Basic tips and tricks for Windows XP

Running applications in compatibility mode

With Windows XP, you can run programs as if they were running under a different operating system. (This is known as “emulation”.) Simply right click a shortcut, select “Properties” and then check “Run in compatibility mode” and select the operating system you want to make the program believe that it is under. This fools or tricks the program into thinking you are actually using an earlier version of Windows, such as NT, 2000, 98, or 95. This is especially useful for certain games that will not run properly. Be careful * not * to use this with certain system utilities, such as antivirus, defrag, registry and disk tool applications.

Customizing the Start menu

Right click on the “Start” button and left click “Properties”. From here, you can select the new Windows XP style menu, or return to the Windows 2000 / Millennium style. You can also customize the two possible choices using their corresponding “customize” buttons. This also allows you to enable or disable cascading menus and other useful options, such as large or small icons and more.

Bring back the desktop icons

After installing Windows XP, you probably noticed that some of your icons from the previous versions of Windows were missing. Microsoft has this intention to help Simply and reduce clutter. Obviously, for some people, this is not the best choice or the preference of the user. So, if you want the icons like “My Computer” and “My Network Places” back, just open Display Properties (right click Desktop Wallpaper, left click “Properties”) and click the “Desktop” tab. Click the “Customize Desktop” button and on the “General” tab check the items you want. You can also change the icons used for the desktop items in the same screen. One final tip to this screen is the “Clean Desktop Now” button, which notifies you of unused icons on the desktop and offers to remove them if you choose.

Give me my cleartype

Windows XP contains a great new visual technology, called “ClearType” which increases horizontal legibility by approximately 300% and it looks great. Back to “Show Properties” [see tip: “Bring Back Those Desktop Icons” for instructions] And this time, go to the “Appearance” tab. Click “Effects” and for the second drop down box, labeled “Use the following method to smooth edges of screen fonts”, select “ClearType”. Click OK twice and you’re ready.

Lock computer against welcome login screen

You must go into Control Panel and open the “User Accounts” applet to change this setting. Click “Change the way visitors log on or off”. Select the “Use the welcome screen” option for maximum security. This re-enables the use of the “lock computer” option from the ALT Ctrl delete menu, but prevents multiple users from being logged on locally at a single time. This also returns to the Windows 2000 style login screen. If you’re quite have the ability to “not * be able” to use “lock computer” and prefer to allow multiple users to be logged in to the computer at a time locally, leave this setting checked and also check “Use fast user switching” .

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