ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Technology»
  • Computers & Software»
  • Operating Systems

Making Windows XP run faster/better

Updated on November 19, 2014

Too many programs running!

This may seem a bit risky to those of you who haven't delved into this portion of your machine. I assure you, this is 100% safe.

  To start, click Start -> Run and type msconfig into the blank space and punch enter.

That's going to bring up the System Configuration Utility.

Select the top right tab, which should be labeled Startup.

That tab will display (almost) everything running at startup.  Uncheck EVERYTHING.


I know, that sounds risky.  But there are two important facts about the items in that list:
A  VAST majority of them are unnecessary - meaning that NOT running them will NOT adversely affect your computer. NOT running them will quite often POSITIVELY affect your computer.

The important ones are going to re-check themselves anyway.  Anti-virus software typically watch for that and re-enable themselves as a defense mechanism.

After you've done this, reboot your computer. Some programs like browsers may take a bit longer to come up the first time, but after that, the PC will run as good or better than the day you purchased it. Windows may ask you if you want to run the system config at every startup. Simply check the box that says no (or whichever option you're given that means no) and click okay.

Of course the potential risk here is that you disabled something you actually need.  This will just take time to figure out.  If your scanner, or modem, or video capture card, or certain software, stop working, you just need to go back in and figure out which item in that list you need to re-enable to make it work.  It's usually fairly intuitive but not always. This means most of those essential components will add themselves back to the startup.

I do suggest  cleaning the registry and defragmenting after following these steps. You may want to re-enable your antivirus yourself. Just open your task manager (control-alt-delete [ONCE only]) to see whether those programs are running in the background.

Windows 7 and 8

The very same methods can be used with other Windows OS. Some differences exist, though: The area that you want to go into is called System Configuration. You can still go to Startup, and select "Selective Startup". After that, everything remains the same.

It's important to note the differences between "services" and "startup". Unless you know exactly what you're doing, stay out of "boot". Only the most advanced user should ever adjust these settings. Reversing certain mistakes can be a harrowing experience.

One note, though: I've had trouble with Windows 7 (and I refuse to use 8!) actually adding some of my hardware drivers back. If this happens to you, trace back your steps and add those services or startup items back in.

If you're at all unsure of any of these steps, just don't do this. While I've learned a lot about computers and software, this us not my job, and I'm NOT an expert. So, if you break your machine, don't blame me. Following these instructions to the T will definitely work.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)