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How to Optimize Windows for Gaming 2021

Microsoft Windows is the best and most popular Operating System for gaming.

Besides the consoles there simply is no alternative that supports all of the popular game titles.

Windows 10 is not only used for gaming however and many of its features and configurations are made for office work.

Luckily there is a lot that can be done to the OS to optimize its performance.

In this guide you will learn the following
  • What Windows optimization is
  • Why it’s important to optimize Windows
  • How to optimize Windows for competitive gaming
  1. What is Windows optimization?
    1. Why it’s important to optimize Windows?
  2. How to optimize Windows
    1. Windows installation
    2. Download & preparation
      1. Local account
      2. Fresh reset
    3. Power plan management
      1. Advanced power plan options
    4. Telemetry
      1. Privacy settings
    5. Services
    6. Background applications
      1. Disable Windows Defender
      2. Security threats
    7. Scheduled tasks
    8. Memory compression
    9. Bloatware
      1. Windows Store
      2. Limit background apps

What is Windows optimization?

Windows is currently the most popular Operating System in the world.

Windows contains a large amount of legacy code since it’s required to maintain features for many use cases.

Why it’s important to optimize Windows?

As we mentioned Windows needs to work for a huge amount of different workloads.

Many features that are needed for professional and office work will instead limit the performance of pure gaming.

How to optimize Windows

If done correctly you will get a more responsive OS with less Input lag and better frame-timing.

Follow the steps correctly to optimize your Windows installation and improve your gameplay.

Windows installation

Windows 10 is the preferred operating system in 2021.

We recommend Windows 10 Home for most people instead of Pro.

However, both versions come with a lot of unnecessary applications so be prepared to do some cleaning.

  • Install Windows 10 with the latest major update for maximum security, compatibility, and features for the latest games and patches.

We advise against using insider and preview builds as they are not optimized, and may contain bugs.

Avoid using unlicensed versions of Window as they are prone to viruses and other vulnerabilities

Windows 7 is no longer supported by Windows and therefore it’s not recommended to use for any application in 2021.

Download & preparation

  • Download the latest available release of Windows to ensure up-to-date security and the best possible DirectX support in games.

Local account

  • Disconnect ethernet to avoid unnecessary driver installation and registration during setup.

In order to create a local account during the installation, you should unplug the PC from your network.

Use a local account to limit the amount of Telemetry data that is synced back to Microsoft and may interfere with performance.

Fresh reset

In Windows 2004 it’s possible to use internet recovery to download a fresh install of Windows

Avoids any bloatware installed by the OEM if you purchase a system from any of the major computer brands like Dell and HP.

Power plan management

  • Use the High-Performance Plan.

Set the highest possible setting to let the hardware draw enough power.

Advanced power plan options

  • The most important option to set is the one to allow your CPU to run at full speed all the time.
  • Disable “Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power” for USB hosts and Network adapters.

Telemetry

Telemetry is generally data and information that gets sent from your PC to a server for analysis and diagnostics.

Unfortunately, this will interfere with performance and should be limited.

Network activity running in the background to report usage, update online apps, and pinging servers for updates to the system.

Privacy settings

We are not involved in the politics of privacy but rather the performance hit such tools have on our hardware.

Privacy features are usually a connected service that runs in the background.

Pings servers and scans files and may interfere with running apps and games.

Services

Services are running in the background to enable various features such as printing and etc.

Limit the number of running services to avoid stutter and interruptions in Windows.

Set unneeded services to manual.

Stuff like printer and file sharing can be disabled to improve performance and lag

Background applications

Disable Windows Defender

Use Antivirus inside Router to offload CPU if possible.

Requires Untangle or similar

Security threats

Update Windows and other applications to avoid vulnerabilities that may compromise your system and interfere with performance.

Stay up to date with security threats such as crypto mining scripts etc

Scheduled tasks

Tasks are processes running in the background in order to keep the system up to date.

Memory compression

Bloatware

Windows Store

Most of the apps installed in Windows are paid ads in the form of apps from the Store.

Remove using a script or a third-party application for best efficiency.

Limit background apps

Exit any background applications when you launch a game.

By Linus Feldt

I wish I was a professional gamer, but I love marketing.

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