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Windows XP Essentials

This a list of the basic XP Essentials that are needed AFTER installing Windows XP. These programs update Windows XP to improve the functionality, security, and performance of the system.

If you are building a new XP system, or even rebuilding one, you should at least have these free, basic essentials to make sure it will run smoothly and reliably.

In addition to this list you will need a few other programs, such as: drivers for specific devices installed in or attached to your system, an anti-virus program to protect your system, and maybe a good defragmentation program.

Programs from Microsoft


Other Essential Programs

  • OpenOffice is a free Office application that lets you read, edit, and create files for Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.
    (OpenOffice Web Site)
  • Gimp is a full graphics editing package with features comparable to Adobe Photoshop. After installing the core program, please also install these required pieces: GTK (for Win2K/XP), Help Package, and Animation Package.
    (Gimp Web Site)
  • K-Lite Mega Codec Pack supports a wide variety of video and audio codecs like MPEG, DVD movies, Real Media, and Quicktime.
    (K-Lite Codec Pack Web Site)
  • Google's Picasa is a fine image management program. This program lets you create slideshows, create collages, e-mail pictures, create image CD's, or print multiple image copies to a page in a range of sizes.
    (Google's Picasa Web Site)
  • LavaSoft Ad-aware Personal Edition is used to remove spy and advertizement products from your system to help you maintain peak performance. (run monthly)
    (Lavasoft Web Site)
  • SpyBot Search and Destroy will further remove spy and advertizement products, plus it will detect, remove, and correct trojans and security risks. SpyBot even has a utility that will actively block these from being installed to the computer. (run monthly)
    (Spybot Web Site)

More Good Basic Programs


[Updated: Sunday, November 18, 2007]