XP login slow - disable background preload of programs for quick start

Posted on 2009-04-30
Last Modified: 2012-05-06
OK, I apologise as this is likely to be the least informative question of the week (month, year)!

Some time ago I found a neat little registry edit to help XP to load quicker by disabling a function which preloads programs in the background ... i.e. gets them ready so that when you open them they launch quicker.

Note this is not the same as programs which ACTUALLY load on startup, I'm not talking about anything in the Start\All Programs\Startup folder or the registry settings in HKLM(or HKCU)\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Current Version\Run

Can't think of how best to describe it, Windows remembers what programs you've used before, so when Windows logs in it preloads them in the background so they'll load quicker when you actually start them.

Not a great description, hence the apology at the start ... sorry again.

That ringing any bells for anyone?

I didn't take a note of the edit at the time, can't remember what it's called, so searching isn't doing me any good.

Hope someone can help an old buffoon.


Question by:ChrisARRC
    LVL 7

    Expert Comment


    Check whether you identify any in this list ?

    Author Comment

    Nope, sorry, none of those (helpful aren't I) :o(

    Accepted Solution

    I've discovered that what I've been referring to is "prefetch", which is where XP preloads settings for commonly used programs when it boots, so that they appear to launch quicker - this can slow XP boot down.
    To fix this clear out your c:\windows\prefetch folder and change the appropriate registry setting to disable 'prefetch'
    More details can be found here:

    Author Comment


    Featured Post

    IT, Stop Being Called Into Every Meeting

    Highfive is so simple that setting up every meeting room takes just minutes and every employee will be able to start or join a call from any room with ease. Never be called into a meeting just to get it started again. This is how video conferencing should work!

    Join & Write a Comment

    Can you find a fax from a vendor you saved a decade ago in seconds? Have you ever cursed your PC under your breath during an audit because you couldn’t find the requested statement or driver history?  If you answered no to the first question or yes …
    cPanel is a Unix based web hosting control panel that provides a graphical interface and automation tools designed to simplify the process of hosting a web site. cPanel utilizes a 3 tier structure that provides functionality for administrators, rese…
    In this sixth video of the Xpdf series, we discuss and demonstrate the PDFtoPNG utility, which converts a multi-page PDF file to separate color, grayscale, or monochrome PNG files, creating one PNG file for each page in the PDF. It does this via a c…
    This video discusses moving either the default database or any database to a new volume.

    728 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

    Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

    Join & Ask a Question

    Need Help in Real-Time?

    Connect with top rated Experts

    18 Experts available now in Live!

    Get 1:1 Help Now