How to Test Windows XP Performance

by Shanika Chapman

When using Microsoft Windows, you will often notice performance problems when you are heavily taxing the system by having many programs running at once or just a few resource-hungry applications. When slowdowns occur, monitoring your system's performance can identify the culprit, allowing you to remedy the problem by closing the nonessential processes that are using the most system resources. Microsoft's Task Manager will allow you to monitor resource use and terminate unnecessary programs.


Press Ctrl, Shift and Esc at the same time to bring up the Task Manager.


Click on the Performance tab to monitor system resources, such as memory and CPU usage.


Click on the Network tab to monitor network activity and performance.


Click on the Processes tab to see the amount of resources devoted to each process running on your computer. This tab will show the memory and CPU allocations for each process and the user who initiated the process.


  • check To free up system resources, click on the Processes tab in Task Manager, then click on the Memory heading. This will sort the processes by the amount of memory each uses. Scan the list to find programs that aren't currently needed, highlight them, and click "End Process." Repeat this process as necessary to free up all available system resources.
  • check To create a shortcut to navigate to the "Task Manager," right-click on your desktop, select "New," then select "Shortcut." Specify the location of the "Task Manager" by typing "X:\Windows\system32\taskmgr.exe" where "X" is the drive letter where you have Windows XP installed, which will typically be "C."

About the Author

Shanika Chapman has been writing business-related articles since 2009. She holds a Bachelor of Science in social science from the University of Maryland University College. Chapman also served for four years in the Air Force and has run a successful business since 2008.