List of features removed in Windows XP

As the next version of Windows NT after Windows 2000, as well as the successor to Windows Me, Windows XP introduced many new features but it also removed some others. Following is a list of these.


  • The balloon notification that warns the users when removing external flash storage devices without safe unmounting has been removed.
  • The Line Up Icons command on the desktop was removed and replaced by the Align to Grid option. Due to this being a toggle, simply aligning desktop icons once without further constraining their placement requires an extra click.: 47 
  • The Minimize all windows command on the taskbar was removed.: 76  The purported replacement, Show the desktop, co-existed with this feature on Windows 2000 and in any case only hides windows temporarily instead of actually minimizing them. It is still accessible through the Win+M keyboard shortcut but it is not available through the mouse.
  • The Show icons using all possible colors (which was previously introduced in Microsoft Plus! for Windows 95 and Windows NT 4.0) option in Display Properties has been removed. Icons are always shown using all possible colors. Microsoft states that this is by design.
  • The VGA screen resolution and 8-bit color depth options have been removed from the Settings tab of Display Properties. It is still possible to select these options using the Advanced button available under this tab, however Microsoft states that this workaround is unsupported.
  • In the Command Prompt, QuickEdit mode and Insert mode are disabled by default.
  • Links to Phone Dialer and NetMeeting were removed from the Start menu.


  • The "Starting Windows..." message before the boot screen (which was present in Windows 2000) has been removed.
  • The progress bar on the boot screen is now an indeterminate progress bar and not determinate like with Windows 2000.


  • With the Desktop Themes utility in 2000 becoming the Themes tab in Display Properties in XP, the Rotate theme monthly option in Desktop Themes, which was introduced in Microsoft Plus! 98 and later included in Windows 2000, and both the options to select what parts of a theme to apply and the previews for parts of a theme were removed.
  • The previous wallpapers and tiles from Windows 95–98, Windows Me, Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 2000 including the Plus! wallpaper were removed.
  • The Utopia sound scheme, first included in Windows 95 and included up to Windows Me, was removed.
  • It is no longer possible to save or delete schemes under the Appearance tab of Display Properties.
  • The option to select a Pattern under the Background (9x/NT)/Desktop (XP) tab of Display Properties was removed.
  • The 3D Maze and Flying Windows screensavers were removed (possibly due to the Windows logo having been changed). The 3D Pipes teapot easter egg was also removed from Windows XP.

Windows Explorer

  • Small Icons view was removed from Windows Explorer.
  • Web view in folders was disabled by default but can be reinstated by editing the registry. Additionally, the Customize This Folder Wizard was removed. Due to the removal of Web view, pie charts showing disk space are no longer available immediately upon opening a drive.
  • The status bar no longer shows the free space remaining on the given disk when browsing through folder paths of shell namespace extensions, removable drives, and network shares when the navigation pane (Folders) in Windows Explorer is turned on, unlike in Windows 2000. It continues to show the free space remaining only for paths on local drives. In combination with the Web view-related lack of pie charts previously mentioned, this means it is no longer possible to immediately view the amount of space remaining in these three cases.
  • The Directory icon was removed from My Network Places.
  • The default sort order in Windows Explorer has changed but can be restored by editing the registry.

Media components


  • NetDDE and NetBEUI, which are included in earlier versions of Windows, are no longer installed by default but can still be manually installed from the Windows XP CD-ROM.
  • The DLC network protocol is no longer included. A download was made available by Microsoft.
  • The AppleTalk protocol is no longer included and was not made available for download from Microsoft.


Hardware support

Windows 9x

Later versions

Service Pack 2

  • The following raw socket functionality was removed: sending TCP network packets, sending UDP packets with invalid source network addresses, and associating local addresses.
  • Support for TCP half-open connections was removed.
  • Program Manager was removed and replaced with Windows Explorer. The executable is still present, but it was replaced with a stub that redirects to Explorer.
  • Media Bar, which replaced the Radio Toolbar in Internet Explorer 6, was removed.
  • Background message compaction was removed from Outlook Express. Outlook Express in Service Pack 2 automatically compacts messages every hundredth time it is run.
  • The radio edit of David Byrne's "Like Humans Do", as previously included in the original and Service Pack 1 releases of Windows XP, was removed.
  • The Windows Movie Maker Sample File (generated by Windows Movie Maker 1.1 when it is started for the first time), which consisted of clips of a male child riding a tricycle and playing in a playground, was removed.
  • The unique boot screens that have a green progress bar for Home Edition and a blue progress bar for Professional, Embedded, Tablet PC Edition, and Media Center Edition and part of Windows XP versions RTM—SP1, were removed as of Service Pack 2 and replaced with a single generic "Windows XP" boot screen with a blue progress bar.

Service Pack 3

  • The Address bar toolbar on the taskbar was removed for legal reasons, according to Microsoft. Windows Desktop Search is touted as a replacement.
  • The ability to use boot disks to boot into setup was removed.
  • The option to display the special Internet Explorer icon on the desktop was removed.
  • The ability to install service packs cumulatively is no longer available in Service Pack 3 as it requires at least Service Pack 1 to be installed first (Service Pack 2 in the cases of the original Windows XP Media Center Edition and Windows XP Media Center Edition 2003). Cumulative slipstreaming, however, is still possible and supported.
  • The Energy Star logo in the Display Properties dialog, which originated in previous versions of Windows XP and included up to Service Pack 2, was removed.
  • The copyright information in the About Windows (winver.exe) box was updated from "1981-2001" to "2007". The banner itself remains unchanged, however.

Media Center Edition 2005

See also

This page was last updated at 2022-12-16 15:31 UTC. Update now. View original page.

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