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Turn Off Unnecessary Windows XP Services

A quick way to speed up Windows XP is turn off all those useless and unneeded services. By default Windows XP will start a variety of services that you will most likely never need or use. If you do ever happen to need a service that you turn off, you can always turn it back on again. It is pretty simple to alter the status of services in XP.

To access the services configuration in Windows XP:

Alternatively you can click "Start" -> "Run", then type in "services.msc" and click "OK".

Below is a screenshot of the Windows XP services configuration window. From here you can edit any of the services by double clicking on the service.

For example: If you were to edit the Wireless Zero Configuration service, double clicking on the service brings up the following window. From here the service can either be started or stopped. The startup type can also be set. The options are Disabled, Manual or Automatic. For the unnecessary services, we will either set them to disabled or manual.

Services You can Turn Off to Speed Up Windows XP

Alerter

Notifies selected users and computers of administrative alerts.

This one can be switched off. Not very useful and most users will never need it.

Wireless Zero Configuration

This service is for wireless configuration (wifi). If you are not using wireless you can turn this off. Most likely applies to most desktop PCs.

Indexing Service

Indexes contents and properties of files on local and remote computers; provides rapid access to files.

Unless you do lots of searching, you will probably have a faster environment with this one turned off. Test it out and see.

NetMeeting Remote Desktop Sharing

Enables an authorized user to access this computer remotely by using NetMeeting over a corporate intranet. If this service is stopped, remote desktop sharing will be unavailable. If this service is disabled, any services that explicitly depend on it will fail to start.

You can pretty safely turn this one off. Not many people even are aware they have NetMeeting, it is a hidden program.

Net Logon

Supports pass-through authentication of account logon events for computers in a domain.

Unless you are part of a domain, you can turn this off. Generally 99% of home users and home networks do not require this.

Network Location Awareness

Collects and stores network configuration and location information, and notifies applications when this information changes.

You can turn this one off.

Portable Media Serial Number Service

Retrieves the serial number of any portable media player connected to this computer. If this service is stopped, protected content might not be down loaded to the device.

You will most likely never need this, so it can be turned off.

QoS RSVP

Provides network signaling and local traffic control setup functionality for QoS-aware programs and control applets.

Not many programs make use of this, so you can turn this service off.

Remote Registry

Enables remote users to modify registry settings on this computer. If this service is stopped, the registry can be modified only by users on this computer. If this service is disabled, any services that explicitly depend on it will fail to start.

You can turn this one off, unless you plan on editing the registry remotely. Its generally not a good idea to do much with the registry locally.

Help and Support

Enables Help and Support Center to run on this computer. If this service is stopped, Help and Support Center will be unavailable. If this service is disabled, any services that explicitly depend on it will fail to start.

This can be turned off. It just depends how often you use the built in help and support features. I know I never have.

Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS)

Manages an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) connected to the computer.

If you are not using a UPS, then this one can be turned off.

TCP/IP NetBios Helper

Enables support for NetBIOS over TCP/IP (NetBT) service and NetBIOS name resolution.

This should not be needed in any type of modern network.

Smart Card

Manages access to smart cards read by this computer. If this service is stopped, this computer will be unable to read smart cards.

Turn this off unless you are using smart cards.

IMAPI CD-Burning COM Service

Manages CD recording using Image Mastering Applications Programming Interface (IMAPI). If this service is stopped, this computer will be unable to record CDs.

If you have third party software for burning CDs, then this can be switched off.

ClipBook

Enables ClipBook Viewer to store information and share it with remote computers. If the service is stopped, ClipBook Viewer will not be able to share information with remote computers.

You probably won't need this one. Switch it off.

WMI Performance Adapter

Provides performance library information from WMI HiPerf providers.

This one can be switched off.

There are other services that can be switched off. But those should get you on track to a faster Windows XP setup, and it will only take a couple minutes of tweaking.

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