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8 Easy Steps to Optimize Windows 10 for Gaming and Performance

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As PC Gamers, we know first-hand how frustrating it can be to have in-game lag or stutters and ridiculously long loading screens. We despise the prolonged start up times when booting up the PC or your favorite video game.

In this guide, we will be breaking down and discussing how to fully optimize Windows 10 for gaming, speed, boost your system performance, as well as boost your in-game FPS so you can earn that well-deserved chicken dinner.

Let’s go.

#1 Check for Updates

As simple as this sounds, updating your PC is a crucial component to Optimizing Windows 10 for performance. This step should be first, prior to tinkering around with any settings for optimization.

How to Check for Updates:

  1. Click on the Windows Start Menu > Settings
  2. Once inside, you will find the Update & Security icon.
  3. Next, go over to the Check for Updates and click it.

If there is an update, download and install it to ensure your PC is running on the latest version of Windows 10

optimize windows 10 for gaming
optimize windows 10 for gaming

#2 Turning off Xbox Live Features

Next, we will visit the Task Manager.

Hold down the ctrl, alt, and del keys. Click on Task M

anager.

Or, you can right click the task bar at the bottom of your screen.

Click on Task Manager.

  1. Now, go to the Services tab.
  2. Scroll down until you find services with Xbox in the title.

  3. Right Click each service and select Stop.

This will turn off the Xbox Live features for Windows 10.

optimize windows 10 for gaming

#3 Turning off Cortana and More

In this section, we will be turning off Cortana and various areas of the Gaming Tab.

Cortana:

  1. Click on the Windows Start Icon > Settings.
  2. Find the Cortana Tab.

  3. Click Cortana then turn off everything related to Cortana in the subtabs.

optimize windows 10 for gaming
optimize windows 10 for gaming
optimize windows 10 for gaming

Now, click on Home in the top left-hand corner of that page

Next, find and click on the Gaming tab.

Turn off everything related to the Gaming tab.

optimize windows 10 for gaming

optimize windows 10 for gaming

#4 Cleaning Waste Files

First, go to your Windows Search Bar on the bottom left-hand side of your screen.

  1. In the Search Bar, type %temp%.
  2. Click on the %temp% folder.

  3. Once inside the folder, select every file in the folder and press del (delete) on your keyboard.

After you have deleted these files, go to your desktop and right click the Recycle Bin Icon.

Find Empty Recycle Bin in the drop down menu.

Click Empty Recycle Bin > Yes.

Click the link here for more details on this process plus more information for freeing up Disk Space!

Do not worry! These are WASTE files that are taking up valuable disk space on your PC.

optimize windows 10 for gaming

#5 Performance Settings and Visual Effects

In this section, we will be adjusting some performance settings and visual effects to optimize windows 10 for gaming.

  1. First, go to your Windows Search Bar and type This PC.
  2. Right Click This PC Desktop App then find and click on Properties in the drop down menu.

  3. Next, find Advanced System Settings and click it.

optimize windows 10 for gaming

Find the Advanced Tab then go to Settings under Performance.optimize windows 10 for gamingClick on Settings.

 In the Visual Effects Tab, Select Custom

optimize windows 10 for gaming

  1. At this point, uncheck every option other than Show thumbnails instead of  icons.”
  2. Checking or unchecking the Smooth edges of screen fonts is optional.
  3. Find Apply, click it.

Next, head over to the Advanced Tab.

optimize windows 10 for gaming

  1. Under Adjust for best performance of:” be sure that Programs is checked.
  2. Next, click the Change button under Virtual Memory.

  3. Uncheck “Automatically manage paging file size for all drives.”

  4. For both Initial and Maximum Size, type in the recommended paging file size.

  5. Select the first drive labeled then find Custom Size. Check it.

Next, click Set and repeat for any other drives.

optimize windows 10 for gaming

  1. After you’ve completed these steps, click OK.
  2. Then Apply and OK once more.
  3. This will require you to Restart your PC to apply these settings.

#6 Edit Power Plan

In this step, we will optimize windows 10 for gaming & performance in terms of how much power is being used per program.

  1. Type Edit Power Plan into the Windows Search Bar.
  2. Click Edit Power Plan Control Panel.

  3. Once inside the Power Plan Control Panel,find Power Options at the top.

optimize windows 10 for gamingBe sure that High Performance is on.

  1. Next click Change Plan Settings.
  2. You can change the two options available to whatever suits you.
  3. Now, click on Change Advanced Power Settings.

optimize windows 10 for gaming

Go to the Hard Disk Option > Turn off hard disk after.

Set Setting (Minutes) to 0.

optimize windows 10 for gaming

After, find PCI Express > Link State Power Management.

Then change the setting to OFF.

Finally, look for Processor Power Management.

  1. Click both Minimum and Maximum Processor State.
  2. Make sure both are set to 100%
  3. Click Apply > OK.

#7 Steam Auto-Updates

As windows users and gamers, I would assume the majority of us use Steam to purchase and install games. While Steam is a wonderful service to us gamers, Steam’s game auto-updates is probably the most aggravating feature on the entire platform. As Steam auto-updates each and every one of your games, (even the ones you probably no longer play) it is also taking up much needed memory on your PC.

But alas, there’s a way to fix this issue once and for all.

First, go into your Steam Client.

Then find and click Steam (in the top left-hand corner) > Settings > Downloads.

optimize windows 10 for gaming

Next, be sure to uncheck “Allow downloads during gameplay.”

By unchecking this, it prevents your games from downloading content during gameplay.

For the games that you no longer or rarely play, they still may update unwanted content taking up space and memory on your PC. Let’s fix this as well.

You will want to visit your game Library.

  1. Once inside your game Library, Right-click a game you rarely play.
  2. Then in the drop down menu, go to Properties.
  3. In the Properties Menu you will find and click the Updates tab.

optimize windows 10 for gaming

Under Automatic Updates, select,Only update this game when I launch it.”

Repeat this process for each game as needed.

#8 Installing DirectX 12

In regards to optimize Windows 10 for gaming, installing the latest version of DirectX 12 is a must.

Microsoft’s popular and powerful API tool DirectX 12 supports multiple CPU and GPU cores as well as delivers enhanced graphics, better frame rates, and lowers power consumption immensely.

To check if you have the latest version of DirectX 12, press the Windows Key + R.

Then type dxdiag > OK.

This will bring up the DirectX Diagnostic Tool.

optimize windows 10 for gaming

In order to install DirectX 12 if you haven’t already press…

Windows key + I > Update and security > Windows Update > Check for updates.

For PC gaming and Xbox Compatibility, Windows 10 is the world’s leading OS.

By following these 8 Easy Steps to Optimize Windows 10 for Gaming and Performance, you will without a doubt, have a much faster and smoother PC.

Wrapping up

In this guide, we discussed how to fully optimize Windows 10 for gaming, speed, boost your system performance, as well as boost your in-game FPS.

 Now go get that chicken dinner!

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