I never thought that a lot of users are still running Windows XP with the default service configuration but it seems that the majority does. The default configuration ensures maximum compatibility but it also means that services are running that do not serve a single purpose on the system. This may not only reduce the performance of the system but may also be dangerous from a security point of view.
It is possible to increase the security of your system by disabling certain services that you will never use. Why would you for instance use remote services if those are not needed on your system. A rule of thumb is to disable as many services as possible as long as this does not mean that you can't use functions or programs in Windows XP that you do need.
Hit Windows + R and type services.msc to view the services configuration window. Services do have one of three possible start up types - they are either started automatically, manually or disabled. The difference between automatic and manual is that services that are set to automatic are started when Windows starts. Manual services are only started when they are needed.
It would be good to backup your system before you make any changes to the services configuration. Make sure you have a backup at hand or at at least system restore. If you want to be on the safe side right-click a service before you disable it and select Properties. Take a look at the Dependencies before you disable it, some services (that you might need) rely on others to function.
Disabled services list: (for a one user system)
You can look up information about new services on Black Viper's website.
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.