17 Tips for Optimizing Windows 10 for Gaming

Written by Branton

Last updated Oct 17, 2021

17 Tips for Optimizing Windows 10 for Gaming

Windows 10 has earned itself a reputation as being one of the least-liked versions that Microsoft has released.

Although it’s had some bugs along the way, if you’re a PC gamer, you have no other choice but to use it, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make the most of it.

Like all other operating systems, there are things you can do to improve the efficiency of Windows 10 so that it’s working at its best for the intended purpose.

For gaming specifically, there are a handful of tips you can use to improve the environment and make sure your gaming experience is fast, seamless, and visually impressive.

How do you optimize Windows 10 for Gaming?

There are a few initial things you can do to make your Windows 10 PC suitable for gaming, including clearing out unwanted applications, switching the Game Mode, and updating the graphics card drivers. To go even further, there are more detailed changes you can make to the PC that’ll help, but it depends on how much customization you want.

If you've been falling behind with your PC and want to know how to optimize Windows 10 for gaming, we're here to help.

Check out these easy, actionable, and impressive tips to optimize your computer and change the way you game for good.

How To Optimize Windows 10 for Gaming

One of the many wonders of the internet is the sharing of information that goes on, and in the gaming community, it can be a godsend.

We’ve uncovered 17 of the hottest tips that allow you to optimize Windows 10 and make it better for gaming, so check out the improvements that you can easily action yourself.

#1 Clear Out the Programs

Clear Out the Programs

Any time you purchase a new computer, you’ll notice a whole lot of programs or ‘bloatware’ present on it.

Even if you don’t intend on using it for gaming, the first thing you should do is clear this out, as it can severely decrease your computer’s running power.

For gamers, this is especially important, and it’s an easy fix that can make a real difference. Simply head to the list of apps in your settings folder and go through them one by one, uninstalling the programs that are of no use to you.

#2 Get Rid of Startup Software

Get Rid of Startup Software

Just as annoying as the unwanted programs your computer comes with, there's a good chance it features a bunch of startup software as well.

This takes a lot of process memory away which interferes with your gameplay speeds, so your next step should be to clear it out.

Head to the Windows Task Manager and look at all the startup programs listed. These are the ones that will run automatically when the computer turns on, like virus protection and application updates.

Unclick the ones that aren’t necessary and get back a portion of your computer’s speed, especially during startup.

#3: Look at the Other Accessories

Look at the Other Accessories

Gaming is a multi-dimensional experience and it takes more than just an operating system to get it right.

Think about the other parts of your computer and how they’re contributing to your gaming experience, rather than just Windows 10.

You might find that an upgrade to a better motherboard or gaming-specific CPU is what you need, provided you are choosing ones that are a good fit for this system.

With everything else running smoothly alongside it, you’ll be able to optimize Windows 10 to its full potential.

#4: Get a Gamer’s Chair

Get a Gamer’s Chair

Although a chair has nothing to do with a computer program, we can guarantee that with the right one you’ll have a completely different experience.

Take some time and do your research to invest in a quality gaming chair made for PC users, and get the most out of your Windows 10 system.

A gaming chair can be just as important as the software and hardware you're working with and it can optimize gameplay significantly.

There's no shortage of options out there and in a range of prices, so shop for the perfect fit for you and find out what we mean about the importance of gaming with the right chair.

#5: Check out Your Steam Settings

Check out Your Steam Settings

A good PC gamer has their finger on the pulse, and there’s no doubt they also have access to Steam.

As one of the biggest game distributors on the planet, most people buy their games in this online format, but if you’re not careful, it can be doing more harm than good.

Steam runs constantly in the background of your computer and like any other program, it's always looking to do an auto-update.

Change the settings of Steam so it no longer performs this task and you'll be surprised at how much smoother Windows 10 runs and how much easier it is to play on.

#6: Update Graphics Cards

Update Graphics Cards

This one is no shocker, but some people might have missed the memo about how important it is to keep your graphics up to date.

Unless you use an automatic update tool for these programs, you’ll want to make sure that both the AMD NVIDIA cards are in the latest version, so do so manually.

With an updated graphics card, you’ll get a faster and clearer picture with minimal jumps, and it’ll make the Windows 10 experience better.

Use the Windows Device Manager to check the properties of these cards out and give them a quick update if it doesn’t seem they’ve been managed lately.

#7: Choose the Right Games

Choose the Right Games

While it might sound simple enough, you should also think about the games you want to play and whether they’re suitable for Windows 10 as well.

Although most games will be capable of playing on these PCs, that doesn’t mean it’s going to be an amazing experience, so don’t make assumptions.

To get an idea of how well the PC game you want to play is going to perform, have a quick look online to see what people are saying.

Check out if you have the right parts to enhance the gaming experience, otherwise stick to games that you’re certain you’ll be able to enjoy to their full potential.

#8: Ban Auto Updates

Ban Auto Updates

Automatic updates are great for keeping our computers running with the latest software but it seems they always pop up at the worst time.

These updates can start all of a sudden and you have to let them play through, and if you're in the middle of a gaming session there's nothing more frustrating.

To optimize your gaming experience, make sure you disable these automatic updates from occurring by going to the Settings and checking the Advanced Options in Windows Update.

You’ll prevent your game from being interrupted in the future and make sure it doesn’t steal any of your bandwidth or network connectivity in the background.

#9 Use Active Hours

Use Active Hours

We already know by now that the automatic updates that come with Windows 10 are some of the biggest culprits in reduced gameplay.

One easy fix is to use the Active Hours feature that Microsoft invented which stops the operating system from doing any updates during the hours you specify.

If you have a regular gaming period, like 7 pm to 10 pm, you can make sure nothing but gaming occurs during that time by going to the Security settings in Updates.

Windows will then perform updates only in the time you're not playing which saves a lot of unnecessary power and doesn't bother you as much.

#10: Ditch the Default Settings

Ditch the Default Settings

When you get a new computer, Windows decides for you what the best settings are so that people don’t have to spend their time going through hundreds of options with no idea what they’re doing.

Although this is helpful in some scenarios, when it comes to the graphic user interface, they don’t set them at the best level for gamers.

These default settings end up consuming more power and precious memory which means your gaming experience decreases.

Make a note to change the default settings in the Control Panel and select ‘Adjust for best performance’ so that the visual effects are as minimal as possible, which will only enhance your gaming experience.

#11 DirectX 12

DirectX 12

Any good PC gamer knows about DirectX, and if you don't, this is one major change you can make.

Search online for the latest version of DirectX and upload it, as this is Microsoft's application programming interface and will ensure you're getting the best graphics, frame rates, and overall performance.

DirectX is free and it’s always being updated so you’ll have the latest and greatest for gaming.

DirectX API covers it all from rendering videos to allowing vector graphics and if you plan on using your computer for any type of gaming you need to use it.

#12: Use Game Mode

Use Game Mode

This isn’t a very well-kept secret, and Microsoft designed this feature specifically for the gamers among us.

Game Mode can be easily enabled on Windows 10 to create the best environment for you to play on, and if you’re not already using it, you should be.

Turn your computer to Game Mode any time you’re getting ready to play, simply by accessing the Gaming folder in your PC settings.

Turn it on, and you’ll get a better frame rate, improved graphics, and a computer that is solely dedicated to making the best playing experience possible.

#13: Boost Your Power

Boost Your Power

Another default setting that Windows 10 takes control of is the power and sleep mode your computer encounters.

Gamers believe that when it’s set to a lower setting, they lose power in their gaming experience, so you’ll want to adjust this to as high as possible to ensure that doesn’t happen.

Go to the Settings of your PC and find Power and Sleep, then change it to High Performance.

This will give you the best in brightness, speed, and graphics while you’re gaming, and then you can feel free to go back and adjust it down when you’re done with playing for the day.

#14: Get Rid of Temporary Files

Get Rid of Temporary Files

A computer needs to run quickly and efficiently, especially for gaming, and if your Windows 10 PC has a lot of old temporary files to deal with, it won’t be able to.

These files are created when you work on a PC or use it for browsing the internet, and while they can be helpful sometimes, they usually just slow it down.

When your computer is being used for gaming you want it to have exceptional speeds and not be bloated by anything unwanted, so take some time to delete these files.

Without temp files, your Windows 10 can spend more time getting you the ideal playing experience and optimize itself for gaming.

#15: Consider an Upgrade

Consider an Upgrade

The version of Windows can matter for gaming, so check what you have to see how it's operating.

If you take a look online at any gaming community, the consensus is that Windows 10 Pro is the only way to go for serious gamers, and if you're working with a lite version, you may consider paying for an upgrade.

For those who insist on using Windows, they prefer the anonymity options and added security that the Pro version offers as well as a few other nice features, although it doesn’t appear there’s much else on offer that can enhance the gaming experience, so it’s a purely personal choice.

#16: Verify Game Files

Verify Game Files

PC gamers have fallen in love with Steam, and this online library offers a new and exciting way to play with your Windows 10 computer.

However, if you’re finding a particular game is being slow on your PC, you can easily fix it by verifying the game file.

Perform a full restart of the computer and then open Steam back up. When you're looking in the library, find the game or games that have been giving you problems, and select "Verify Integrity of Game Files".

Steam will go through and check whether each file is valid, and if it's not, will clear it out and optimize gameplay for your Windows 10 PC.

#17: Invest in an SSD

Invest in an SSD

A Solid State Drive (SSD) isn't something gamers usually think of when wanting to improve their gaming experience, but if you're working on a Windows 10 system and using a laptop, it could be.

The addition of an SSD means you'll get a boost of speed and boot times better than your old hard drive could offer, and you'll get better load times as the main benefit.

An SSD isn’t just great for gaming either, as it can help clear up space on a laptop.

With this added space, your computer will run faster, and it means all of the applications you rely on will work better than ever, and that includes your favorite games.

#18: Switch the Hardware

Switch the Hardware

Most gamers these days prefer to work on a PC rather than a laptop, and with good reason.

Running a decent PC with Windows 10 will deliver better gaming results than doing the same on a laptop, as these portable models simply weren’t made to play with.

If you’re insistent on running Windows 10 but still need more for your gaming experience, installing it onto a PC is the better option.

Related Questions

Gaming on a PC comes with plenty of benefits, but without the knowledge of how best to work with the operating system you’re on, it’s not going to be as impressive.

If you’re new to PC gaming, we’ve answered some basic questions that can help you get started and understand how it all works.

How is a Gaming Computer Different?

Although technically no different from a standard PC, a gaming computer is designed to run the graphics of a video game.

This means they have a more powerful CPU, additional RAM and storage, as well as a video and audio card that allows them to give an immersive experience to whoever is playing.

Can You Game on a Laptop?

You can play games on a laptop provided it has the specs to support it, but the consensus is that a PC is a better option.

Laptops tend to overheat faster which isn't good for gameplay and as they don't have the cooling systems that most PC builds offer, you'll end doing damage to your computer in the long term.

How Much is a Gaming Computer?

The price of a gaming computer can vary drastically between around $800 and $2,000, and far beyond depending on the specs and features you want.

Some people might purchase a second-hand computer provided it's still in good working order, and others prefer to have the backup of a new system and warranty for peace of mind.

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February 8, 2021 6:41 am

SSD should be #1 – it makes the single largest difference. RAM should be #2.

Banning updates is just asking for trouble.

The easiest way to optomise W10 for gaming is to stop / disable background processes / apps & run Chris Titus Win10 debloat script.

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