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Windows XP Tips and Tricks

Windows XP Tips and Tricks

Published by Sami

Thumbs up Introduction

Though Windows XP is overall a really good operating system, few people use it for anything beyond a container for their other programs. This is kind of like buying a van and using it to store things in; it works, but you're not really getting a lot of value out of the van.

The best tip overall for Windows XP is to spend some time with it. Use quickmenus everywhere – this is clicking your right-hand mouse button (in a lefty mouse, the left-hand button) while hovering over different elements: icons, the desktop background, the toolbar.

There are a lot of things you won't learn this way, though, like the following:

Speeding up the painfully slow Start menu: Have you noticed that when you click it, the Start menu doesn't exactly move like greased lightning? You can speed this up by editing the Registry key associated with it. Open Registry Editor (Start | Run, then type 'regedit' and hit Enter) and navigate to:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Control Panel \ Desktop \ MenuShowDelay

The value that will display here is 400. Change it to a smaller value; zero is nice. This should help somewhat. If it's still slow, it may just be your processor.

Undoing Mistakes: Sometimes you really, really regret installing a program, changing a registry setting, or otherwise fiddling with your system. In MS Windows XP Pro and up, you can fix these mistakes very easily without losing data by going to your now-zippy Start menu, accessing Programs | Accessories | System Tools | and selecting System Restore. Select the first option, "Restore My Computer to a Previous Time." Then pick the last time you were happy with the way your computer worked. Problem changes are undone, and the program or other issue that caused the changes will be deleted, without touching data files. It's like sending the computer back through time!

Show file extensions for all file types: By default file name extensions for all file types are hidden. To see all file extensions in Windows Explorer, follow these steps:
  • Start | Settings | Control Panel
  • Double click on Folder Options
  • Select View tab
  • Uncheck the tick for "Hide extensions for known file types" check box
  • Click OK
Side-By-Side Windows: If you have two documents, or two web pages, or a doc and a web page, or spread sheet, etc. you want to compare side by side, open both of them and nothing else. Right-click on your Taskbar (the thing your Start button lives on) and select Tile Windows; you can tile vertically or horizontally. You will wind up with both or multiple documents, open side-by-side or each above the others.

<< <    Next Page: Universal XP Shortcut Keys (Page 1 of 2)    >  >>

By Sami on 02-24-2006, 08:54 PM
Default Some more windows xp tips

Add Quick Launch toolbar

By default on Xp Quick launch toolbar is diabled to enable it,
  1. Right click an empty space on the Taskbar
  2. Click Toolbars sub-menu select Quick Launch.
Show Desktop Icons

By default Internet Explorer, My Computer, My Documents and My Network Places icons are hidden on the Desktop to show these icons on the desktop follow these steps.
  1. Right click on the Desktop, choose Properties, Select Desktop tab and click on "Customize Desktop"
  2. Put a check mark in front of Internet Explorer, My Computer, My Documents and My Network Places to add it to Desktop.
What are your favorite Xp tips? Please share with us all.
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By Sajid on 03-04-2006, 01:04 AM
Default Add Items to the "Send To" Menu

Since I use this a lot this is my favorite windows xp tip,

How to Add Items to the "Send To" Menu.

Send to menu is very handy if you wish to open files in different applications other than the default one.

For example, if you want to open a html file for editing, you can right click on it and send it to notepad or wordpad.

Here are steps to add items to Send To menu.

1. Click Start, and then click Run.
2. In the Open box, type sendto, and then click OK.
3. Right click on the empty space -> New on the File menu, and then click Shortcut
4. And browse to which ever application you want to add.
5. For Notepad just type 'notepad.exe' and click next and finish.

A new shortcut is created in the SendTo folder, and it is displayed on the Send To menu.
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By Sami on 03-18-2006, 12:50 AM
Default More Windows XP Performance Tips

1. XP has a folder called "Prefetch" in the C:/WINDOWS folder. "Prefetch" launches a whole bunch of .exe files whether you're going to use them or not. After using your computer for quite some time without cleaning the prefetch, it will slow down your computer noticeably.

To greatly speed up your boot time, simply empty C:/WINDOWS/Prefetch every once in a while.

2. Clear unwanted startup programs.

Start -> Run -> Type msconfig

A window pops up select Startup tab and uncheck programs you do not want to startup.
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By William_Wilson on 03-18-2006, 02:41 AM

For a full explanation on Prefetch, i have an old post on another site:
This includes how to empty your prefetch, effects, and how to change how prefetch works (registry edit)
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By ChatMod#1 on 04-04-2006, 06:28 AM

Regarding the prefetch, do i just delete all files in Prefetch or wat do i do? I don't want anything to go wrong.
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By Sami on 04-05-2006, 03:19 AM

Yes, you can delete all files, it is not advisable to empty Prefetch folder more than once every month.
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By William_Wilson on 04-05-2006, 03:22 AM

I have my prefetch turned off, depending on what you use your computer for, this can be a good option.. though i do not recomend it for the common user. I have a list of much needed applications under it, and the addition to the list is completely restricted... but that's how i am, just because MS says it's best, doesn't make it so
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By Mastertech on 12-05-2006, 08:24 AM
Thumbs down Prefetch information is 150% incorrect

All the Prefetching information here is 150% wrong. That is not how Windows Prefetching works. Do not disable it, do not tweak it and do not clean the prefetch folder. All will SLOW DOWN your system. Anyone who claims otherwise has not only never properly tested it but has absolutely NO idea how Windows XP prefetching works:

XP Myths - Myths Regarding Windows XP


Windows XP: Kernel Improvements Create a More Robust, Powerful, and Scalable OS
Windows XP: Kernel Improvements Create a More Robust, Powerful, and Scalable OS -- MSDN Magazine, December 2001

Kernel Enhancements for Windows XP
Kernel Enhancements for Windows XP

Windows XP Performance
Microsoft Windows XP Performance

Benchmarking on Windows XP
Benchmarking on Windows XP: Home Edition and Professional

Windows XP Professional Resource Kit
Windows XP Resource Kit: Troubleshooting Disks and File Systems


Ryan Myers - Windows Client Performance Team

Misinformation and the The Prefetch Flag
Funny, It Worked Last Time : Misinformation and the The Prefetch Flag

Ed Bott - Author Widows XP Inside Out

One more time: do not clean out your Prefetch folder!
One more time: do not clean out your Prefetch folder! | Ed Bott’s Windows Expertise |

Beware of Bogus XP Advice
Beware of Bogus XP Advice | Ed Bott’s Windows Expertise |

Tip of the day: Don’t clean out the Prefetch folder
Tip of the day: Don’t clean out the Prefetch folder | Ed Bott’s Windows Expertise |
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By sqap_nike on 05-24-2007, 10:44 AM

ooo **** i empty my prefetch floder...

so what can i do ?

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