Thursday, April 12, 2007

Windows XP Housekeeping

If you followed my previous article on removing MSN messenger, you may want to take it a step further. Whether it’s a hard drive space issue, or to tidy up your installed programs. There are some quick tips to reduce operating system clutter.

As mentioned earlier, MSN messenger is installed by default, along with MSN explorer and Outlook Express. If you have Microsoft Office 2000 or newer installed, you may already be using Microsoft Outlook which is the email program that replaces Outlook express. If you are using Eudora or thunderbird for email, then you don’t need outlook express at all. To remove it, open control panel, then open add remove programs and click the add remove windows components button on the left hand side. Scroll down the list until you see Outlook Express, then remove the check mark. Click ok and wait to be prompted – you may require your original Windows XP CD, or to know the location of its source files on your hard drive (typically in the C:\i386 folder)

In addition to Outlook express, you may also remove MSN Explorer which is a combination of a utilities including a web browser, email, chat, shopping and media center. This is the type of software you may have received if you purchased an ISP monthly subscription with the Microsoft Network. It serves no real purpose for the average Windows XP system. If you have purchased a MSN subscription, then leave it as it is. To remove it MSN Explorer - once again, go to the add remove programs icon in control panel, add remove windows components. Look for MSN messenger and remove the check mark.

Desktop screen savers, mouse pointers, sounds schemes and wallpaper are also good sources of clutter. These can all be removed by following the same steps as above.

Lets take a closer look at the Add remove Windows Components categories and their components; Bolded items may be removed

1) Accessories and utilities
calculator, character map, clipboard viewer, desktop wallpaper, document templates, mouse pointers, paint
Games – if you use them, leave them, otherwise remove them

2) Fax Services – if you use a modem to send faxes, this is essential. If you have an external fax, uninstall this
Indexing service – if you commonly search for files, this speeds up searches. If you don’t often search, then remove it
Internet explorer – unless you use Opera, or Firefox, you will need this
Internet Information services – if you run a website from your computer, keep this
Management and monitoring tools – chances are you don’t use these
MSN explorer – as outlined earlier in this article, you can remove it
Networking services – again, for advanced users and not required
Outlook express - if you don’t have any other email client, keep this
Update Root Certificates – this should be left alone
Windows media Player – most people use this
Windows (MSN) Messenger – as outlined above, you can remove it