If you are reading this guide, it is probably because you have a computer with the Windows 11 operating system and you are a gaming enthusiast who wants to squeeze every possible image per second out of your game sessions.
How to Optimize Windows 11 to Speed Up Your PC’s Performance in Games
Maybe you don’t just want to exploit your computer’s performance to the maximum for fun and you simply have limited resources, so you want to make sure that you are taking full advantage of your capabilities.
Well, in that case, you have come to the right place. We are going to offer a series of settings and options that we can change on our computer in order to improve performance in video games as much as possible.
It should be noted, these measures may help to improve performance but are detrimental to other areas, such as security. It will be seen in the corresponding section.
Before continuing, if your computer has Windows 10, you can also follow this guide. It doesn’t have the Settings app but the same settings are accessible with other methods. Not only that, you can also take a look at the guide we wrote to optimize Windows 10.
Disable “Memory Integrity”
We start with one of the two main official tips from Microsoft to improve performance in Windows 11. What we are going to do is disable a security measure called “Memory Integrity” that consumes a large amount of resources on our computer.
As it is a security measure, the first thing we will do is open “Windows Security”. We can search for it from the Windows menu as follows:
Once in the application, we access the “Device security” section and look at the first option, “Memory integrity”. If we have it activated, we can deactivate it.
When doing so, it will warn us that a restart is required for the change to be effective. We can restart on the spot or continue to take action, as we wish.
We have mentioned it at the beginning but this is one of those adjustments that despite offering us yields, are a sacrifice in other fields. In this case, it is a security feature so we would be exposing ourselves to more types of attacks. To better understand what this function does, we have the official documentation.
Disable “Virtual Machine Platform (VMP)”
This is the second of the official tips. To deactivate this feature, the first thing to do is open the well-known Control Panel. From the categories we go to “Programs”.
Within Programs, we look at the first section, “Programs and Features”, to give the subsection “Activate or deactivate Windows features”. It draws attention for having an icon with a yellow and blue shield. By the way, this shield means that to change settings we will need administrator permissions.
A new window will open with a list of Windows 11 functions. We must look for “Virtual machine platform” and deactivate it.
This functionality will affect how we can or cannot use virtualization on our computer, so it would not hurt to review if we need it for something.
Windows 11 incorporates a feature inherited from Windows 10 called “Game Mode.” As the name suggests, it switches Windows to a prepared mode to optimize games. It is not usually a radical change but everything helps.
To activate it we will open the “Settings” application. Within the application, we go to the “Games” side menu.
Once in “Games”, we access the third and last menu, “Game mode”. Here we must make sure to have the “Game Mode” option activated.
This mode focuses on preventing Windows Update from making driver updates while we play, apart from not launching notifications to request the restart of the device that could interrupt us. By default, it is activated, but it is worth checking that we have not turned it off by mistake.
Pause automatic updates
System updates are a task notorious for being resource-intensive at the worst times. Game Mode prevents the installation of drivers, but not other types of updates. Although Windows 11 does not offer an explicit option to stop updates, we can pause them for long periods of time.
For this task, we are going to go back to the Settings app, but this time we will go to the “Windows Update” side menu.
We will immediately see that in the “More options” section we have the Pause Updates section. In this case we will click on the button to the right of “Pause for 1 week”. Doing so will update the top banner:
We’ve talked about updating the system and Game Mode preventing driver updates while we play. However, updating the drivers can be a good idea if we want to improve performance in games.
Driver updates offer support for specific games (or even new features ) and we can notice big improvements in performance or stability if we keep them up to date, especially in newer games with little time on the market.
Configuring our GPU software
This section is a bit tricky to explain since not everyone has GPUs from the same company. For example, NVIDIA graphics card users have the “NVIDIA Control Panel”.
However, whoever has an AMD graphics card has much more polished and visually pleasing software, AMD Software Adrenalin Edition, and the same applies to Intel graphics (integrated or not).
We cannot offer specific instructions since each software offers different settings, but it is important to remember that from these programs we can have a lot of room for maneuver to improve performance in games.
Change power plan
If we are playing on a laptop, this section is somewhat more sensitive. Changing the power plan will surely have a significant impact on our autonomy, so it is more than likely that we will see drops in battery life. Likewise, we have come to improve performance by adjusting Windows as much as possible and that is what we are going to do.
- We go back to the Control Panel, but this time we enter the “Hardware and sound” section.
- Within Hardware and sound we access the last section, “Power options”.
- Finally, if we do not have it selected, we select the “High performance” plan.
- If the power plan does not appear, we display the additional plans as in the previous screenshot and select it.
Still in the Control Panel, we return to the initial screen and select “System and security”.
Now we select “System”.
Within System we are interested in the side menu, specifically the last entry “Advanced system configuration”.
A new window titled “System Properties” will open. By default we are in the category that interests us, “Advanced options”. From here we look at the “Performance” settings button.
When giving it, a new window will appear, called “Performance Options”. It will also appear in the section that interests us, “Visual effects”. We must select the option “Adjust to obtain the best performance” as in the following image:
Then we can click “Apply” or “OK”. As expected, we’re going to lose a lot of visual effects by doing this, but it’s the same effects that consume resources to render.
Keep a good to-do list
For this section, our best friend will be the Task Manager. We will focus on three sections: “Processes”, “Performance” and “Boot Applications”. Let’s go by parts.
From this section, we can see the processes that are running in real-time. It is a good idea to give the CPU, Memory or GPU index to see which processes are consuming more of these components.
If they are not necessary, we can select and stop them.
From the performance section we are not going to change anything as such, but we will look at the graphics.
The objective is to see what causes us the biggest bottleneck, to know what we need to lighten the load using, for example, the Processes menu that we have just seen.
If we have programs configured to start automatically with our computer (Teams, Discord, Steam, peripheral software…) it will appear in this list. We can see if its autostart is activated or not.
By changing the autostart policy we are not stopping the process, just indicating that we do not want it to start with the computer.
It is advisable to deactivate everything possible in this section so that it is not necessary to finish the process later since it will not start in the first place. As an extra, it is a very good measure to improve the boot time of the computer.
It is not a normally relevant section, but if we share our computer, it is likely that we will have several users.
Before seeing what we can do in our user, it is a good idea to see what resources the rest of the users are consuming. Normally, it is enough to close the session of any user that we are not using to end their processes, although restarting would be ideal.
Latest tips to optimize the PC for Games
More than adjustments that we can alter, the last tips that we can provide are related to having a good praxis.
As much as we optimize the configuration to the maximum, if we activate the hardware acceleration of all the programs, if we have open a browser with many tabs that is making several multiple downloads.
Discord call with webcams activated, several overlay programs for our game or we are even carrying out tasks as intensive as making a backup to an external drive, the computer will surely suffer to stay afloat and offer high FPS on top of that.
Remember that it is important to keep our computers free of malware such as cryptocurrency miners, not add unnecessary extra charges and take care of their physical condition, keeping it clean and fresh.
These are measures that, although they may sound obvious or redundant, it is essential to comply with them. If we do not start from a good base, the rest of the things we do will be of little use.
Last but by no means least, as we have already mentioned in the introduction we also have an optimization guide for Windows 10. It is highly recommended to read it since there are more tips than those seen here that can be extrapolated to Windows 11 and vice versa.