I have read so many articles providing different ways to optimize Windows 10 for gaming. However, what I found in most of these articles is that they usually provide cliché answers such as, buy a Solid State Drive, or do some simple performance tweaks.
However, as a gamer myself, I have tried many different methods to optimize Windows 10 for a better gaming experience. Most of the time these methods only provide some or no benefit at all. So, I have compiled a list of methods that actually worked for me.
Tips for Optimizing Windows 10 for Better Gaming Performance
Windows 10 itself is pretty well optimized and it all depends on your hardware to get the most out of your computer. However, you can perform some tweaks to gain some gaming performance optimizations in your Windows 10 PC.
Even if your hardware is performing pretty well, optimizing the software aspect of your system will provide you better results. If your gaming experience is smoother you will have a lot more fun.
So, here are a few tips that you can use to optimize your Windows 10 computer to get better gaming performance.
These tips are tailored for your current hardware and I will not include hardware upgrades in these tips.
Make a restore point before optimizing Windows 10 for gaming
Although all the optimizations that I will show you in this article are safe to use, however, you should still create a restore point. The reason for creating a restore point is that you can revert all the changes that you are making.
If you already know how to make a restore point you can skip this portion.
Making a Restore Point
- Click on the start menu or search button and type create a restore point. Then open the restore point settings.
- Select your Windows drive and click on create a restore point.
- Now the system protection box will pop up. Write a name for your restore point and click create.
- It will take a few seconds for Windows to create a restore point.
Using a restore point
- To use a restore point open your start menu or search bar again and type create a restore point and open the restore point settings again. Now click on System Restore.
- In the next dialog box click on next and select your restore point that you just created. However, if you cannot see your desired restore point tick the “show more restore points” option and click next.
Choose a better power plan to optimize windows 10 gaming performance.
Your Windows 10 computer usually runs on a balanced power plan by default. The balanced power plan will perform fine however It will create a balance between power and resource-saving.
As a gamer, you will prefer using the maximum performance of your computer. Although, using these power plans will use more energy and hardware resources. So, choosing a performance power plan can provide benefits.
Select “High Performance” Power Plan
- Again click on the start menu or search button on the bottom left corner of your screen.
- Type “Choose a Power Plan” and open the choose power plan settings.
- Now select “Show additional plans” and select the “High performance” power plan.
Enable and Select Ultimate Performance Power Plan.
Although the “High Performance” power plan is good enough for gaming, however, you can try the Ultimate Performance power plan. I don’t have the exact numbers on how much it optimizes or improves your gaming performance.
This power plan was introduced back in 2018 to remove micro latencies in high-end systems. You can read details about this power plan from this article > Ultimate Performance Power Plan.
To enable this power plan, follow these steps:
- Open the Command Prompt or Windows PowerShell as admin
- Now add this command and press Enter.
powercfg -duplicatescheme e9a42b02-d5df-448d-aa00-03f14749eb61
- This command will add the option to select the ultimate performance power plan. So, again open the “choose a power plan” option.
- Select the “Ultimate Performance Power Plan” from additional power plans.
Please note you can only use this power plan on Windows 10 Pro.
Disable overlays to optimize gaming performance in Windows 10.
Overlays can degrade your gaming performance. Depending on your system specs, you might be having laggy gameplays due to in-game overlays. By default, Windows 10 has Xbox overlay enabled.
The Xbox overlay affected my in-game fps a lot when I was using a low-end gaming system. Other than the Xbox overlay, there are many others such as steam, Nvidia, discord, etc.
It’s a great idea to disable all these overlays if you are not using them. As disabling them can provide performance enhancements.
Disabling Windows Xbox Game Bar Overlay
- Click on the start menu or search icon and type “Enable Xbox Game Bar ” and open the settings.
- Now Turn off the Xbox Game bar
Disabling NVIDIA Overlay
NVIDIA In-game overlay provides us with a variety of features. This overlay is one of my favorites as it provides the option to record, upload, or stream my gameplay. However, it utilizes your system resources to work.
So, if you have a low-end pc and facing lag issues, you should disable this overlay. However, please note that this overlay can only be enabled if you have installed and logged in to GeForce Experience.
- To disable the NVIDIA In-game overlay Type “GeForce Experience” in the search bar and open the app.
- Now click on the Settings icon on the top right corner of the app.
- Click on general and under the in-game overlay tab disable the Nvidia Overlay.
Disabling Steam Overlay
- Open the steam client and login into your account. Then click on the steam option on the top left corner of the app and click
- Now click on the “In-game” option and untick the “Enable Steam Overlay In-game” option and click OK.
Enable Hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling and Game mode.
The game mode is an embedded feature of Windows 10 which enhances gaming performance. However, it’s a hit or miss feature. It works out for some people and, for others, it degrades the gaming performance. You can enable it to test if it works out for you.
Hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling is a new feature for Windows 10. However, It has not yet been tested thoroughly.
However, my games felt smoother after enabling Hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling. But it might have only worked out for me so test it out for yourself.
So here is how you can enable Game Mode and Hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling.
- Type “Game Mode Settings” in the search bar and open the game mode settings.
- Then Enable “Game mode” and select “Graphics Settings” under related settings on the left corner of your screen.
- Now turn on Hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling
Choose only the required Visual effects
- Click on the start menu or search bar and Type “Advanced System Settings” and open the system properties.
- After opening the system properties click on “settings” under the performance tab.
- Now click on custom and only tick the following options. 1- Show thumbnails instead of icons. 2- Smooth edges of the screen font.
Select minimum startup programs for optimizing your Gaming experience in Windows 10
- First, open your Task Manager and click on the startup tab. You can right-click on the taskbar or press “CTRL+ALT+Delete” to open the task manager.
- Now Disable any startup program that you do not require when Windows initially boots up. Right-click and click disable or you can select the program and click disable on the bottom right corner of the Task Manager.
Update your GPU and other drivers to the latest version.
- Download and Install Driver Booster and run the application.
- Click on Scan to scan for outdated drivers
- Click on Update all to update all at once or choose the ones you want to update.
Overclock your CPU and GPU for Optimized gaming performance in Windows 10.
Overclocking is the ultimate tweak that you can perform on your computer. Overclocking your computer will give you a performance boost of up to 15-20 percent. However, overclocking is not easy and can be risky for a newbie.
The best Windows 10 optimizer tool for you will be overclocking.
Periodically maintain your computer and change your thermal paste.
- If you are using a desktop computer clean the dust off your hardware components with a blower.
- Change thermal paste if you face thermal throttling. And always use a high-quality thermal compound.
- Remove your case fans and clean them up. Also, clean up your case fan filters if you have any.
You can follow the maintenance guide that I published recently for more details. > Basic Tips for Computer Maintainance.
Use CCleaner to get rid of temporary files.
Do’s and Don’ts for Windows 10 Gaming Optimizations
- Overclock your GPU for better performance
- Clean up your computer and change thermal paste to avoid heating issues.
- Keep your Drivers and Windows updated however make sure to use the stable and tested version of the driver.
- Disable automatic updates for Windows, Steam, and other Programs.
- Use only necessary apps for Windows startup.
- Reduce the Windows Visual effects to a minimum.
- Delete Windows bloatware.
- Choose the Best DNS for a better gaming experience. Follow my guide on finding the best DNS server here. > Choosing the Best DNS Server.
- Do not Disable the Nagle’s Algorithm as it can cause unstable latency problems in your online games
- Please do not use software that you do not trust for optimizations.
- Do not make changes in the registry before creating a restore point and backing up your registry.
Factors affecting Performance Optimizations for Windows 10 and Gaming.
- Using a Hard Disk Drive. Even though this article is not about upgrading hardware, however, if you are using an HDD you will face performance issues. So, it’s better to buy a Solid State Drive.
- Viruses have infected your OS which is affecting your gaming performance.
- You are using an older version of drivers that are not compatible with the games you are playing.
- Your computer is overheating because of dust built up and bad thermal paste.
Windows Gaming is better in my experience than console gaming. However, even though Gaming on Windows 10 is optimized but for some users, you need to perform tweaks to get the most out of Windows 10.
People usually think that there is a separate Windows 10 for Gaming PC. However, all your OS requires is some optimizations for them to perform better.
Especially, the tip about overclocking is my favorite as it can enhance the gaming performance by a few percent. Feel free to comment down below If these tips worked out for you. If they haven’t please let me know in the comments.