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How to Customize Win XP and Make Windows Easier to Use

written by: •edited by: Lamar Stonecypher•updated: 3/15/2010

The article talks about how to make Windows easier to use and employs Win XP as base. You can also apply the tips on other versions of Windows. Here, we will discuss how to customize Win XP so that you get an easier and faster operating system.

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    How to Make Windows Easier to Use – Customize Windows Settings

    Using any operating system with its default settings often means a slow machine with a complicated GUI. In this section, we will discuss how to customize Win XP default settings to save on speed. The tips also apply to other versions of Windows, thus helping you on the question – How to make Windows easier to use?

    You can use the System Properties dialog to make Windows faster. To access the System Properties dialog, right click My Computer icon and select Properties. Click the Advanced tab (fig 1). Under the last section, Startup and Recovery, we can save some time on booting by reducing the wait time for selecting operating system and recovery options. Click on Settings and reduce the values (Fig 2). Press OK to return to the Advanced tab in System Properties dialog.

    You can further customize Win XP so that you save on the pagefile process, thus making Windows faster. You can also remove unnecessary effects from Windows so that it runs faster. Click on the Settings button under Performance to get the Performance Options dialog. Under the Visual Effects tab, click on Custom and remove all the unnecessary animations and effects that slow down your computer (Fig 3). Please read this article on how to set a fixed pagefile to make Windows faster. In the System Properties dialog, you can also disable System Restore on certain partitions to save on Windows speed and HDD space.

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    Image References

    Fig 1 - System Properties Advanced DialogFig 2 - Reduce Boot Time - Customize Win XPFig 3 - Performance Options - Customize Win XP
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    Customize Win XP – Organize Start Menu and Folders to Make Windows Faster

    The above section offered an overview of how to customize Win XP so that you can use Windows easily. You can save much on speed by eliminating unnecessary startup programs and by removing programs that you do not use.

    Most of your work begins by clicking on the Start menu and wading through the maze of All Programs. You also open documents using My Computer and by navigating through a plethora of folders. You can customize Win XP so that you can open your files directly without having to waste your time navigating through the folders. You can also save time on opening programs if you customize the Start menu. Let us see how to achieve this.

    You can PIN all the programs that you use frequently so that you need not open the All Programs menu and the sub-menus therein. This will save several clicks so you can get to work easily. To pin a program to the Start menu plate, navigate once to the program, right click on the program and select Pin to Start Menu. Thereafter, you can always open the program directly by clicking the Start button and then by selecting the program on the Start menu – instead of having to open the All Programs.

    The other way is to add the Desktop Toolbar to the Windows taskbar. To add the Desktop Toolbar, right click on the Taskbar, Toolbars and select Desktop. You will have all icons in front of you - so you need not use Start menu. If any icon is missing, navigate to the program, right click and select Send To -> Desktop.

    You can also use this method to create a common place for all the folders you use. Navigate to the folder, right click and select Send To -> Desktop. A shortcut to the folder will appear on the Desktop. If there are too many folders, I suggest you create a folder named "MyFolders." In this folder, create shortcuts to all the other folders you want. Once done, use the right-click to create a shortcut to "MyFolders" on the desktop. When you click this icon, the folder will open so that you can quickly select the folder that you wish to access.

    This answers how to make Windows easier to use. Simply Customize Win XP in a fashion that all the shortcuts you need are just one or two clicks away!