Windows XP: Functional Desktop

Let’s make it more functional – you may have your own styles, here’s mine

windows xp

1. Let’s clear the desktop files

This is one thing I don’t get when I see some of my friends’ desktops – it is full of files. Although many claim that the icons on the desktop do not hog memory, having too many icons on the desktop is just downright confusing. I had friends who spend time looking for a file on their over-crowded desktop. So I have done for mine is to clear the desktop by right click on the desktop > arrange icons by > hide desktop icons.

2. Dock in the usual files

Even though my desktop now looks clean; it is not so helpful yet. Out of the many files that I have, there are just a few files that I often click very regularly on daily basis, namely browsers, RSS feeder, journals, budget spreadsheets and shortcuts to other working files. So, what I do is to place them on a dock. I use objectdock (free version) for this purpose but you can find other freeware versions in the net.

windows xp taskbar

3. Place address bar on the taskbar

In one of the recent window updates (XP SP3), Microsoft took out this fine function. But not to worry, it can be easily added back using 3rd party software. I am using the one from So instead of clicking Start > My Computer > C Drive, I just type C:\ at the taskbar and press enter – the windows explorer opens accordingly. The fact that the taskbar ‘remembers’ the files opened recently makes it even more convenient. I just type the path and the files opened will be displayed as a drop down list.

4. Delayed start-ups

One of the things I hate early in the morning is slow start up of Windows XP – it is not the OS itself that is causing the slow start up but rather start up programs like anti malware, anti virus, etc. Having too many start-ups can clog the memory and makes the start-up slow – so I use the Startup Delayer:-

When Windows loads it’s Startup file, it attempts to load every program in there at the same time. Therefore if you have quite a lot of programs starting when Windows starts, each program will try and grab CPU time so that it can load.

If each program tries to do this at the same time, you soon notice the slow down that occurs, due to your CPU trying to help all the programs to load, and your hard disk accessing multiple files.

Startup Delayer allows you to setup how many seconds after Windows has started, to load each program.

When I am at work, the office firewall takes cares of my laptop but when I am onsite, my laptop’s own firewall program need to be fired up and running. So what I have done is to delay the start of my personal firewall program when I start the laptop in the morning – if I am in office, I will skip the start up but I am onsite, I will just allow the firewall to start up automatically.

Any more ideas?


3 thoughts on “Windows XP: Functional Desktop

  1. 1. I use Power Menu to minimize icons to system tray. You can also set the transparency of an active window / Always Top
    2. Metapad: best notepad replacement
    3. I’ve taskmanager shortcut in my Startup – it minimize to system tray after startup.
    4. Task killer – kill tasks / windows / apps that are hung / frozen with one click.
    5. Taskbar shuffle – launch the program as you want and you can rearrange them on your taskbar

    there u go. these are my 5 must have apps for a functional desktop windows xp


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