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How to fully optimize your Windows 10 PC for gaming

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Learn how to fully optimize your Windows 10 PC for gaming. PCs are multipurpose machines, which means yours might not be optimized for gaming out of the box.

Are you gaming on Windows 10? Use these tips to optimize Windows 10 for gaming and set it up for the best performance. Windows 10 is a great OS for gamers, mixing native games, support for retro titles, and even Xbox One streaming.

In general, the PC gaming performance can be affected by the graphics card, CPU, memory, hard disk, network, and so on. This article will show you how to optimize your PC for gaming, increase FPS, and improve your GPU’s performance.

Below are some of the best ways to fully optimize your Windows 10 PC for gaming:

  1. Optimize Windows 10 With Windows Gaming Mode
  2. Update Graphics Drivers to Optimize Windows 10 PC for Gaming
  3. Lower Your Game’s Resolution and Graphics Settings
  4. Disable Automatic Updates for Better Windows 10 Gaming
  5. Prevent Steam Auto-Updating Games
  6. Tweak Windows 10 Visual Effects for Game Improvements

1. Optimize Windows 10 With Windows Gaming Mode

Perhaps the easiest and most obvious way to tweak performance on your PC is to enable the ‘Game Mode‘ in Windows 10. The feature stops background activities like Windows updates and app notifications to help boost FPS in your games.

  1. Press Windows key + I
  2. Type game mode
  3. Click Game Mode settings or Turn on Game Mode
  4. On the Gaming screen, click Game Mode
  5. Switch to On to use Game Mode

2. Update Graphics Drivers to Optimize Windows 10 PC for Gaming

In general, you don’t need to go out of your way to update drivers for your hardware unless you’re experiencing issues. But your graphics card is an exception: manufacturers like Nvidia and AMD regularly issue driver updates that contain optimizations for the latest games.

So installing the manufacturer’s drivers and keeping them up-to-date can give you a serious boost in performance, particularly on new titles. Keeping your graphics drivers updated is one of the best ways to fully optimize your Windows 10 PC for gaming.

You may already see the Nvidia or AMD driver icon in your taskbar, but that doesn’t mean you have the latest version. Head to the download pages on the NvidiaAMD, or Intel website, punch in your graphics card model and download the latest driver package—if you don’t know what graphics card you have, here’s how to find out.

3. Lower Your Game’s Resolution and Graphics Settings

If your PC is a super-high-end beast, you probably don’t need much tweaking anyways. But if you are like the rest of us and have to make do with something less than top-tier, you may need to make some sacrifices in the graphics department for smoother gameplay.

Lowering your game’s graphics settings can improve FPS by easing the load on the GPU. It won’t have to support as many pixels with each frame. Most dedicated gaming PCs of relatively recent vintage can handle [email protected] in most games.

However, some might struggle to support 4K or even 2K resolutions, while your typical office laptop might even struggle with 1080p gaming. So make sure you try out a few options to find the optimal balance between graphics quality and higher FPS.

Some games will have simple settings like ultra, high, medium, and low, while others have sliders, numerical settings, etc. 

4. Disable Automatic Updates for Better Windows 10 Gaming

Windows 10 will automatically update your OS and schedule a restart without your permission. While this feature doesn’t activate often, you never want to be caught unaware and risk your game save.

Not only can automatic updates restart Windows without warning, downloading updates in the background will limit your network connectivity. Disabling automatic updates is one of the best ways to fully optimize your Windows 10 PC for gaming.

The Settings app includes an option to stop system updates for up to 35 days on Windows 10 Home and Pro. To disable automatic updates temporarily, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Update & Security.
  3. Select Windows Update.
  4. Click the Advanced options button.
  5. Under the “Pause updates” section, use the drop-down menu and select how long to disable updates.

Once you complete the steps, updates will no longer download until the day you specified. When the computer reaches the pause limit, you will need to install the latest patch available to make the option available again.

5. Prevent Steam Auto-Updating Games

If you use Windows to play games, you’re probably buying and installing games via Steam.

One of the largest annoyances with Steam is its update feature. This blocks you from preventing automatic updates across all your games. This may eat up memory by updating games you don’t play or limit your network connectivity with background updates.

To prevent Steam from updating games in the background:

  1. Launch the Steam client
  2. Open Steam > Settings > Downloads
  3. Uncheck Allow downloads during gameplay

6. Tweak Windows 10 Visual Effects for Game Improvements

Your graphical user interfaces (GUI) can be a hindrance to your processing power. By default, your Windows 10 appearance settings are set to impress. Tweak Windows 10 Visual Effects is one of the best ways to fully optimize your Windows 10 PC for gaming.

Games running in the foreground may conflict with a shiny GUI running in the background. Adjust these settings to optimize Windows 10 for gaming performance.

  1. Open Settings with Windows key + I
  2. Type performance
  3. Select Adjust the appearance and performance of Windows.
  4. In the settings box, select Adjust for best performance
  5. Click Apply
  6. Click the Advanced tab
  7. Ensure that Adjust the best performance of is ticked for Programs
  8. Apply again, then OK to confirm
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