The 4 Ways to Speed Up Your Computer's Performance article struck a chord among readers. The article, which includes tips on how to clean up your computer and keep it running smoothly, has been the most popular article on At Work. It has gotten thousands of responses, and most of the feedback has been asking for additional tips.

Here's another way you can speed your computer's performance—change the visual feel of Microsoft Windows XP.

Settings that improve the visual appearance of the Windows XP interface can slow down performance. You can fine-tune the settings in Windows XP Professional to improve your computer’s speed. Although visually it may not look as good, you’ll see a difference in performance immediately. And it won’t change how your computer functions. To make this change you may need to be logged on as an Administrator. Also, applying these settings may change your current desktop theme.

To change the visual settings in Windows XP:

  1. On the Start menu, right-click My Computer and click Properties.
  2. In the System Properties dialog box, click the Advanced tab. In the Performance area, click Settings.
  3. In the Performance Options dialog box, on the Visual Effects tab, you can either click the Custom radio button, and then select which user interface (UI) features to disable to improve performance. Or, if you click the Adjust for best performance radio button, all of the UI features will be disabled. Choose the option that works best for you.
  4. Click Apply.

I have my visual settings adjusted for best performance. Like advertised, it doesn’t look as good, but it is faster.

Jason Kozleski