Whether you have a new gaming PC or an existing one, you should optimize Windows for better gaming performance with a few simple tweaks. Windows isn’t completely gaming-friendly by default, but by making a few changes to its settings, you can be sure nothing is holding you back and your games.
To boot all this up, you must understand that the biggest impact on performance is hardware weakness. Your old graphics card will drop your frames per second in more ways than just a simple setup in Windows. A gaming PC with only four to eight gigabytes of RAM will have the same grip on your frames per second in a lot of modern games. Before changing anything, consider upgrading first, and set your expectations for how Windows settings will affect your gaming experience. It’s not much, but it can add up.
How to turn off Windows Game Mode
Windows Game Mode is causing a lot of anger because, for a long time, it has degraded your performance while playing games. Game mode is used to play with your system’s CPU resources to direct everything into your game. Now, it’s basically like turning on your PC’s Do Not Disturb mode with the vague promise of improving the performance of some games.
Game Mode for Windows 10 and 11 will prevent Windows Update from performing driver installations and from sending restart notifications. It also “helps achieve a more stable frame rate depending on the specific game and system,” according to Microsoft’s website. It’s not clear what games and systems are supported, but in our tests, games performed the same when turned on or off.
To turn it off, right-click the Windows Start menu icon and select Settings. From there, choose Gaming and then choose Game Mode. Turn off the slider and you won’t have to worry about it at all.
How to disable “Record what happened”
Windows now has a built-in feature that can record screenshots of your games. It’s a little buried in your system settings, but if you have a separate program for it, like Nvidia Shadowplay, you can turn it off to save some system resources.
To do this, you want to press your Windows key, type Capture and click Capture settings, or alternatively, right-click the start button icon, click Settings, select Gaming, and press Capture. If you are using Windows 10, turn off Background Recording While Playing a Game. Windows 11 users need to turn off “Logging What Happened”.
How to turn off the Xbox Game Bar
Like Windows Game Mode, the Xbox Game Bar doesn’t really affect your performance as much, at least not more than other overlays, like Nvidia’s Shadowplay. “Record what happened” will do more for your games than the Game Bar does, but if you want to turn it off. Head over to your Settings by right-clicking the start button icon and selecting Settings. Tap Gaming , then choose Xbox Game Bar. Flip the switch to the off position and you won’t have an overlay on your games anymore and you may see a little increase in FPS depending on the game.
How to turn on high performance mode in Windows
You can switch to the high performance power plan in Windows to improve your gaming experience a bit, or a lot if you’re using a gaming laptop. The actual effect varies a lot with different games. The default Balanced mode is perfectly fine for most uses, but if you want to change it to see if your PC will keep your CPU at a high clock speed, make this simple change.
Right-click on the Windows start button, and hit Settings. Choose Power & Sleep, then select Additional power settings near the bottom of the page. In that window, select High performance.
How to clean Windows services for better performance
Your gaming PC may suffer simply because of the number of applications you are running in the background. Chances are, you have a lot that start automatically when you start your computer. You can always trim this list down to the basics to save some RAM and CPU usage.
It’s easy to do. Press your Windows key and type Run or right-click Windows and select Run. In the new text box, type msconfig. Head over to the Services tab, check Hide all Microsoft services, and look in the list to see what happens. Uncheck the services you don’t want to run and tap Apply. Be careful though. Some services are necessary for certain programs to run on your computer, so it’s a good idea to research them before disabling them.
You can also prevent these services from starting in the first place by heading to the task manager. Right-click on the Windows start button and click on Task Manager. Then select Startup and go to the menu and disable whatever has the greatest impact.