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Speed up Windows by stripping it down

Turn off functions you don't need

Windows has plenty of features that you can turn off to speed things up. Here's how to find the features you don't need.

Fast user switching: XP
No, I'm not suggesting that anyone switch you with a faster user.

This service helps Windows keep two or more users logged on and active at a time. That's useful and convenient...provided you're sharing the PC with another person.

If the PC is all yours, find and double-click the Fast User Switching Compatibility service, and set the Startup type to Disabled.

Help and support: XP
You shouldn't turn this one off entirely. After all, if you need help for an XP component, the last thing you want is to get an error message instead.

But unless you constantly use Help, you won't want it to be running until you need it. So in Services, find and double-click Help and Support, and select the Startup type Manual. That way, Help and Support won't load until you ask for it.

Offline files: Vista and Windows 7 (Business and Ultimate Editions Only)
If you work on files stored on a server whose availability you can't depend on, Offline Files makes your life easier by copying the files to your hard drive and keeping them synced.

But if you don't work on such files, there's no point in keeping the feature activated. Find and double-click the service Offline Files. In the 'Startup type' drop-down menu, select Disabled, and then click OK.

This feature isn't available in any of the Home editions of Vista or Windows 7.

NEXT PAGE: The desktop

  1. Turn off functions you don't need
  2. System properties dialogue box
  3. Windows features dialogue box
  4. Services
  5. More services
  6. The desktop

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