Windows 10 fullscreen optimizations might be killing your game’s performance

Written by Branton

Last updated Jul 1, 2018

Running Windows 10 and your games aren’t performing like they should be? Seeing excessively high GPU usage and equally high temps? It might be that Windows 10’s fullscreen optimizations are killing your game performance! Luckily, it’s a quick and easy fix, at least on a game-by-game basis.

windows 10 fullscreen optimizations

Across various forums, website comment sections, and I’m sure tech support lines as well, a lot of people have reported games like CS:GO, Overwatch, and many others performing way worse than they should be on more than adequate hardware. The problem? Windows 10’s fullscreen optimizations. This has been confirmed by a Windows software engineer who goes by the handle JohnMSFT in a series of replies on this Reddit thread.

Like I said, the fix is pretty simple and only requires a few steps:

  1. Find the .exe of the game you want to fix
  2. Right-click the .exe and select “Properties”
  3. In the new window, click “Compatability”
  4. Turn on “Disable Fullscreen Optimizations”
  5. Click “Apply” and close the window

Now, test the game you were having issues with. If it performs better, this might be something you’ll want to do for more games. If it doesn’t perform better, there could be another issue like underpowered hardware, driver issues, or maybe your HDD is overworking itself and maintaining 100% usage.

Keep in mind this might break the fullscreen functionality of some games. So far I’ve tested a handful of games and can confirm that this doesn’t work with Kingdom Come: Deliverance. I’m sure there are other games where disabling fullscreen optimizations could hinder more than help. It’ll also disable most overlays, like FPS counters.

There’s also a way to disable fullscreen optimizations system-wide, but it’s not guaranteed to work. In fact, based on what I’ve seen it rarely works and can cause some pretty bad glitches that require a reboot to fix. So, try this at your own discretion.

  1. Open “Settings” (Click start and just type “Settings”)
  2. Within “Settings” open “Gaming”
  3. Uncheck the third option titled “Show Game Bar when I play fullscreen games Microsoft has verified”

The system-wide method is liable to not work and you might be stuck disabling fullscreen optimizations on a game-by-game basis. But, it’s better than nothing!

If disabling fullscreen optimizations seems to do nothing for the game you’re having issues with, well, back to troubleshooting you go!

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