheck all of them, but if you prefer to have some nice graphics you can opt for having 3 items checked in here: "smooth edges of screen fonts", "use common tasks in folders", and "use visual styles on windows and buttons". This will maintain the basic windows style for windows and buttons
- Minimize Background Applications and Services -Press CTRL-ALT-DEL while in Windows and bring up the Task Manager. Notice how many programs are running in the background. Each program steals memory and CPU cycles. Offenders include: Adobe Gamma Loader, Fast Find, msmsgs (Messenger), Office Startup, qttask (Quicktime), System Agent, Real Player, Norton. To stop programs from automatically starting, remove the file from the Programs - Startup folder, left click on the icons in the System tray and turn off automatic loading, or consult the help file of each program to turn it off. Run MSCONFIG to get a list of programs that run on startup and remove unnecessary ones.
Disable Alerter, File and Print, FTP Publishing, Indexing Service, World Wide Web Publisher, Messenger, Computer Browser, Routing and Remote Access, Smart Card, Smart Card Helper, Terminal services, Uninterruptible Power Supply if they are not being used. You can always turn them off and test your machine, before setting them to be disabled on startup. Run "services.msc" from the Run.. menu and Disable any services that are unncessary.
- Speed up folder browsing- You may have noticed that everytime you open my computer to browse folders that there is a slight delay. This is because Windows XP automatically searches for network files and printers everytime you open Windows Explorer.How to :Open My Computer >Click on Tools menu > Click on Folder Options > Click on the View tab. >. Uncheck the Automatically search for network folders and printers check box > Click Apply Click Ok > Reboot your computer