Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.

Windows XP Home or XP Pro?

I get this question fairly often. It's not immediately clear to most what the differences are between the two.

The big bullet features that Windows XP Pro includes that Home does not are:

  • Remote Desktop
  • Encrypting File System
  • Multi-Processor support

In my opinion, Remote Desktop is worth it's weight in gold. XP Pro is my default recommendation for almost everyone.

Microsoft does provide a more detailed comparison at: Windows XP: Which Edition Is Right for You?.

Article C1834 - August 20, 2003 « »

Share this article with your friends:

Share this article on Facebook Tweet this article Email a link to this article
Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

August 21, 2003 3:15 PM

>The big bullet features that Windows XP Pro
>includes that Home does not are... System
>Restore & Device Driver Roll-Back

XP home *does* include system restore and device driver rollback, as you can see in . The article you linked to was referring to XP Pro's inclusion of a backup program, thereby providing the "more robust options for backing up and restoring data" the article referres to (sytem restore does not backup your data, only system files).

August 21, 2003 8:43 PM

Thanks for the clarification, Simon!
(I'll be editing my original entry to reflect your clarification.)

October 30, 2003 12:06 PM

whate change Local Disk icon ?
whate change hard drive icon in my computer?

May 31, 2005 4:36 AM

Could you help me with my screen graphics--i had a hard drive problem and had to format the hole drive with a new O.S i had XP home and a back up disc but the disc was damaged so i used XP pro gold had to start all over again finding drivers and all that i have the latest updates for my nvidia card and usb drives E.T.C.

The problem is my screen res is crap if i play a game its great it's just my desktop and the way it looks serfing- it is set to 800 by 600 32 bit color!

my pc speck is
3.0 GHz 150 hard drive
1024 ddr
nvidia geforce FX 5200

thanks in advance
for any help

May 31, 2005 11:06 AM

Right click on the desktop, select properties, click on the settings tab. You should be able to change your screen resolution there.

William Roby
July 23, 2005 11:12 AM

I read that XP Pro does not require registering with a key number when installing whereas XP Home does. Is this correct?

July 23, 2005 11:14 AM

Nope. XP Pro needs a CD Key just as Home does.

October 11, 2005 7:57 AM

i just want to know the difference between Windows XP Home & XP Pro, and which one is high version.

October 19, 2005 11:17 PM

I have windows xp and want to change my true colour from true 16-bit to 32-bit but cant because i only have 16 and 24.What do i need to do to change this

October 20, 2005 11:18 AM

If I understand your question correctly: that's a function of your graphics card. You'll need a graphics card / video adapter that supports 32bit.

December 4, 2005 8:21 PM

My xp pro disc is damaged and I cant install it I am always building (messing with) new PCs and never kept my disc in its case I tryed to repair it but its still messed up Microsoft wants 30 bucks to send me a copy but I think thats a rip
after all I already bought the thing can you help
I have a cd key all I need is a copy op xp pro ??

December 16, 2005 3:03 PM

I am trying to figure out the file diffrences between xp home and pro actual file diffrences like startup file ect. can you help me i cant find else whear. thanks

January 5, 2006 8:26 AM

Hey! i need a CD key to Windows XP Home service-pack2 NOW!

January 5, 2006 8:27 AM

My e-mail is:

Jim Henderson
January 15, 2006 9:19 PM

>Remote Desktop
>Encrypting File System
>Multi-Processor support
>In my opinion, Remote Desktop is worth it's weight in gold. XP Pro is my default recommendation for almost everyone.
In my opinion I will use LOGMEIN for free to do remote desktop - goes through most firewalls and does not need proxies like XP Pro does.

Dont need encrypted files
I will save over $60 for each machine I build.
XP Home is just fine...
So what is the difference between the two versions? $60... thats it.

March 14, 2006 4:42 PM

hello i needed to know the diffrence in windows xp and xp home edition what maked the two os so diffrent? not just the price but the one that would be better for me to run a business on at home?

May 22, 2006 12:15 PM

Hi, i need serial number to windows xp professional.If anybody has is can need that. please help my.

May 22, 2006 2:41 PM

The absolute best way to get that is to purchase a copy.

James Moxham
June 19, 2006 3:35 AM

XP home can only network maximum 4 computers. XP pro = at least 64. An important issue for small business and, indeed, many homes!

July 4, 2006 8:14 PM

i missed the windows xp home edition key, but my cd is genuine what can I do ?

July 19, 2006 3:19 AM

dear sir,

i lost xp home edition cd key before installation, if there is any way to view cdkey from cd please inform.

Leo Notenboom
July 19, 2006 9:31 AM

That's this article:

May 3, 2007 11:10 PM

when i log onto explorer my computer slows way down and then a bunch of screens pop up and freeze.why is this?how do i fix this problem?

Comments on this entry are closed.

If you have a question, start by using the search box up at the top of the page - there's a very good chance that your question has already been answered on Ask Leo!.

If you don't find your answer, head out to to ask your question.