What Windows XP service pack you have installed might seem trivial, but it's actually very important information.
Knowledge of your Windows XP service pack level is important because you should always have the most recently available service pack installed.
Keeping the latest Windows XP service pack installed ensures that your copy of Windows is still supported, that more recent versions of software programs will work properly, and that Windows XP is as secure as possible.
Windows XP Service Pack 3 is the most recent service pack available for this version of Windows.
Follow the steps below to find out what Windows XP service pack you have installed:
Click on Start and then Control Panel.
Click on the Performance and Maintenance link.
Note: If you're viewing the Classic View of Control Panel, you won't see this link. Simply double-click on the System icon and proceed to Step 4.
In the Performance and Maintenance window, click on the System Control Panel icon at the bottom of the window.
When the System Properties window opens it should default to the General tab. If not, choose it manually.
In the System: area of the General tab you'll find the operating system version and the service pack level. See the screen shot on this page for an idea of what you're looking for.
Note: If you don't have any service pack installed, you won't see "Service Pack 0" or "Service Pack None" - there will be no reference to a service pack at all.
The latest Windows XP service pack is Service Pack 3 (SP3).
Important: If you only have Windows XP SP1, or if you have no Windows XP service pack installed at all, you must first install Windows XP SP1a, available here, before installing Windows XP SP3.
Not using Windows XP? See What Windows Service Pack Do I Have Installed? for specific instructions for your version of Windows.