Windows XP: List of Services to Disable to Increase Speed

XP has numerous services enabled by default.  If you know the function of these services, you can really speed up your system by disabling the ones you do not need.

Many services can be modified to increase the speed of your system. Take for instance a CPU = air conditioner analogy. If you use your A/C during the summer, it is helpful. If you use it during the winter, it is a waste. Here are my suggestions for the settings of the services:

If you ever find something not working correctly, you should reset it. However, these are the services that I disable. This guide is very conservative. Many of these services are activated even though only a minority of users will need them. I describe the use of these services so you can make a decision if you should have them enabled or not.

How to Access Your Microsoft Services:

1. Click Start.
2. Click Settings.
3. Select Control Panel.
4. Double click Administrative Tools.
5. Double click Services.
6. Scroll down, and highlight the service you want to adjust. 
7. Right-click on it, and choose Properties.
8. Click the stop button.
9. Select Disable or Manual in the Startup Type scroll bar.

Services to Disable:

  1. Smart Card / Smart Card Helper – If you do not have a smart card system, you do not need this service. As smart cards have really never taken off, I doubt you need this.
  2. TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper service – Unless you run NetBIOS on your system, you do not need this service.
  3. Uninterruptible Power Supply – Although I should have a UPS, I do not. If you do not, then disable this service.
  4. Remote Registry service – This service allows one to remotely edit the registry through a network connection. If you are editing your registry remotely, then you are too advanced for the information provided in this guide. The rest of us should have this off for security alone.
  5. Error Reporting Service – A program crashes and Microsoft wants to know about it. Give up your extra CPU cycles to help Gates polish his OS, or you can just disable it.
  6. Wireless Zero Configuration - Unless you use wi-fi, you can safely stop this service. If you use wi-fi, this is actually a useful service.
  7. Alerter – The Alerter is so useless SP2 turns this off for you. For the rest of you folks, you should turn it off, too.
  8. Clipbook – This service allows you to cut and paste across your private network. Most programs that actually allow you to do this have their own methods for it. Thus you do not need it.
  9. Computer Browser – If you are on a LAN, keep it enabled. If not, stop it. It allows you to see the other computers on your network.
  10. FastUser Switching Compatibility – If you keep multiple users/logins on your current computer, you should leave this enabled. If you always log-in the same way as the same person, you should disable this.
  11. Messenger Service – Disable this. As in the past, we continue to suggest that you disable this.
  12. NetMeeting Remote Desktop Sharing Service – If you do not use NetMeeting, you should stop this service.
  13. Network DDE/Network DDE DSDM – DDE DSDM was an excellent idea by Microsoft that flopped. Disable both of these.
  14. Remote Desktop Help Session Manager Service – I use remote desktop all the time. However, you should not have it enabled unless you use it.
  15. Telnet Service – This allows you to use Telnet to log in to your system from a remote location. It is a security risk, so do not keep it enabled unless you use it. SP2 disables it by default now.

Editor’s Note: If you want to be able to enable and disable numerous services rapidly (before and after a gaming session, for instance), you can easily design a batch file to do it for you.

The Conversation

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28 Responses to “Windows XP: List of Services to Disable to Increase Speed”

  1. October 21, 2008 at 7:14 pm, Mike said:

    Very nice guide!! thanks!!!

    Reply

  2. November 09, 2008 at 6:58 pm, Rahul said:

    Awesome Dude!!!! Thnx a Ton!!!

    Reply

  3. January 03, 2009 at 4:49 pm, Bill Dino said:

    Thanks a lot! all that junk that runs in the background slow down the computer, if you don’t need them, get rid of ‘em!!! Thanks

    Reply

  4. January 09, 2009 at 12:16 pm, zefo said:

    thanks man

    Reply

  5. March 21, 2009 at 12:24 pm, era said:

    thanx…………..maxa

    Reply

  6. March 24, 2009 at 8:11 pm, DeLonghi Pinguino said:

    this is such great information. thanks for the insight.

    Reply

  7. June 05, 2009 at 7:00 pm, Mrinal said:

    no doubt very great info…….Thanx man!!

    Reply

  8. June 24, 2009 at 9:14 am, Al said:

    cheers bud :) handy to know

    Reply

  9. July 17, 2009 at 4:08 am, Joel said:

    Cheers, joels gay

    Reply

  10. July 25, 2009 at 7:19 am, saeed said:

    Very nice guide!! but we want mor……… thanks

    Reply

  11. December 22, 2009 at 8:26 pm, Marci Steinfink said:

    This worked immediately! Thank you Thank you!

    Reply

  12. February 21, 2010 at 2:35 pm, Jai said:

    I just did before seeing this post in my computer, cross checked here :D

    Reply

  13. March 16, 2010 at 10:35 am, Anonymous said:

    itrs realy increce my computer speed thank you

    Reply

  14. May 06, 2010 at 12:22 am, Anonymous said:

    This was extremely helpful and useful! Thanks!

    Reply

  15. June 04, 2010 at 5:53 pm, vijay said:

    Thanks

    Reply

  16. July 20, 2010 at 5:27 pm, Khan Hussain said:

    was very helpful…thanks

    Reply

  17. October 18, 2010 at 7:39 am, Rajkvr_2682 said:

    thanks for a information

    Raju.K ( Smart Tech )

    Reply

  18. March 26, 2011 at 11:27 pm, Jeesshnasri said:

    after restasrt , these settings will work ?
    or this is temporarily.

    Reply

  19. November 13, 2011 at 1:09 pm, Jose said:

    while disabling these services mentioned here, I noticed there is a secondary
    option to disable in the LOGON TAB / PROFILE * but which remains ENABLED even after you disable the service unless you actually select “disable”, click “apply”, and then “ok”.

    Reply

  20. May 14, 2012 at 7:35 am, jaynold said:

    thank you very much sir .

    Reply

  21. August 31, 2012 at 2:23 pm, chanti said:

    Disabling the above services doesnt show any diffference in performance infact system is getting slow…

    Reply

  22. October 12, 2012 at 5:26 pm, Louise Quo Vadis said:

    Thank you very much for this, sir.

    Reply

    • October 12, 2012 at 6:06 pm, David Kirk said:

      I’m glad it helped you. Thanks for the kind words.

      Reply

  23. November 12, 2012 at 5:26 am, Mithil said:

    Thanks man! It really helped me a lot.
    Please submit some more tips to fasten up windows xp sp2

    Reply

  24. January 28, 2013 at 5:55 am, Ian D. Samson said:

    Thanks man. I could not have done this without you. 768MB RAM, 1.8GHz processor, 30GB HDD, 300GB HDD, NVidia drivers, audio card, USB Audio Codec missing does not work, etc.

    Reply

  25. March 25, 2013 at 9:27 am, PoetLouisXIV said:

    Now it’s good! Thanks Bro! :D

    Reply

  26. November 21, 2013 at 10:14 am, Arvind said:

    It was very helpful…Thanx…:)

    Reply

  27. November 23, 2013 at 8:40 am, Mike said:

    You are the man, man. Many thanks for sharing.

    Reply

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