How To: Disable Unnecessary Windows Services & Improve Performance of Windows XP Computer
Windows is notorious for having useless features and CPU resource hogging programs/services enabled by default.Some applications and hardware automatically adds services to your computer which start with the computer, Windows XP also includes and enables a lot of services by default, many of which you don’t need. Services are kind of like startup programs, they are usually not necessary, they slow down your computer, and they slow down the boot up process; however, some are useful so that’s why I have made a list of ones to get rid of.
Before you begin, it is important to remember that if a particular service is disabled, any other service/services that explicitly depend on it will fail to start. Read the Properties information carefully and make sure you understand what the service does/does not do.
Adjusting services settings incorrectly has the potential to leave your Windows XP computer in an unbootable condition. It’s important that before you begin making changes to system services in Windows XP, you have fully functional backups of your system/data.
If you are prepared to go ahead then open the Windows XP Control Panel, Administrative Tools, Services. Right click on a service and open Properties to make changes to the startup type (first check the tab Dependencies).
How to disable an unnecessary service in Windows XP:
- Click on the Windows XP Start button.
- Type services.msc in the Run box
- Right click a service, and choose Stop to stop it immediately
- For some services you are unable to stop it until after reboot. Simply right click and choose properties.
- Then select disable from the drop-down menu.
List of Unnecessary Windows Services:
- AdobeLM Service: Not all computers have this service, still it is useless, just disable it if you have it.
- Alerter: Disable this one if you are not on a network because you don’t need to receive alerts.
- Application Management: Set this to manual.
- Automatic Updates: Disable it if you don’t require auto updating and patching of Windows.
- ClipBook: Disable this if you are not on a network, since you don’t need to share anything.
- Computer Browser: Disable this too if you are not on a network, as you don’t need to browse and monitor connected computers.
- Cryptographic Services: Set this to manual if you are not sure you need it.
- Distributed Transaction Service: Set this to manual.
- DNS Client: Set this to manual if you are not on a network.
- Error Reporting Service: Disable this useless service for reporting errors to Microsoft. After all, it doesn’t help you solve the problem.
- Fast User Switching Compatibility: Disable it if you have only a single user on your computer, or if you do not use fast user switching feature much. That is, if you completely log-off and then allow other users to use your computer, then you do not need this. Note that this service is completely useless for low memory computers.
- FTP Publishing: Disable this if you do not use FTP.
- Help and Support: Set it to manual or turn it off if you do not use the help feature often.
- HTTP SSL: Set it to manual.
- Human Interface Device Access: Turn it off if you do not use hot-keys or remote systems on your computer; if you use them sometimes, it is better turn it to manual.
- IMAPI CD-Burning COM Service: Set this to manual to save memory and time. Do not turn it to disabled if you have a CD writer or a DVD writer attached to your computer.
- Indexing Service: Turn it off, it uses lots of CPU
- InstallDriver Table Manager: Disable it.
- IPSEC Services: Set this to manual.
- Windows Messenger: Disable this if you are not on a network, it uses too much memory and it is a hog. Use Gaim instead.
- MS Software Shadow Copy Provider: Set this to manual.
- Net Logon: Disable if you are not on a network.
- NetMeeting Remote Desktop Sharing: Disable this if you do not use Remote Desktop feature.
- Network Provisioning Service: Disable this, it’s useless if you are not on a network.
- NT LM Security Support Provider: Disable this, its useless too.
- NVIDIA Display Driver Service: If you do not use the features of nVidia Desktop, this service must be disabled; it is a big hog of memory.
- Office Source Engine: Disable it if you have a MS Office CD handy always, its helpful if your installation goes corrupt.
- Portable Media Serial Number Service: Set it to manual if you connect portable media to your computer, otherwise disable it.
- Print Spooler: Disable it if you don’t have a printer.
- Protected Storage: Disable it if you don’t allow strangers to sit on your encrypted storage computer.
- Remote Desktop Help Session Manager: Disable it if you don’t use Remote Desktop feature for help and support from Microsoft. You don’t get support from Microsoft usually anyways.
- Remote Procedure Call Locator: Set it to manual.
- Remote Registry: Serious security threat if turned on, disable it now!
- Removable Storage: Disable it if you don’t use removable storage drives, else turn it manual.
- Routing and Remote Access: Set it to manual.
- Secondary Logon: Useless feature for most, disable it or turn it manual.
- Security Accounts Manager: Disable it, it’s pretty useless, unless you use NTFS Encryption.
- Security Center: Damn useless and irritating feature. Disable it as soon as you can!
- Server: Set it to manual or disable it if you are not on network.
- Smart Card: Disable it. Seriously who uses smart cards for their home computers?
- SSDP Discovery Service: Disable it of not on network or don’t have UPnP devices on home networks.
- TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper: Set it to manual if on network, otherwise disable it.
- Telnet: Set it to manual if you use this feature, otherwise disable it, especially if you are home users.
- Terminal Services: Since you aren’t using Remote Desktop etc… disable it for good.
- Uninterrupted Power Supply: Disable it if you don’t have an UPS attached to the serial port of your computer.
- Universal Plug and Play Device Host: Set it to manual.
- User Privilege Service: Set it to manual.
- Volume Shadow Copy: Disable it if you don’t backup using System Restore or Windows Backup. I recommend Ghost.
- Windows Firewall/Internet Connection Sharing (ICS): Disable this if you have another firewall such as Norton or Zone Alarm installed, otherwise let it remain ON for better security.
- Windows Image Acquisition (WIA): If you don’t connect/use a camera/scanner with your computer, disable this service, else set it to manual.
- Windows Media Connect: Disable this if you don’t use things such as an iPod etc… for your Windows Media Player.
- Windows Media Connect (WMC) Helper: Disable this if you disabled the one above or if you don’t need help.
- Windows Time: Disable if not on a synchronized network.
- Wireless Zero Configuration: Disable if not on a wireless network.
- WMI Performance Adapters: Disable it, useless service for basic usage.
- Workstation: Disable if you aren’t on a network. Or simply, if you are a gamer, just shut this one.