Web Analytics

Improve XP Mode Performance 06

Although, by today’s standards, Windows XP doesn’t require much in the way of system resources, Windows XP Mode, running in Windows Virtual PC, can feel a little sluggish at times. This is because Windows XP Mode, by default, runs with 512MB RAM. In this guide, I’ll show you how to increase the allotted memory to Windows XP Mode using Windows Virtual PC Settings.

Note: A couple of weeks ago, we asked you if you used Windows XP Mode and many of you responded by saying you didn’t know about it so we wrote this guide: What are Windows Virtual PC and Windows XP Mode and How Do I Use them? This is a good place to start if you’re new to Windows Virtual PC and Windows XP Mode.

If you get to the end of this guide and still have questions about Windows Virtual PC or XP Mode, please ask them in the Windows 7 forum.

To change the amount of memory allocated to a virtual machine in Windows Virtual PC, you will first need to shut down the guest (in this case Windows XP Mode) operating system.

Shut Down Windows XP Mode

To shut down Windows XP Mode:

  1. Either press Ctrl+Alt+End or click the Ctrl+Alt+Del button in Windows Virtual PC.

    Improve XP Mode Performance 01

  2. Click Shut down…

    Improve XP Mode Performance 02

  3. Select Shut down and click OK.

    Improve XP Mode Performance 03

Your Virtual XP is now shut down; the next step is to configure the memory allocation.

Configure Memory Allocation Windows Virtual PC

To configure memory allocation in Windows Virtual PC:

  1. Click the Start button, type virtual, and click Windows Virtual PC.

    Improve XP Mode Performance 04

  2. Right click the Virtual PC for which you’d like to change the memory allocation and click Settings.

    Improve XP Mode Performance 05

  3. In the left-hand menu, click Memory and change the Memory (RAM) amount (I recommend allocation 1024 MB but you can safely allocate up to half the amount of available memory.)

    Improve XP Mode Performance 06

Now start Windows XP Mode again and enjoy a more responsive operating system.

About Rich

Rich is the owner and creator of Windows Guides; he spends his time breaking things on his PC so he can write how-to guides to fix them.

Free PC tips by email

Search Windows Guides


8 thoughts on “Improve XP Mode Performance in Windows Virtual PC [How To]”

  1. T_Dawg says:

    I use Virtual PC XP mode. I cannot get the drivers to load for the video card i am currently using. Is there a way to make it work?

  2. Rich says:

    Hmmm they should run automatically. Would you mind sharing the error message in the forums so we can help you out?

  3. Rich says:

    Good to know!!

  4. Rich says:

    You’ll need to install Windows 7 64 bit to use the extra RAM.

  5. Rich says:

    You’ll need to install Windows 7 64 bit to use the extra RAM.

  6. sunny says:


              That was a good post.  I have a question here . I am using win 7 professional ,64 bit with 16gb of ram .I want to use Virtual XP .So everything id fine till here .But i want to run some high end software which requires like 8GB of RAM .Which i want to use from my 16 GB of RAM .But when i try to allocate the RAM Available RAM size is showing only 3712 .

    How can i increase this available size .



    1. Rich says:

      You need to use a 64-bit version of XP to run virtualized

  7. Ned Moore says:

    1 – When I open Virtual Machines, I see two – Windows XP Mode and Win XP.  Why?  I expected to see only Windows XP Mode. 

    2 – I have split my availble memory, 3,712 megs, in half between these two applications. Is this the best allocation? 



Comments are closed.

Computer tips in your inbox
Sign up for the Windows Guides newsletter to get PC tips and access to free Windows books (More details)

Subscribe now
Popular Guides

See which sites have been visited on your PC (even if private browsing mode is used)

Create a Windows 7 System Repair Disc

Best Free Anti-malware

Hibernate vs. Sleep vs. Shut-Down

i3, i5, and i7; Dual, Quad, Hexa Core Processors. How to they Differ?

Intel's Ivy Bridge Processor: new Features

Submit Your Tip
Submit your computer tip to us; receive full credit for all published tips

Windows Guides on Facebook