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XP Visual Effects Slow Your Computer

Windows XP has some really nifty looking visual effects and they look nice.  However, the computer spends a lot of valuable processing time generating those effects, slowing down other tasks running on your computer. Some of them also make XP's user interface appear sluggish or hesitant. 

The good news is you can fine-tune the effects - turn off the less obvious ones but leave the really important ones running.  Here's what you can do:

  • Click Start->Settings->Control Panel->System. 
  • Click on the "Advanced tab". 
  • Under performance click "Settings".
  • Uncheck all except:
    • Show shadows under menus
    • Show shadows under mouse pointer
    • Show translucent selections rectangle
    • Smooth edges of screen fonts
    • Use visual styles on windows and buttons
  • Click "Apply" and "OK"
You can go back and alter these settings to see what the others do and then pick-and-choose the ones you want.  However, the ones I recommend above are the most obvious ones to keep enabled.  Most others have minimal effect on the appearance of the system but save valuable processing time.