TweakHound's Super XP Tweaking Guide


Microsoft pulled their services guide that I had linked to previously because the information was outdated due to SP2 & 3. Even the default settings for Services listed in Help & Support are still wrong. I've gotten these settings by doing a fresh install of both XP Home and Pro and exporting the Services configuration as a .csv file.


This is a tough subject folks. Most of the services that you may or may not need depend on your individual configuration. Some of the factors that you need to consider include: How you access the internet, if and how you are networked, if and how you are sharing files or printers, whether or not you want the GUI to be pretty, whether or not you have a 3rd party backup program, whether or not you remember to update things, etc...

The following table contains my recommended settings. They are based on hundreds of custom installs. They are also expressly NOT for machines in a domain (even if your IT guy was stupid enough to give you these permissions). Reading the notes provided is KEY to interpreting the recommendations.

Press the Windows + R keys > type services.msc (do not use msconfig). To edit a service, double-click on the entry.
Re-boot when finished.

If something stops working that was working before you edited the services, simply return it to the default value. If you have a concern as to whether nor not it is safe for you to disable a service you have 2 choices; disable it and see if it causes problems, or, set it to Manual. In most cases Manual lets the system start a service if needed.

Levels 3 and 4 are configured for max security and are not for machines with multiple users.

You can download this table in Word (.doc) format here:

Can't view it? Try OpenOffice or Microsoft's Word Viewer 2003 (both free).