Tips To Speed Up Windows XP – Part 2

I recently wrote a post titled Tips to Speed Up Windows XP, which provided easy ways of speeding up Windows XP. Many of those tips were easy to implement, and depending on your computer, you may not have noticed any large performance gain.

In this post I will explain how to gain possible even more performance gain but stopping unneeded Windows XP services. This is a more advanced method of gaining performance from your computer.

About Windows Services

A Windows service is an application that can be started when Windows starts and runs in the background until either it is stopped, or Windows is shut down. Services can be set to automatically start, start when it is needed (manual) or be set to disable, which means it never starts. Each service that is started is loaded and runs in the background.

The easiest way of displaying a list of installed services, as well as see which ones are currently running is to do the following:

  1. Click Start->Run to open the Run dialog.
  2. Type services.msc and click OK to open a window that lists the services.

You will now see a list of services on the right. The list includes the service name, description, current run status and the startup type (Automatic, Manual or Disabled).

In this post, I will provide a list of services that you can safely disable to prevent them from starting. To disable a service, use the following steps:

  1. Find the service in the list and then right-click its name.
  2. From the menu, click Propertiesto display the properties for that service.
  3. Beside Startup type, click the dropdown and select Disabled.
  4. If the Service status indicates that the service is Started, click the Stop button to stop it.
  5. If you can’t stop a service, don’t worry. It will be stopped when you restart.

Windows Services to Stop

By using the instructions provided above, we can now stop the following Windows services. Each service is accompanied by a note so you can decide whether you want to stop the service or continue to let it run.

IMAPI CD-Burning COM Service This services allows you to burn to CDs directly from Windows or applications that support Image Mastering Applications Programming Interface (IMAPI). If you have installed a vendor application, such as Nero, then you don’t need this service running to burn CDs.

Indexing Service This is one of the first services that I stop as it can be a resource hog on a system. This service is responsible for indexing the contents and properties of files on a computer. It allows for fast searching of the files.

Messenger This service is not associated with Windows Messenger, but rather is used by the net send command and the Alerter service messages. Chances are you don’t need those messages so you can safely disable this service.

Remote Desktop Help Session Manager The Remote Assistance service is managed and controlled by this service. If you disabled the Remote Assistance service, then you can disable this service as well.

Remote Registry This allows remote users to access the Windows registry on your computer. This service is not available on Windows XP Home. I disable this service for extra security since I don’t need anyone remotely accessing my Windows registry.

Server If you don’t use file or print sharing, or don’t have a network at home, then you can disable this service. Disabling this service will also remove any hidden shares on your computer.

Terminal Services This service allows several users to connect to a single computer simultaneously, as well as display the desktop to remote computers. I have no use for this at home, so I disable this service. If you use Fast User Switching, then you will need this service to be started.

Themes If you decided not to go with the Windows XP themes, and use the standard chiseled-gray Windows look, then you can stop this service. You won’t be able to use themes on Windows XP until you re-enable this service.

Wireless Zero Configuration If you are on a computer that doesn’t include any wireless connection, then you can disable this service as this one manages wireless connections.


This post provide a brief overview of Windows services, how to access them, and also how to disable and stop them from running. I also included a small list of services you may want to stop from running on your computer if you do not need them.

3 Responses to “Tips To Speed Up Windows XP – Part 2”

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