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WinXP Tweaking: From Reformat to Relax - Group Policy

You've just reformatted your hard drive and are installing Windows XP. You may be new to XP, or you may be a veteran and system slowdowns, instability or problems have lead you to reinstall. Now comes the installation of all the applications and games. Then all the drivers. Finally, there's the dreaded job of going through all the settings and tweaks all over again to optimise your system. Welcome to what we are certain is the most comprehensive collection of tweaks collected and published on the Internet today in this walkthrough style tweaking guide for Microsoft's Windows XP operating system, do not miss what Koroush "PersianImmortal" Ghazi has served up for us!

By: | Guides | Posted: Jul 26, 2002 4:00 am

Group Policy


To access: Start>Run>gpedit.msc (Note: No Group Editor in WinXP Home)



There are two main branches - User Configuration and Computer Configuration. Changes made under User Configuration only affect the current user. Changes made under Computer Configuration apply to the machine and affect all users on that machine. The recommended setting for each is provided in brackets.


Turn off System Restore permanently


- Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\System Restore\(leave at default)


Turn off built-in XP CD Burning (still allows 3rd party burning software such as Nero)


- User Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Windows Explorer\"Remove CD Burning Features" (Enabled)


Remove Shared Documents Folder


- User Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Windows Explorer\"Remove Shared Documents from My Computer" (Enabled)


Remove Shutdown/Logoff/Restart messages


- Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\"Remove boot /Shutdown /Logon / Logoff messages" (leave at default)


Turn off User Tracking (will disable personalized menus as well though)


- User Configuration\Administrative Templates\Start Menu and Taskbar\"Turn off user tracking" (Enabled)


Turn off CD/DVD Autoplay


- Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\"Turn off Autoplay" (Enabled)


Disable IE splashscreen


- Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Internet Explorer\"Disable Showing the Splash Screen" (Enabled)


Disable Windows Messenger


- Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Windows Messenger\(Set both to Enabled)


See the Regedit section on how to turn off Messenger and fix the Outlook Express "slowdown" issue.


Customize Internet Explorer (Logo, Titlebar, Toolbar pics & text)


- User Configuration\Windows settings\Internet Explorer Maintenance\Browser User Interface\ (leave at default)


Remove Recycle Bin Icon from Desktop


- User configuration\Administrative Templates\Desktop\"Remove Recycle Bin icon from Desktop" (leave at default)


Remove My Documents Icon from Desktop


- User configuration\Administrative Templates\Desktop\"Remove My Documents icon from Desktop" (Enabled)


Remove My Computer Icon from Desktop


- User configuration\Administrative Templates\Desktop\"Remove My Computer icon from Desktop" (leave at default)


See the Regedit and Further Optimization sections for ways of adjusting these settings for WinXP Home users who don't have access to the Group Editor.


How much to upgrade to x64 Edition?


Microsoft Windows XP Professional x64 Edition (ZAT00008) for PC


Further Reading: Read and find more Guides content at our Guides reviews, guides and articles index page.

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