How to Optimize Windows 11 for Gaming (15 Ways)

Improve Windows 11 Gaming Performance with these easy ways!

When it comes to gaming, the PC platform is undoubtedly the largest platform ever. Not only in terms of the user base, but also in terms of the number of games that are available for players to choose from. Whether you want free, or paid ones, you can easily install them and enjoy them. Heck, there are even a good number of single-player, online multiplayer, and local co-op games to play with.

However, there can only be one thing that can sometimes annoy a lot of people, the performance of their Windows system. Even after having the best and highest spec PC, there will always be something or the other that will be slowing down the performance of your Windows 11 PC. No matter what type of gaming PC you have, we have laid down a good number of tips and tricks you can follow to optimize gaming performance on your Windows 11 PC.

How to Improve Windows 11 Gaming Performance

Everyone wants to get at least some more than decent gaming performance out of their PCs. The frustration and anger when the game lags or your computer starts glitching out is indeed a big headache. But, with these methods to improve your gaming, you can hopefully get around to improving that performance. Let’s get started.

Set Graphics Preferences

If your system has a dedicated GPU as well as an integrated GPU, it is ideal to always have a dedicated GPU being used when playing your games. Here is how you can adjust those settings.

how to improve windows 11 gaming performance
  1. Launch Settings and select System.
  2. Click on Display and choose Graphics.
  3. You will now see a list of all programs that are installed on your PC.
  4. Select the game and click on the Options button.
  5. Here you will see the Graphics Preference.
  6. Choose the option that says High Performance. This will be the educated GPU.
  7. Finally, click on save. You java now set the dedicated GPU to be used when running the particular game.

Optimize Windowed Mode Games

If there are games that work and display perfectly fine within the Windowed mode, you can follow these steps.

how to improve windows 11 gaming performance
  1. Launch the Settings app and select System.
  2. On the right, click on Display followed by Graphics.
  3. Here, you need to choose Change Default Graphics Settings
  4. Under the Optimizations for Windowed games, select the On option.
  5. Restart your computer for the changes to take effect.

Enable Game Mode

Windows 11 now has a special mode that you can enable when playing your games. Here is how you can enable it.

how to improve windows 11 gaming performance
  1. Launch Settings and click on the Gaming option.
  2. On the alright, click on the Game Mode option.
  3. Click on the Game Mode toggle to switch it on.

Use an SSD

The days of the good old high-storage HDD drives have long been packed away. It indeed is a crime to be running any system that is just equipped with an HDD. Not saying that it’s bad to be using HDDs, but it’s advisable to have SSDs installed as well. And, if you do have an SSD, make sure you have at least a minimum of 256 GB SSD m.2 storage device.

How to Optimize Windows 11 for Gaming

There are two reasons for it. One, you can have your Windows installation on your SSD This will help in quickly booting up your PC and a lot of the Windows tasks and programs should run quite fast. Secondly, installing that one favorite game that you regularly play onto your SSD will help improve your game’s loading times and eventually increase the in-game performance as well which can result in better FPS. (though you will need to improve other elements to gain more FPS out of your game.

Use Dual Channel RAM

A lot of games out there require that you have a minimum of 8GB of RAM for a lot of games out there, which doesn’t mean you simply chuck in a single 8GB RAM stick. You will still feel some sort of issues with your game. But, if you slot in 2-4GB RAM sticks, you’d be getting a better FPS performance. So, whether you’ve got a laptop or a desktop, always ensure you’ve got a dual-channel setup, provided your PC’s motherboard supports the speed, type, and RAM size.

How to Optimize Windows 11 for Gaming

Most modern systems will easily support DDR4 and now even DDR5 RAMs. In case you plan to game o do any heavy work on your system, look for RAMs that have a higher clock speed at 3200 or even higher. This will depend on whether your system supports it or not. With faster RAM and Dual Channels, you can expect improvements in gaming on your Windows 11 PC.

Clean up your System

If you’ve got a gaming PC and it has a lot of push-and-pull fans either at the top, front or rear, you will always see dust either on the blades of the fan or for worse, inside the cabinet. Power and disconnect your system to clean out all the dust, fur, and maybe anything else that might have entered your PC case. With too much dirt and dust inside your PC, it’s only bound to heat up and slow things down on the gaming side of things. This should help you improve gaming on your Windows 11 PC.

Disable the Xbox Game Bar

Windows 11 does have a good number of tools that can be extremely useful when you are gaming. However, not everyone is a fan of such and the need to remove such apps is always the solution. You can now disable the Xbox Game Bar.

Here’s how you can disable the Xbox Game Bar.

how to improve windows 11 gaming performance
  1. Open the Settings app from the Start Menu.
  2. Click on the gaming option from the left pane.
  3. Click on the Xbox game Bar option.
  4. Now, simply click on the toggle to switch it off.
  5. The Xbox game Bar will now be disabled until you manually enable it back on.

Uninstall the Xbox App

If you don’t make use of the Microsoft Xbox Cloud gaming service and even if you don’t make use of the Game Pass for PC service, it’s best to rid of the Xbox app from your PC. Here’s how.

how to improve windows 11 gaming performance
  1. Open the Start Menu and click on the All Apps button at the top right of the Start menu.
  2. Scroll down to the very end till you see the Xbox app.
  3. Right-click on the app and select the Uninstall option.
  4. It will ask if you wish to uninstall the app, confirm the uninstall and you are now good to go.

Clear the Cache and Temporary Files

Ever noticed that either your game or the game launcher seems to be acting up and glitching out way too often than before? The culprit could be your cache and temporary files. Clearing these files is simple and easy. And no, it won’t delete any of your game files or games or any game data for that matter.

Here’s how you can clear cache files.

How to Optimize Windows 11 for Gaming
  1. Press the Windows and R keys to open the Run dialog box.
  2. Now, type in temp and hit the enter key.
  3. You might be asked to give administrator privileges. Approve them.
  4. Select all the content within the folder by pressing the Control and A keys on your keyboard.
  5. With everything selected, simply delete them all.
  6. A few files might not get deleted and that is okay.
  7. You need to repeat this two more times but in place of Temp, you will have to enter in Prefetch and %temp%.
  8. Make sure to empty your Recycle Bin as well after you’ve cleared all three folders.

Manage Windows Updates

A lot of people simply forget that Windows updates on their PC can be paused and set up to be installed when they aren’t using the PC. You can follow these steps.

How to Pause Windows Updates:

How to Optimize Windows 11 for Gaming
  1. Open the Settings app from the Start Menu.
  2. Now, click on the Windows Update option from the left menu.
  3. Under more options, select the button that says Pause Updates.
  4. The updates will remain paused for a week. 
  5. Once the 7 days have passed, the updates will begin to download or install as needed.
  6. So remember to pause the updates again.

Set Network Connection as Metered:

Settings your network as a metered connection can help stop any updates from downloading in the background while you might be playing an online multiplayer or single-player game. You can follow these steps to set your network as a metered connection.

How to Optimize Windows 11 for Gaming
  1. If you are currently connected to the network, clock on the WiFi or Ethernet icon on the Taskbar.
  2. You should now see a list of all available networks near you as well as the network you are connected to.
  3. Click on the little i icon.
  4. This will bring up the Settings page for the particular network.
  5. Next to where it says Metered Connection, simply click on the toggle to switch it on.
  6. Now, Windows will not download updates whenever you are connected to the particular network

Adjust Windows Update Active Hours

Annoyed with the notifications that keep saying you need to restart to install these updates? Well, you can simply set a given time slot for these updates to get downloaded and installed. Here is how.

how to improve windows 11 gaming performance
  1. Launch the Settings app on your Windows 11 PC.
  2. Click on the Windows Update option on the left-hand side.
  3. On your right, click on Advanced Options.
  4. Click on Active Hours.
  5. Choose manually and set start and end times during which you do not want to be bombarded with Windows Updates.
  6. The updates will only be installed before or after the range of Active Hours that have been set for you.

Update Your Drivers

Having the latest versions of drivers for your GPU, or any other device and hardware connected to your PC is quite important. It helps to stay updated since it closes up exploits that could be used to create issues or problems with your PC. Also, new driver updates mean that more games are supported, This is true in the case of GPUs. Always download the updates either from the hardware’s official website, Windows Update, or even better, via Device manager. 

Do not make us of any third-party apps or programs that claim to search and install updates for your drivers. They could potentially cause problems for your system as they might install drivers that are not made for your system or might install unverified and malicious drivers which will again result in only more problems with your PC.

Clean Install your GPU Drivers

Whether you use an Nvidia or an AMD GPU, both brands have their software when it comes to installing driver updates. Sure, you can use them to install the latest driver, but it’s always advisable to perform a clean driver install as it helps in many ways. Driver updates for GPUs can bring support for new games, but also your current games in terms of performance.

How to Optimize Windows 11 for Gaming

Clean Install NVidia GPU Driver

  1. Run the installer file with administrator privileges.
  2. Select the components that you wish to install.
  3. At the bottom, you will see an option that says Perform a Clean Installation.
  4. Select the check box next to it and then click on Next.
  5. The older drivers will now be uninstalled and then then the new driver will be installed

Clean Install AMD GPU Driver

  1. Download the latest version of the driver for your particular GPU.
  2. Run the program like how you would run any other program.
  3. Make sure to run it as an administrator.
  4. Select Additional Options, followed by Factory Reset.
  5. Now click on the install button.
  6. It will do away with the older version of your GPU drivers and then install the new update as a fresh install.

Switch To High-Performance Plan

You can easily change the power settings of your Windows 11 PC. There are power plans for when you might want your system to just be balanced, to save power, or maybe even just to get the max out of your PC. Here is how you can adjust the power plans.

how to improve windows 11 gaming performance
  1. Open the Start menu and search for Power Plans
  2. From the search results, click on Power Plan.
  3. Now, slate the plan that says High Performance. Some systems might have their own plans instead of High Performance.
  4. Select the one that suits your system the best for gaming.

Disable Memory Integrity

Windows 11 has important security features that need to stay on at all times. However, Microsoft also stated that the same security options can sometimes cause issues with gaming and you might want to turn it off. Not everyone seems to be impacted by the games when the feature is on, so your mileage may vary, hence a quick game test with the feature on and feature off is recommended.

How to Optimize Windows 11 for Gaming
  1. Search for Windows Security in the Start menu. You can type Windows Security right away.
  2. When you see the app in the search results, click on it.
  3. Click On Device Security, followed by Core isolation Details.
  4. Click on the toggle to turn it off.
  5. You will get warnings about turning it off. Just turn the option off.
  6. Restart your PC and go ahead with gaming.

Disable Virtualization

Having Virtualization disabled can greatly improve your gaming performance. Again, this may or may not affect all PCs, so you might want to test it out and then decide for yourself if you feel any difference between the setting on and off.

how to improve windows 11 gaming performance
  1. Launch the Settings app and click on Apps.
  2. Now, select Optional Features.
  3. Scroll to the bottom and click on More Windows Features.
  4. A small window will now pop up.
  5. From the window, make sure to untick the option that says Virtual machine Platform.
  6. Click on OK and restart your PC.
  7. Test the game and see if you have a better performance in the game or if it’s just the same as before.

Wrapping up…

This concludes the guide on how you can improve gaming performance on your Windows 11 PC. of course, apart from these pointers, keeping your games and game clients updated also helps as there could be bugs that might have caused performance issues on your Windows 11 PC. Another tip would be to close away all programs that you won’t be using. If you have any more tips, you can freely share them in the comment section below this article.

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Joshua D'souza

Enjoy games, 90's hip-hop, and tech. Loves exploring the infinite world of laptops and food. Every ready to provide assistance in anything that rocks his boat. Will gladly enjoy capturing memories through various lenses. Worked previously at PiunikaWeb as an author and researcher.

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