How To Optimize Windows 10 For Laptop Gaming

Although Windows 10 may be the most recent version of Windows, there are ways in which you can optimize the performance of this operating system. And since laptops tend to be more resource-constrained than desktop systems, this is particularly useful for gaming purposes.

We'll give you the tips you need to maximize the performance of your laptop gaming.

If you're in the market for a better gaming laptop, be sure to see our reviews of the best gaming laptops in different price ranges.

Use Software for Boosting Gaming

Game Mode

A game boosting software product will optimize your Windows 10 system by reducing lag. To find some of the best products currently available, please see this list of gaming optimizers.

Game boosting software works by preventing background applications from running once you open a game. This means more of your computer’s resources can be used to run the game without lagging. It also means you don’t have to spend time changing settings and configurations on your computer.

Disable Automatic Updates and Peer-to-Peer Updates

Windows 10 installs automatic updates by default, and this can slow up the performance of your computer when you are gaming. Disabling automatic updates is a straightforward process.

To do this you need to:

  • ​Right-click on This PC.
  • ​Click on Manage.
  • ​Click on Services.
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    Click on Windows Update.
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    Click on Disable.
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    Click on Apply.
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    Click on OK.

​​​​​​​Disabling peer-to-peer updates is a good thing to do anyway, due to privacy issues. It will also improve the running speed of your computer and you will be able to play games without interruptions.

To disable peer-to-peer updates, you need to take the following steps:

  • ​Open your settings app.
  • ​Click on Update and Security.
  • ​Select Advanced Options.
  • Find How Updates are Delivered.
  • Choose PCs on my local network.
  • You can also just turn update sharing off completely.

Adjust Your Laptop for Best Performance

Preformance Windows

Adjusting your PC for best performance is an easy way to improve its running capabilities. It is easy to make this change, you simply need to do the following:

  • ​Select Control Panel.
  • Select System.
  • ​Select Advanced System Settings.
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    Click on the Advanced tab in System Properties.
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    Select Performance Settings.
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    Select Visual Effects.
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    Select Adjust for Best Performance.
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    Click Apply.

​​​​​​​​Set Active Hours

Active Hours Windows 10

Setting active hours allows you to have chosen times where your computer won’t decide to reboot or begin an update. Active hours informs Windows 10 when it can and cannot automatically restart your computer within a certain time period.

Restart options mean that you can decide exactly when you want to restart your computer in order to install pending updates.

Setting your active hours and restart options prevents a restart or update happening at a crucial moment in your game! To do this, you need to do the following:

  • ​Open up your settings app.
  • ​Choose Update and Security.
  • ​Look under Update Settings.
  • You will find Change Active Hours and Restart Options.
  • Click on each one and alter the times to suit your schedule.
  • You can also check for and install the latest updates for your computer from the Update Settings menu.

​​​​​​Disable Wi-Fi Sense

This default feature as part of Windows 10 means that your laptop will try to connect automatically to any nearby Wi-Fi network. Wi-Fi Sense promises to connect you to recognized or safe networks in public places.

However, this feature has security issues and can even end up costing you money. That being said, Wi-Fi sense is simple to turn on and off. You just need to follow these steps:

  • ​Open up your Settings app.
  • ​Click on Networks and the Internet.
  • ​Select Wi-Fi.
  • Disable all options under Wi-Fi Sense.

​​​​Disable Nagle’s Algorithm

Windows 10 Nagles

Nagle’s Algorithm, named after its creator John Nagle, is a function that increases a network application’s efficiency. It links small buffer messages together and decreases the number of packets that need to be sent.

Nagle’s Algorithm was created in 1984, originally for the purpose of relieving congestion for a private IP network. It has subsequently been used widely for a number of different reasons.

While Nagle’s Algorithm makes data transfer much more efficient, it has the downside of slowing up internet connection speeds. This can negatively affect online gameplay as a result.

To disable this function, you will need to take the following steps:

  • ​Press the Windows key and R at the same time.
  • ​Type in Regedit.
  • ​Find HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpip\
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    Parameters\Interfaces.
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    Locate the one containing your IP address.
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    Right-click in the empty space and make two new DWORD.
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    Name the first one TcpAckFrequency.
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    Name the second TcpNoDelay.
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    Double-click on both and set their parameters as 1.

​​​​​​​​​Ensure You Have the Correct Drivers Installed

Device Manager All Up To Date

A device driver is a piece of software that gives your hardware the ability to communicate successfully with Windows 10. Drivers are used with all kinds of hardware, such as your keyboard and mouse, and even your motherboard. They are an important part of any computer setup.

Many of your drivers will be there to support correct motherboard functions. These include USB function, networking, audio capabilities as well as other tasks. Drivers also function for graphics cards. These allow you to use a discrete graphics card at its maximum potential.

If you do not have a driver for your graphics card, you are likely to end up with reduced frame rates. You may even encounter more serious problems, such as being unable to open games.

Drivers are tailored to your operating system, in this case, Windows 10. They are also specific to the model of each piece of hardware that you own. This makes it difficult to recommend specific drivers as they need to be compatible with your hardware as well as Windows 10.

One of the best ways to establish which drivers you need is to search online for the model of your hardware item, along with the word driver or support. It is best to check with the manufacturer of whichever graphics card you are using, to establish your best options.

You can also check which drivers are missing from your computer, by doing the following:

  • Open the control panel.
  • ​Click on Device Manager.
  • ​This will display all of the devices and hardware connected to your computer.
  • Any device without a driver will be shown in Other Devices.
  • You should try to have none of your devices appearing with a yellow question mark next to the names.

​​​​As mentioned above, you can search for the best drivers that are specific to your hardware. The main drivers that you need in order to optimize Windows 10 for gaming are:

  • ​A motherboard chipset driver.
  • ​A motherboard audio driver.
  • ​A motherboard USB driver.
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    A motherboard networking or LAN driver.
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    A graphics card driver.

​​​​Update Your Windows Applications

Updates for Windows

After updating your Windows 10 operating system, you should also update your Windows 10 app store applications.

To do this you will need to:

  • ​Open up the Windows Store application.
  • ​Click on your profile image beside the search box.
  • ​Select Downloads and Updates.
  • On this page you will be able to check for any app store application updates.
  • Download the relevant required updates for Windows 10 app store applications.

​​​Ensure Your Mouse Is on the Correct Settings

A well-functioning mouse is a vitally important piece of equipment when playing games. Unfortunately, Windows 10 has a mouse Help setting which is not actually much help at all. However, it is easy to disable, by selecting Mouse from the properties menu on the control panel.

Other settings that need adjusting in order to optimize your Windows 10 system include pointer precision. To adjust this, select Pointer options from the mouse settings window.

Ensure that Enhanced pointer precision is disabled. Check that your pointer speed is positioned in the center of the range. This prevents acceleration of your mouse, and it also stops Windows 10 from changing your mouse input.

Change Your Power Options

Power Options Windows 10

Windows 10 has default power options, but changing these can optimize the performance of your games. It also prevents potential issues arising during a game, like power saver automatically enabling itself.

To find the power options menu, simply type it into the start menu and press enter. Select Change plan settings and then select Change advanced power settings.

Whether you have a laptop or a PC, you will want to think about enabling the high performance mode on any gaming computer. This will make sure that your device is able to access the whole of its CPU and GPU. For gaming computers to work at their peak, they need to be constantly attached to a supply of energy and dark matter.

Some of the changes you may wish to make to optimize your system include:

  • ​Disabling the sleep function if you do not require it.
  • ​Disabling Turn off hard disk by moving the minute setting to zero.
  • ​Disabling Link State Power Management for PCI
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    Disabling or changing the inactive window when your computer is in sleep mode
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    Disabling the selective suspend function for your USB ports; this means they will always be fully functional.
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    If you are on a Wi-Fi network, change your wireless adapter settings to maximum performance

​​​Bear in mind that many of these changes will cause a lower battery life if you are on a laptop. They can also cause a higher power bill, unfortunately!

Install Backup Software on Your Computer

Backing up your files and system may seem like an obvious safeguard, but it is surprising just how many people neglect to do this.

The first thing you should be doing is backing up your file systems. Software for this purpose works by keeping an extra copy of any of your data that it has gathered.

System image backup software gives you the ability to completely restore your whole computer to a time in the past.

Some of the best backup software products can be found here. If you are after some free options, then check out this page here.

Set Default Programs

Defaults Windows 10

Windows 10 operating system will automatically ask you to specify which program you would like to use for numerous actions. These include web browsing, listening to music and viewing photos.

To change these settings, you will need to access a certain menu instead of saving your chosen default programs. Simply type default programs into the start menu and press enter. Then you will be given the opportunity to change your default settings to the applications you prefer.

Change Your Default Media Directories for Storage

This tip is for laptop gamers with multiple storage drives, like an SSD (solid state drive) and hard drive combination. This will mean that you are likely to want to move some files to a separate drive. Large numbers of files consume a lot of space, especially photos, videos and music.

It is fairly straightforward to move excess files to another location if you want to avoid clogging up your SSD or hard drive. You may also want to consider an external hard drive for files that you don't access often.

To complete this process you will need to follow these steps:

  • ​Open up Explorer.
  • ​Select This PC and then right-click the folders that you wish to move.
  • ​Select Properties.
  • Find the location tab.
  • Select a new directory by choosing a drive or drive folder.
  • All the changes that you make will show up in Explorer and the Start menu.
  • All the changes made here will show up on the side of Explorer as well as in the start menu.

​​​​Remove Unused Files Which Clog up Your Computer

Bloatware is all of the unused files and programs that come already installed with Windows 10. Many applications can also store cached files which take up more of your precious space. To clean this excess, use one of the best apps for cleaning your laptop.

Final Thoughts

There are a huge number of adjustments you can make in order to optimize Windows 10 for laptop gaming. Many settings on your computer can be changed, software can be downloaded and device drivers installed.

You can also change preferences which are set by default, and update relevant applications for your operating system.

By following some or all of these tips, you will see that it is easy and fairly inexpensive to maximize your gaming experience on a Windows 10 laptop.

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