Windows XP is a ten year old operating system, but in spite of that fact, millions of PC owners still use it every day. Whether you want to dig your old Windows XP PC out of the closet to speed it up or you’re just looking to squeeze a few more years of life out of your existing system, here are our top favorite ways to speed up Windows XP.
Clean your registry
While it’s important to clean the registry on any PC, it is particularly important on older PCs. As time passes, your registry can become clogged with useless information, corrupt data, and even viruses, and this can cause major slowdowns on your computer. If you want to improve the speed of your old PC, then cleaning your registry should be the first thing you do.
Run an antivirus scan
If you haven’t updated your PC in years, then it may be ridden with viruses. Fortunately, antivirus technology has come a long ways since Windows XP was released, and cleaning your system of malware, spyware, adware, and other security threats should be a breeze. Remember to run an antivirus scan before you log onto the internet, as old keyloggers could steal your banking information or social media passwords.
Make Windows XP load faster
There are a number of ways you can make Windows XP load faster. However, this tip is probably the easiest to configure. Go to your start menu and select ‘run’. Then, type in msconfig. This will cause a menu to pop up. Click on the BOOT.INI tab along the top of that menu and find the box labeled ‘Timeout’. There should be a number 30 in that box. Change this 30 to a 3. Restart your system for these changes to take effect and your system should now load faster.
Turn off Windows XP visual effects
If your PC is particularly old, then it may struggle to run the default Windows XP visual effects. If this is the case, then turning off these effects can noticeably increase your performance. While your desktop may look more like Windows 98 than Windows XP, most users will find the increase in performance to be worth it.
Simply go to your Start menu and find the Control Panel. Click on System (some users will need to click ‘Switch to Classic Mode’ in order to see the System button). Click on the advanced tab and select settings under ‘Performance’. You should see buttons that describe how you want your computer to run. Choose the one that says ‘Adjust for Best Performance’ and then click ‘Apply’. It’s that easy.
Prioritize your processes in order to speed up your PC
This step may seem advanced, but it’s actually fairly easy to do. Setting priorities in your task manager can dramatically speed up the Windows XP operating system and is a great way to squeeze extra life out of your old PC. By allocating system resources to the most important tasks, your computer can focus on the programs, applications, and tools that matter most to you.
To do this, simply open up the Windows Task Manager (press Ctrl+Alt+Delete or right click on your taskbar) and click the ‘processes’ tab. Then, choose ‘explorer.exe’ (which controls Windows visual effects and folder menus) and set it to run on realtime. This gives your Windows XP computer a performance boost, particularly when you’re browsing through files and folders.
Next, right click on your most resource-intensive task and set the priority to ‘high’ or ‘above normal’ (by default it should be set to ‘normal’). This will allocate system resources to this task before others, making that program run faster.
The most important thing to keep in mind with this tip is that you should not allocate more than two processes to run on ‘high’. This can make your system unstable and could lead to crashes, overheated components, and other problems.