It’s happened to all of us. Your Windows XP slows down, and for the life of you, you can’t figure out what is causing it. There is a way you can figure it out, but you need to be careful playing around in this area of your computer, so please follow along carefully.
First thing you need to do is hit the buttons on your keyboard for alt, ctrl and del at the same time. Once you do this, you will get the window you see above. As you can see in our example screen, everything is running okay since they all say “Running”, but if any of them had a problem, it would say “Not Responding”. If you see that, you can highlight the program clicking on it with your left mouse button, and then ending the task by doing the following.
If you highlight the offending program by clicking on it with your left mouse button, and then clicking the “End Task” button, you can automatically stop any program that isn’t responding. Sometimes even that won’t work, so let’s see where else you could go to determine what the problem is.
The second thing you’re going to want to look at is at the bottom of the screen and see how much of your CPU (Central Processing Unit, the brain of the computer) is being used. If a lot is being used, say 50% or more on a sustained basis, then you need to look at what programs are using the most processing power.
Going back up to the top of the window, you’re going to want to click on the tab named “Processes”.
When you click on “Processes”, you’ll see this screen, and it looks very scary, and confusing, but there is an easy way to see what is using the most CPU power.
In the column we’ve highlighted, you will need to click on the “C” (short for “CPU”) twice to organize that column to see which item is using the most processing power.
Now you have all of the processes organized by how much computer processing power they are using. The System Idle will always look like it’s using a lot, but it’s really not. Any others with a high number though will be your likely culprit. I suggest shutting the program down normally, but as a last ditch, nothing else works effort, you can do one other thing.
This method is NOT recommended, but sometimes there is just no other choice.
No matter what, you should always try to shut down your programs in the normal ways, but if you are just puzzled as to what is even causing your problems, these are the ways to do it.