How to Optimize Windows 10 for Gaming
Windows’ latest operating system, Windows 10, comes with a bunch of convenient features for everyday use. While those who use their computers for browsing the internet or word processing may not find these particularly annoying, those who do their gaming on their Windows 10 PC can find that the performance just isn’t quite there. As such, we’ve put together a helpful few suggestions to give you a helping hand in optimizing Windows 10 for gaming.
First things first, you’ll want to quickly dive into the Control Panel and head to System & Security. From here, select System and then the Advanced System Settings option on the left-hand side. Next, under Performance, you’ll want to go ahead and click the Settings button. You’ll now be greeted with the Visual Effects tab, and this is the first adjustment we’re going to want to make. You’ll see a bunch of different options you can change it to here. Depending on whether you want silky smooth performance or blisteringly-good visuals, you’ll want to choose either of the two middle options. For better performance, select the “Adjust for best performance” option, and for those wanting the best visuals, select “Adjust for best appearance.”
The next setting you’ll want to change (though you may want to enable again when you’re not gaming on Windows 10) is the automatic windows update option. This will hinder the performance of your PC, eating up huge amounts of CPU usage and will constantly be reading and writing to your HDD or SSD. This can cause games to chug and load slower, so it’s always worth disabling when you’re about to dive into a hefty gaming session on Windows 10. To do this, head to This PC > Manage > Service > Windows Update. Here, you should find the update to “Stop the service.” We suggest doing this and then using the “Restart the service” option whenever you’re done. Though the updates do take a toll on your Windows 10 PC’s resources, it’s worthwhile having them to ensure you’re running a secure, stable, and efficient operating system.
The next thing you’ll want to do is make your way to the Apps & Features option within the Windows 10 Settings (it’s that little Cog-looking icon on your Start menu). Here, you can remove a lot of the bloatware apps that are automatically installed as part of Windows 10. These don’t make a massive difference to your overall user experience, but the fewer unnecessary apps you have clogging up your hard drive and running in the background, the better your actual performance will be for gaming and other programs that you do care about.
Windows 10 also has a setting that allows it to automatically optimize itself for gaming hidden away in its Game Bar option. For this, you’ll need to press the Windows key + G. This should bring up a small bar on your screen. Go into the Settings option when you’ve loaded up the game you want to play and make sure that the ‘Use Game Mode for this game’ box has been checked. Windows 10’s Game Mode isn’t going to make a massive difference when gaming on a powerful rig, but for those on systems designed more for everyday use over gaming, you should see a general improvement.
Though not specific to gaming on Windows 10, we do suggest downloading CCleaner. This is a great maintenance program that can help clear all the unnecessary clutter eating up space on your hard drive. It is essentially a more thorough version of the old Disc Cleanup. Download this, give it a run, and remove all of the unwanted files that it pulls up. Running a Defragment on your system is always worth doing, too, if your PC isn’t doing this automatically already. This can be checked by simply typing ‘defrag’ into your Windows 10 search bar and clicking the ‘Defragment and Optimize Drives’ option that appears. If your drives are fairly fragmented, allow this to run and don’t disturb it until it’s complete. It could take a while, but if you’ve been installing and uninstalling a lot of programs, this can help improve gaming and general performance on your Windows 10 PC.
Rounding out our list of easy ways to optimize Windows 10 for gaming is to download a tried and trusted ‘games booster’ program. There are a bunch online, but make sure you get a good one like Razer’s Cortex, or the IObit Game Booster. These programs tend to shut down background processes not crucial to your gaming, and tweaking your hardware’s settings to get the very smoothest performance.
With a bit of luck, using these suggestions outlined above will help to optimize Windows 10 for all of your gaming needs. For more on Windows 10 and PC gaming, be sure to search for Twinfinite.