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?