Windows 11 Ultimate Optimization Guide thumbnail

Optimize Windows 11: The Ultimate Guide 101

Ever since Windows 11 rolled out, I’ve been on a mission to squeeze every bit of performance out of it. Whether you’re a power user or just want your PC to run a little smoother, optimizing Windows 11 can make a world of difference. Trust me, a few tweaks here and there and you’ll feel like you’ve got a brand new machine.

How To Optimize Windows 11

A significant percentage of the performance gains you can expect are related to your actual hardware and BIOS settings. The rest is stuff in Windows, like power plans, graphics drivers, game settings, driver settings, etc.

PART 0: Factory Reset / Fresh Install (Optional but highly recommended)

Before diving deeper into Windows 11 optimization, I can’t stress enough how impactful a factory reset or a fresh install can be. If you’re seeking that ‘new computer’ feel, starting from scratch is the quickest path to optimal performance.

There are a few reasons why the ideal solution is to fresh install Windows, which you can see below:

  • Right now, you might be logged in to a Microsoft account, and it will be good to just get yourself on a local account because sometimes Microsoft accounts can act weirdly and automatically change settings for you.
  • There will be many drivers, services, and dead registry keys left behind on your PC from software you’ve previously installed, which takes a lot of time to manually find and remove.
  • Generally speaking, from my experience, Windows feels much better when it’s freshly installed, especially if you haven’t done it in a long time.
  • There are a couple more reasons, but these are the most important ones.

So to sum it up, I highly recommend you do a fresh Windows installation unless you are uncomfortable that you will mess things up, which is understandable. But at least do a Factory reset.

Welcome to Windows 11 screen. This shows up after a fresh installation of Windows 11, or after a reset of Windows 11.

Here’s how to do it without missing a beat.

How to factory reset Windows 11

  • Go to your Windows search bar and type “Settings“, and click on the option available.
  • Navigate to “Update & Security“.
  • Look for the “Recovery” option on the side panel and click on it.
  • Under the “Reset this PC” option, click on “Get started“.

Once you do that, you’ll get a few options, like if you want to keep your files or not, etc. These are personal preferences so choose accordingly. The process will take some time, so be patient, and once completed, you can move on to PART 1 of this guide.

How to Fresh Install Windows 11

To install Windows 11 on your PC fresh, you’ll need a USB stick(8 GB at least) and preferably a 3.0 USB stick to make the whole process much quicker.

Go ahead and plug in your USB stick.

Go to the Microsoft website and download the Media Creation Tool to download Windows 11.

Navigate to “This PC“, find the USB stick, and make sure there are no files on it. If there are files, make sure to back up the important ones because the USB stick will be wiped entirely, and you’ll not be able to recover your files.

Run the Media Creation Tool you previously downloaded and click “Accept” on the first screen you’ll get.

Accept license terms of Media Creation Tool

Select the option “Create installation media (USB flash drive, DVD, or ISO file) for another PC“, and click “Next“.

Create installation media USB flash driver for Windows 11

On the next window, tick the option “Use the recommended options for this PC” and then click on “Next“.

Use the recommended options for your PC.

Choose “USB Flash Drive“, and click “Next“.

Choose the USB flash drive option to create a bootable Windows 11 USB drive

Now, make sure your USB flash drive is connected to your PC, refresh the drive’s list, and choose it from the list. Then click on “Next“, and wait for the process to complete.

Select the actual USB STICK to install Windows 11 on.

Now that you have a bootable Windows 11 USB stick, it’s time to tell our motherboard to start booting from it so we can finally install Windows 11.

Leave the USB drive connected to your computer, and restart.

Once the screen goes black, start spamming the DEL button to access BIOS.

Now that you are into BIOS, try to find the Boot menu and click on it.

How to change boot priority in BIOS

Click on BOOT OPTION 1 and change it from your disk to your USB.

How to boot up from a USB drive with Windows 11.

Look for the option to “Save changes and Exit” Bios, and click on it.

Now your computer will restart, and it should start booting from the USB drive.

Choose your preferred language of Windows 11 and keyboard input language and click “Next“.

Choose Windows 11 language

Next, choose your preferred Windows 11 version.

Choose Windows 11 version to install.

Choose the option “Custom: Install Windows only (advanced)“.

Choose between keeping files, and deleting files before installing Windows 11.

Select the disk or partition you want to install Windows 11 on and click on “Delete“.

Delete the partition that Windows 11 will be installed on.

Select the same disk or partition as above, but click on “New” this time.

Recreate the partition that Windows 11 will be installed.

Choose the size, and click “Apply“.

Select the partition.

Select the same disk or partition again, and this time click on “Next“.

Click next to proceed with the windows 11 installation.

Click on Install Now.

Press Install Now

Windows 11 should start installing on your disk; this process can take some time, so sit back and relax.

Windows 11 installation process.

Once this process is complete, your computer will restart and start booting in Windows 11. The first time it boots, it might take longer than usual, so please be patient and don’t turn off your PC.

After a while, you should get into the Windows 11 environment.

Part 1: Windows 11 Maintenance & Prerequisites

In this part of the guide, we will make sure to update our system with the latest Windows updates, install the latest network drivers depending on your network card, clean up junk files to free up some disk space, and install files you’ll need on your computer to run apps and games.

Update Windows 11 network drivers

Keeping your network drivers updated is crucial for maintaining a stable and fast internet connection, ensuring that you don’t run into unnecessary networking hiccups while optimizing your system.

Navigate to your search bar and type “Device Manager“, and click on it.

Look for Network Adapters and once you find it, click on the bottom arrow to collapse the list. Your ethernet adapter should look like the one in the photo below.

Finding ethernet adapter and driver in Windows 11

If you can not find it, there is a good chance that there is no driver installed, so you’ll have to download it from another PC and move it to your current one via a USB stick.

Before you download anything, you need to find your network adapter model. 

To do that, navigate to the Windows search bar and type “Control Panel” Then click on -> Network and Internet, and choose -> Network and Sharing Center. You should see the option -> Change adapter settings on the left side, click on it, and now you can see all your network adapters. Under the adapter name, you can see the adapter’s model, ex—Realtek, Intel, Killer, etc.

How to find your network's adapter model

Depending on your model, there is a different process to update your drivers. I will go through the update process of the three most used ones. ( Realtek, Intel, and Killer ) 

Update Realtek Network Drivers

Realtek official website

I always make sure to download the latest Realtek network drivers from the official website. Staying updated not only fixes potential bugs but also could add new features that enhance your connection stability and speed.

Visit Realtek’s official website to download the latest drivers for your network adapter.

Scroll down below and look for the “Win10 Auto Installation Program” option and click on the blue button to download it.

A new webpage will open, asking you for an email address. You can place any email address since there is no verification process. Once you enter your email, click on the download button.

Once downloaded, right-click on the folder and extract the files. Next, search in the folder for setup.exe and right-click on it, and choose” Run as administrator“. A window should pop up. Click next and install. If an older version is installed, you may not see the option “Install“. Instead, click the repair option.  

Update Killer Network Drivers

Intel official driver download page for Killer cards.

When it comes to Killer network drivers, the update often brings improvements that optimize Windows 11 for better gaming and media consumption. Regularly check the manufacturer’s site for updates to get the most out of your system.

Visit Killer Networking’s official website to download the latest drivers.

You must be able to see the form below.

Choose your operating system and your Killer Device and click on filter.

Now, navigate to the middle of the page, look for a tab named “Driver Only Packages“, click on it, and click download.

Once downloaded, right-click on the file, choose Run as administrator, and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation.

Update Intel Network Drivers

Intel official driver download page

Intel regularly releases updates for their network drivers, and updating them is a step you shouldn’t skip. A recent update might address specific compatibility issues or unlock performance enhancements for Windows 11 users.

Visit Intel’s official website to download the latest drivers available.

On the left side of the website, you should see two options : 

PROWIN32.zip and PROWINx64.zip. If your system is 32bits, choose and download the PROWIN32.zip. If it’s 64bits, then select and download PROWINx64.zip.

Once you download the file, right-click on it, and extract it. Look for the setup file, right-click on it, choose run as administrator and follow Intel’s on-screen instructions to complete the installation.

Optimize Windows 11 Network Settings

Optimizing your network settings can prevent lag and improve your internet speed. It’s a simple yet overlooked aspect of Windows 11 optimization that can have a significant impact on performance.

Now that you’ve installed the latest network driver, go into Device Manager, look for your network adapter, right-click on it, and choose Properties.

Navigate to the Power Management tab and uncheck the option: “Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power“.

Optimizing Network drivers in Windows 11(part 1)

Navigate to the Advanced tab, and disable any power-saving feature like:

  • Energy-Efficient Ethernet
Optimizing Network drivers in Windows 11(part 2). Disabling Energy-Efficient Ethernet option.
  • Green ethernet
Optimizing Network drivers in Windows 11(part 2). Disabling Green Ethernet option.
  • Power saving mode
Optimizing Network drivers in Windows 11(part 2). Disabling Power Saving Mode option.
  • Disable any other power-saving feature.

Update Windows 11

Ensuring that your operating system is up to date is fundamental. I regularly check for updates as they often contain important performance tweaks for Windows 11, along with security patches.

Navigate to your Windows search bar and type “Check for updates“, and click on the option that will pop up.

How to update Windows 11.

Choose the optional updates as well, and click on Download & Install.

How to update Windows 11 part 2.

Once Windows 11 updates are complete, restart your computer, go back to the Windows update page, and check if there are any other updates left to be installed.

If there are, make sure to install them and restart your PC again!

Install the latest version of DirectX in Windows 11

For gamers, having the latest version of DirectX is non-negotiable. It provides a noticeable boost in graphic performance and is a key component of optimizing Windows 11 for gaming.

Navigate to Microsoft’s DirectX official download page, choose your preferred language and click the download button.

How to Install the latest version of DirectX in Windows 11.

Once the file downloads, go ahead and run it.

How to Install the latest version of DirectX in Windows 11. Part 2

Accept the agreement and click next.

How to Install the latest version of DirectX in Windows 11. Part 3

Untick the option to “Install the Bing Bar” on your PC, click next, and wait for the installation to finish.

How to Install the latest version of DirectX in Windows 11. Part 4

Once completed, move on to the next step.

Install all Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributables for Windows 11

Some programs won’t run without the proper Visual C++ Redistributables installed. I always keep them updated to prevent any compatibility issues that could affect system performance.

If you’ve ever run into errors while trying to run your favorite game, it could be because you didn’t have some of these files installed on your PC.

There are many Microsoft Redistributable packages available. You can either navigate to Microsoft’s official download page and start downloading them one by one, or you can download the package by techpowerup.

Activate Windows 11

How to check activation status in Windows 11

Activating Windows 11 unlocks full functionality and ensures that you’re receiving all the updates. It’s an essential step in the Windows 11 optimization process.

Many people will skip activating Windows, but I highly recommend and encourage you to Activate Windows, and I will explain the reason below.

You want to activate Windows because, after some time, you’ll get that little message on the bottom left that says “Activate Windows“.

The problem is neither the message on the bottom right corner nor the personalization settings limit. The fundamental problem is that Windows adds an overlay and will cause your apps and games to not run on full screen properly and probably cause frame drops since the game won’t have the highest priority.

To sum it up, get a cheap Windows key and save yourself all the trouble later on.

Go to MMOGA and type Windows key in the search bar, find the best deal, purchase, and you’ll get a Windows key delivered in your email. Once you have it, go to your Windows activation, and enter the key you just received.

Enter Product key in Windows

Pause Windows updates in Windows 11

Sometimes you may need uninterrupted performance, especially if you’re gaming or rendering. Pausing updates temporarily is wise but remember to resume them later for maximum security and performance.

How to pause Windows updates in Windows 11

So the best practice would be to pause Windows updates for as long as possible, and when big Windows updates are available, go ahead and fully update your PC, and then pause them again for as long as possible.

Turn off Store apps updating automatically in Windows 11

Disabling auto-updates for Store apps saves bandwidth and system resources, which is beneficial when I’m focusing on squeezing out the best performance from my system.

Go ahead and open the Microsoft Store and navigate to the settings.

How to Turn off Store apps updating automatically in Windows 11

Disable “Update apps automatically“, and you can disable the other two options as well, but that’s a personal preference.

The reason for disabling Microsoft store automatic updates is that you don’t want it to ping the Microsoft servers consistently and update apps and games while you are playing or working on your computer. It can cause high and unstable ping.

Turn off Store apps updating automatically

Disable Offline Maps in Windows 11

Offline Maps is a feature not everyone needs, and disabling it can free up valuable storage space. It’s these little tweaks that contribute to a more optimized Windows 11 experience.

Go to your search bar and type “Offline maps“, and click on it

Now, go ahead and disable “Metered connections” and “Map updates” and then click on “Delete all maps“.

How to disable Offline Maps in Windows 11

The automatic maps updates on Windows are disabled, and you’ve also saved some space on your disk by deleting the old maps(if there were any).

Clear Cache, Disks, and useless Files in Windows 11

I regularly clear cache and delete useless files to keep my Windows 11 lean. This action helps reduce clutter and can improve system response time.

Go to your search bar and type “%temp%“, hit enter, and click on the folder that will show up. Select all the files and folders inside the temp folder, and delete them.

How to clear %temp% files in Windows 11
Delete temp files in Windows 11.

Next, navigate to your C: drive -> Windows -> Temp, and select all files and delete them.

How to clear temp files in Windows 11

Apply the next step to every single drive connected to your PC.

Navigate to your drives, right-click on them, click on properties and choose Disk Cleanup, select all the available options and click on Clean up system files, then again tick every single box, and finally click OK.

How to clean up disks in Windows 11

How to clean up disks in Windows 11 (part 2)

Once the process is done, you can move on to the next steps.

Optimize Startup apps and processes in Windows 11

Examining and optimizing startup apps and processes is one of my go-to Windows 11 performance tweaks. It decreases boot time and ensures that only essential processes are running.

So, let’s start disabling every application we are not using from running in the background.

Go to the Windows search bar and type Background Apps, and click on it.

You should now see a list of all the apps running in the background.

Go ahead and toggle off the option “Let apps run in the background“, and that’s enough to automatically disable every single Windows app from running in the background.

Next, go to Startup Apps, and you’ll see a list of your apps that automatically start when your pc boots up. You want to eliminate most of them, if not all.

How to disable startup apps in Windows 11

Another thing I recommend doing at this point is to navigate to the “Sign in options” and disable the “Restart apps” option and the “Privacy settings“.

This will prevent Windows from automatically restarting apps when you restart your computer.

How to find sign in options in WIndows 11
How to disable sign-in settings in Windows 11.

Uninstall Bloat and Disable Apps in Windows 11

Getting rid of bloatware and disabling unwanted apps frees up system resources, making it a compulsory step in how to optimize Windows 11 effectively.

Navigate to Apps and Features and look for programs you don’t use anymore or barely use that you think are running in the background.

Once you identify those, go ahead and uninstall every single one.

Uninstalling apps and debloating Windows 11.

Eliminate Startup Processes

Finally, I take a critical look at startup processes, disabling those that are unnecessary. This simplifies the boot-up sequence and contributes to overall system efficiency.

Autoruns will allow us to see every app and process running and automatically start when our computer turns on.

Go ahead and download Autorun as shown in the image below or if you already have downloaded my files, you will find it there.

*If you downloaded my files, you don’t have to download Autoruns.*

How to download Autoruns for Windows ( Microsoft tool )

Once downloaded, extract the files to a folder, right-click on Autoruns.exe, and choose Run as Administrator.

How the Autoruns folder looks like when we extract the zip file.
Run Autoruns.exe as administrator

Now a tab should open and look like this

The main page of Autoruns tool by Microsoft.

Move to the Logon tab, and go ahead and untick every single service you don’t need to start up with your computer.

My Logon tab looks like this :

Logon tab from Autoruns software and how it looks optimized.

Once you are done with the Logon tab, let’s move on to the Scheduled Tasks tab.

On the Scheduled Tasks tab, I prefer to keep enabled only what’s related to my GPU/CPU software updates. I disable everything related to browsers, automatic updates, and other software that I barely use.

My Scheduled Tasks tab looks like this:

Scheduled Tasks tab from Autoruns software and how it looks optimized.

On the Services tab, we don’t want to disable anything that will make our game/program unstable or don’t even start. For example, if you disable EasyAntiCheat, you may get errors when playing online games that depend on it.

There is a description box in every service that will give you an idea of what this service is about and what you should expect if you disable/enable it.

Here is a screenshot of my Services tab :

Services tab from Autoruns software and how it looks optimized.

Once you are done with the Services tab, close autoruns.

If you experience errors in specific programs or games after disabling any of these services, go back and enable any process related to those programs.

Part 2: Graphics Optimizations in Windows 11

In this part of the guide, we are going to focus solely on graphics, which includes properly uninstalling and reinstalling our GPU driver, optimizing GPU settings for both AMD and NVIDIA graphics cards, checking that everything is working as intended, and making sure the graphics card is on MSI Mode.

Let’s start!

What I want you to do is go ahead and download Display Driver Uninstaller and save it.

Download DDU

The next step is to download the graphics card driver. Depending on your GPU, navigate to either AMD or NVidia website and download the latest ( recommend ) driver.

Do not download the optional driver because sometimes they may not function as expected and cause issues later.

How the official download page for NVidia drivers looks like.
How the official download page for AMD drivers looks like.

Now that you have both DDU and GPU drivers saved on your pc, I want you to go ahead and boot into safe mode.

To do that, follow the steps below:

Go to the search bar and type System Configuration, and click on it.

System configuration Windows 11

Navigate to the Boot tab, and tick the option Safe boot.

Open this guide on your phone, because you won’t have internet access in safe mode.

Click Apply, OK, and then Restart.

How to run DDU

Properly Uninstalling Graphics Card Driver in Windows 11

After the restart, you should be in a Safe Mode environment.

Go ahead and look for the Display Driver Uninstaller folder you previously downloaded, extract it, and run the file as administrator.

Run Display Driver Uninstaller as administrator.
How to run DDU, next step.
How to run DDU, 3rd step.

Once the program is up and running, go to the top left corner and click on Options, scroll down, and tick the option “Prevent downloads of drivers from “Windows Update”……..”.

You may notice that we already paused Windows updates on a previous step, but we are doing this just to ensure nothing goes wrong. So, once you tick that option, click OK and close.

How to uninstall graphic card's driver in Windows 11 using display driver uninstaller(DDU).

How to uninstall graphic card's driver in Windows 11 using display driver uninstaller(DDU).

On the right side, click on the option “Select Device Type” and choose GPU, and under that, select the manufacturer of your GPU(NVIDIA, AMD, INTEL).

Press “Clean and do not Restart“.

How to uninstall graphic card's driver in Windows 11 using display driver uninstaller(DDU). final step

This process will take a few minutes to do its thing, and it will let you know when everything is done with a pop-up message.

Your screen might flash during the process, and you may notice that if you have more than one monitor, the second and so on may not be working, but that’s fine since it will get back to working in the next step.

Once you get the message that the uninstallation has been completed, press Yes to exit the program.

Now you want to boot back to normal mode, so you will have to revert to the previously changed setting. To do that, follow the steps below:

Go to the search bar and type System Configuration, and click on it.

Navigate to the Boot tab, and untick the option Safe boot.

How to boot into normal mode if you are on Windows 11 safe mode.

Click Apply, OK, and then Restart.

Install Graphics Drivers for Windows 11

Your PC doesn’t have a driver installed right now, so let’s install the one you previously downloaded.

Go ahead, run the driver file you downloaded(Run as administrator), and follow the on-screen instructions. Make sure to tick the option “Perform a clean install“.

Installing NVidia Drivers

The installation process of Nvidia drivers

Unmark any feature you don’t need, and make sure to tick the option “Perform a clean installation” and click on Next.

The installation process of Nvidia drivers, choosing the best options.

Now your screen may start flickering and going black for a few seconds. That’s normal, no worries. Once the installation is completed, restart your PC and come back to this post, so you start optimizing the Nvidia settings.

Installing AMD Drivers

Installing AMD GPU Driver
Installing AMD GPU Driver and configuring installation settings.

MSI mode for GPU

The next step is to go ahead and run the MSI mode for the GPU tool as administrator. It’s a simple tool to put your graphics card driver into MSI mode.

This is done by default on the newest graphics cards, and it can give you a little bit of extra performance, so it’s worth checking it.

Look for your graphics card, and once you find it ticks the MSI box, click Apply and Exit. That’s all you have to do, don’t edit any of the priorities if you don’t know what you are doing.

How to add your GPU in MSI Mode.

Best AMD driver settings for Windows 11

Go ahead and optimize your AMD driver settings. You can either copy the settings from the photo below, or if you want a more in-depth guide, you can go ahead and read my guide on how to optimize AMD driver settings.

Here is a quick sum-up of what matters:

  • Turn animations and effects off.
  • Turn overlays off.
  • Freesync is mostly a personal preference but if you are aiming for the lowest input lag and latency, then just turn it off. Freesync adds a tiny bit of input lag, and it’s useless if you are playing over your refresh rate. For example, if you got a 144hz monitor and you are playing on 200+ fps constantly, then freesync is useless for you, but on the other hand, if you got a 240hz monitor and you are playing on 140-200fps then it can make your whole experience smoother with the only disadvantage of adding a little bit(some times not even noticeable) input lag.
  • Almost all of the settings are turned off and set to performance where applicable.
  • Do some tests with the Anti-Lag option. I’ve found out that on high-end GPU’s you shouldn’t be using it, but on older ones, it really helps. So take like few minutes and do some tests with it.
  • Set your resolution to your monitor’s native resolution.
  • Set the refresh rate to the highest possible.
Best AMD Radeon Settings for Windows 11.(1)
Best AMD Radeon Settings for Windows 11.(2)
Best AMD Radeon Settings for Windows 11.(3)

Best NVidia drivers settings for Windows 11

Go ahead and optimize your Nvidia driver settings. You can either copy the settings from the photo below or if you want a more in-depth guide, you can go ahead and read my guide on how to optimize NVidia driver settings.

Here is a quick sum-up of what matters:

  • Almost all of the settings are turned off and set to performance where applicable.
  • Set the refresh rate to the highest possible.
  • Set your resolution to your monitor’s native resolution.
  • Choose No Scaling, unless you play on stretched resolutions.
  • G-Sync is mostly a personal preference but if you are aiming for the lowest input lag and latency, then just turn it off. G-Sync adds a tiny bit of input lag, and it’s useless if you are playing over your refresh rate. For example, if you got a 144hz monitor and you are playing on 200+ fps constantly, then G-Sync is useless for you, but on the other hand, if you got a 240hz monitor and you are playing on 140-200fps, then it can make your whole experience smoother with the only disadvantage of adding a little bit(some times not even noticeable) input lag.
Best NVidia control panel settings for Windows 11.(1)
Best NVidia control panel settings for Windows 11.(2)
Best NVidia control panel settings for Windows 11.(3)
Best NVidia control panel settings for Windows 11.(4)
Best NVidia control panel settings for Windows 11.(5)

Enable Hardware-Accelerated GPU scheduling in Windows 11

If you are streaming on OBS or Streamlabs, then don’t enable this setting because it can cause lags and micro stutters in your stream and recording enable it and if there are no issues with your stream, keep it enabled; if you notice anything weird, just turn it off and restart your PC.

On the other hand, if you are not streaming, turn it on because it will give you extra performance and frames per second.

We are pretty much done with the graphics part of this guide. We are almost halfway done, so keep up!

How to enable Hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling in Windows 11.

Part 3: Windows 11 Settings & Optimizations

Let’s continue with the Windows optimizations part, where we will configure properly the Windows settings that matter and make a difference.

Best Windows 11 settings

Xbox Game Bar

Go to your search bar and type Xbox game bar, click on it, and turn both options OFF.

How to disable XBOX Game Bar in Windows 11.

Game Mode

While you are on the Xbox game bar tab, on your left side, you should see Game Mode, click on it, and make sure to enable it. The game mode was not working as intended on previous Windows builds and versions, but that seems to be fixed on the latest versions, and it’s running smoothly.

How to enable GAME MODE in Windows 11.

Scaling

Navigate to Display settings, and make sure scaling is set to 100%. Even if you are on a 2k or 4k monitor and might want to downscale, I highly recommend you keep the scaling to 100% because there may be issues later.

How to set scaling settings and display resolution settings in Windows 11.

Advanced Scaling Options

Go to Advanced Scaling Options, look for Fix scaling for apps, and toggle it to Disabled. This option just doesn’t work, so keep it off.

Mouse Settings

Disable “Enhance pointer precision” and set the pointer speed on a value to 6(default). If you need to change your mouse speed, I highly recommend changing your mouse DPI settings instead of the Windows setting.

How to optimize mouse settings in Windows 11.

Performance Options

Navigate to Performance Options, and on the Visual Effects tab, you can either turn everything off or just leave it as default to make Windows look a little more beautiful. It won’t affect your performance and FPS, so decide on your own.

How to configure performance settings in Windows 11.

Once you are done with the Visual Effects tab, move to the Advanced tab, and make sure the Adjust for the best performance of option is set to Programs, click Apply, and OK.

Best performance for programs.

Best Power Plan for Gaming in Windows 11

For gaming enthusiasts looking to optimize Windows 11 for gaming, tweaking your power plan is crucial.

Switch to the High Performance plan to ensure your PC runs at full throttle.

If it’s not visible by default, you can enable it through command prompt with the ‘powercfg -duplicatescheme e9a42b02-d5df-448d-aa00-03f14749eb61‘ command.

This small adjustment can lead to significant performance boosts when it matters most.

ISLC(Intelligent Standby List Cleaner)

When it comes to Windows 11 optimization, ISLC is my go-to. ISLC clears the memory standby list when it reaches a predefined size, crucial for maintaining system responsiveness, especially in memory-intensive tasks. Configuring it might seem technical, but it’s well worth the effort to keep your system running smoothly.

Go ahead and download ISLC,then open the folder, run ISLC as administrator, and do the following:

  • Set Wanted Timer Resolution to 0.5
  • Tick Enable Custom Resolution
  • Tick Start ISLC minimized and auto-Start monitoring
  • Tick Launch ISLC on user logon
  • Change the “Free memory is lower than” option from 1024 to any of the values below(depending on your RAM)
    • Take half of your RAM and multiply by 1024. Put the number you got on the “Free memory is lower than” option.
    • For example, if you have 16 GB of RAM installed on your computer, the number should be 8192. ( 16/2*1024). You can check the table below with all the values.
  • Once you’ve done that, click on Start and that’s it.
  • ISLC will start running automatically every time your PC boots up, so you don’t have to worry again about it.
YOUR RAMVALUE TO ADD
2GB1024
4 GB.2048
8GB4096
16GB8192
32GB16384
64GB32768
ISLC: Free memory is lower than values
How to configure intelligent standby list cleaner for Windows 11 depending on your RAM size.

If, after restarting your PC, you notice that “Current timer resolution” is not 0.5ms exactly, and it’s a number like 0.4988, do the following:

Run CMD as Administrator and type the following commands one by one:

run cmd as administrator
  • bcdedit /set useplatformtick yes
  • bcdedit /set disabledynamictick yes
  • bcdedit /deletevalue useplatformclock

If the last one gives back an error that the value doesn’t exist, that’s fine. If the value doesn’t exist, it’s already off.

Rebuild Performance Counters

Corrupted or broken performance counters can skew system monitoring tools’ readings, leading to misinformed tweaks. To rebuild performance counters, launch Command Prompt as an admin, and enter ‘lodctr /r’. It’s a simple yet effective step toward ensuring you’re making informed optimization decisions.

@echo off
@echo Rebuild Performance Counters 1
lodctr /r
@echo
@echo Rebuild Performance Counters 2
lodctr /r
@echo
pause

Best Registry tweaks for Windows 11

For power users eager to dig deeper into how to optimize Windows 11, the Windows Registry holds many gems. Here are a few basic tweaks that can yield improvements:

Go ahead and create a new txt file, copy the text below and paste it into the text file.

Go ahead and save the txt file with .reg extension.

These are the most basic stuff you may have seen before but believe me, and it’s like the 95% that matters from the registry tweaks you can do.

The following registry tweaks are included in the file:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Power\PowerThrottling]
"PowerThrottlingOff"=dword:00000001

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Multimedia\SystemProfile]
"NetworkThrottlingIndex"=dword:ffffffff
"SystemResponsiveness"=dword:00000000

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Multimedia\SystemProfile\Tasks\Games]
"Affinity"=dword:00000000
"Background Only"="False"
"Clock Rate"=dword:00002710
"GPU Priority"=dword:00000008
"Priority"=dword:00000006
"Scheduling Category"="High"
"SFIO Priority"="High"

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\System\GameConfigStore]
"GameDVR_Enabled"=dword:00000000

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Schedule\Maintenance]
"MaintenanceDisabled"=dword:00000001

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\BackgroundAccessApplications] 
"GlobalUserDisabled"=dword:00000001

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop]
"MenuShowDelay"="0"

Best Sound settings for Windows 11

Optimizing sound settings can sometimes be overlooked in a Windows 11 optimization pack, but it’s important for a complete experience. Ensure you’re using the latest sound drivers, and adjust your speaker properties to match your actual setup. Disable sound enhancements to potentially reduce CPU load and ensure audio quality isn’t unnecessarily altered.

Find the little sound icon on your toolbar, right-click on it, and click Sounds.

Best Sound settings for Windows 11.(1)

Navigate to the PlayBack tab, and disable any sound device you are not using. Do the same for the Recording tab.

Go to your active sound devices, right-click, Properties, Enhancements, and tick the option Disable all enhancements.

Best Sound settings for Windows 11.(2)

Change Quality to 24 bit 48000hz.

Best Sound settings for Windows 11.(3)

Click Apply and OK, and that’s pretty much it about the sound settings.

Create a restore point in Windows 11

Before you dive deep into tweaking and tuning, it’s wise to create a restore point in Windows 11. This way, if anything goes awry, you can easily roll back to a stable state.

To create a restore point, follow the steps below :

  1. In the search box, type Create a restore point and select the option from the results list.
Create a restore point in Windows 11(1)

2. On the System Protection tab, click on your system drive and press on configure. Enable the option Turn on system protection, and on Max usage, choose a value between 5% and 10%. It should be enough to save your new restore point.

Create a restore point in Windows 11(2)

3. Click on Create, type a description, for example, “After Optimizations,” and again click on Create.

Create a restore point in Windows 11(3)

Part 4: How To Optimize BIOS

One of the most critical parts of this guide is the BIOS part. We will make sure we are running on the latest bios version, configure fans and hardware correctly, apply basic overclocks, and ensure everything is running perfectly and stable.

Check RAM Channels and Position

When I’m looking to optimize Windows 11, I start by ensuring my RAM is properly positioned. RAM channel configuration can impact system performance significantly. Most modern motherboards support dual or quad-channel memory configurations, and it’s crucial to insert RAM sticks in the correct slots to capitalize on this.

For dual-channel motherboards, the RAM should be in either slots 1 and 3 or 2 and 4.

Quad-channel setups are less common but require attention to the motherboard’s manual.

Incorrect placement leads to the motherboard defaulting to single-channel mode, which can reduce the efficiency of Windows 11 optimization.

You can always find the motherboard manual online.

You don’t want to have your RAM sticks misplaced because they can cause XMP issues and dramatically decrease your PC’s performance.

You can also check by yourself physically, look at your motherboard and make sure they are in the same position as memtest64 says.

How to check your ram position

Updating BIOS to the latest version

It’s not just software where updates matter. Updating the BIOS can also provide performance enhancements and stability improvements. I always recommend checking the motherboard manufacturer’s website for the latest BIOS versions.

An updated BIOS can resolve bugs, improve system stability, and sometimes even unlock new features. These benefits are especially important when looking to optimize Windows 11 for gaming. However, it’s important to follow the update instructions carefully, as an incorrect BIOS update can cause system instability.

You’ll need a USB stick; the size doesn’t matter since the BIOS update files are small.

Once you get a USB stick, you’ll need to know the exact model of your BIOS. If you don’t know it, no worries; you can find it by typing System Information in your search bar, hitting enter, and looking for BaseBoard Product; once you locate it, click on it, and press CTRL + C to copy it.

How to find out your motherboard model.

Open up your browser, and press CTRL + V to paste the motherboard model.

Navigate to the official page of your motherboard manufacturer and look for Support or Updates (the names may be a little different on different manufacturers’ websites).

Look for BIOS updates, find the latest available BIOS Update file and click on download.

Extract the folder you just downloaded, and read the manufacturer’s instructions (sometimes you might have to run a renamer.exe file before moving the bios file into your USB). Instructions can be found either on their website or in a text file in your downloaded folder.

Once you do that, move the BIOS update file into your USB, and you are good to go. Make sure the USB is in FAT32 format and not NTFS.

Now go ahead and restart your computer, and once the screen goes black, start spamming the DEL button. If it doesn’t work, it could be the F2, F5, or F8.

It depends on the motherboard, but if you can’t find it, you can search for the specific motherboard bios button on the internet.

Assuming that you are into BIOS, the updating process is the same, but the names of the options may differ.

On some boards, you’ll see a TOOL tab and then the update option, while on others, you may see an option M-Flash. If you are unsure or can’t find the option on your board, you can search it up on google to find the exact steps for finding it.

Enter Flash mode in BIOS.

Once you are on the BIOS update tab, choose your USB and select the file you previously moved into the USB. Proceed with the on-screen instructions and let BIOS update.

PLEASE DO NOT TURN OFF YOUR PC OR TAKE OUT THE POWER CABLE WHILE UPDATING YOUR BIOS.

Once the process is done, it will most likely take you back to BIOS. Now it’s time to optimize your BIOS settings.

Best BIOS Settings

Since this guide is primarily for people who are not PC experts, I will keep everything straight. We will only change basic settings that make the most significant difference. If you want more advanced BIOS / RAM tweaking, you can join my Discord or follow me on Twitter to get complete guides for more advanced users.

Optimize AMD system BIOS Settings

  • Make sure XMP or D.O.C.P is set to Profile 1 / Enabled.
  • Precision Boost Overdrive: Enabled
  • Re-size BAR support: Enabled
  • Find the options for FAN controls, and if you have a water cooler make sure to set it to 100% at all times, as well as optimize the rest of the coolers to work on higher speeds to keep temperatures as low as possible.
How to enable XMP / D.O.C.P in BIOS
BIOS front page.
How to enable XMP in BIOS
MSI SnapShot 04
How to enable Resize bar support in Bios

Optimize Intel system BIOS settings

The Intel settings below can be found under your BIOS’s CPU features/CPU configuration/Overclocking/Ai Tweaker tabs. If it’s your first time entering BIOS, it may take some time, but I am sure you will find them easily.

  • Make sure XMP or D.O.C.P is set to Profile 1 / Enabled.
  • Intel SpeedStep: Disabled
  • Intel speed shift technology: Disabled
  • Intel C-state: disabled
  • Turbo Mode: Enabled
  • CPU Ratio Offset when running AVX: 0
  • Re-Size BAR support: Enabled
  • Find the options for FAN controls, and if you have a water cooler make sure to set it to 100% at all times, as well as optimize the rest of the coolers to work on higher speeds to keep temperatures as low as possible.
Best BIOS settings for Intel systems.

Once you are done with all the settings, you can go ahead and save these settings as a profile and then find the option to Save & Exit BIOS.

Check Temperatures in Windows 11

Monitoring temperatures is a critical part of system performance, impacting how to optimize Windows 11. High temperatures can throttle your CPU and GPU, leading to reduced performance.

I use reliable temperature monitoring tools, such as HWMonitor or Core Temp, to keep an eye on my system’s thermal performance.

By ensuring the temperatures are within a safe range, I can maintain optimal performance without risking hardware damage.

If you are experiencing high temperatures and you didn’t put your fans previously to full speed, maybe it’s time to go back to BIOS and do it right now.

How to check CPU temperatures in Windows 11.
How to check GPU temperatures in Windows 11.

Stress Test in Windows 11

To truly gauge the effectiveness of my Windows 11 performance tweaks, I run stress tests using software like Prime95 or OCCT.

Stress testing pushes hardware to its limits, helping to identify any stability issues post-optimization. If my system remains stable under these extreme conditions, I know I’ve optimized Windows 11 well.

Download OCCT, install it, and open it. Navigate to the home screen and choose CPU, choose 30 minutes, and click on TEST.

If you can get 30 minutes to an hour of this without any errors, you should be good to go. If you get errors there, you will have to troubleshoot further since it could be a hardware error, and I can’t point you in a good direction without looking at your PC.

How to stress-test your pc parts in WIndows 11.

Part 5: Cleanup and Protect your System

Once I’ve dialed in the best BIOS settings for Windows 11, the next step I take is to clean up and protect my system. I’ve learned that a clutter-free system runs more efficiently, so I make it a point to perform regular maintenance tasks.

Disk Cleanup is one of the tools I turn to first. It helps me remove temporary files, system files, and various leftovers that don’t serve a purpose anymore. By keeping my storage lean, I boost system responsiveness, making Windows 11 optimization a reality.

On the protection front, it’s crucial to keep my data safe from threats. Windows Security is the built-in suite I use to shield my system from malware and viruses. It’s always a good practice to ensure it’s updated with the latest definitions.

  • Run regular scans
  • Update security definitions
  • Review security settings

Additional Windows 11 performance tweaks include perusing through the list of apps that start automatically when I log in. I head to the Task Manager and disable any application that I don’t need right away. A simpler startup means faster boot times and more resources available for tasks that matter.

Periodically, it’s also wise to check for and uninstall programs that I no longer use. Not only does this free up space, but it also reduces the burden on the system registry, leading to optimized Windows 11 operation.

By following these steps, I’m able to maintain a system that’s as lean and secure as possible, ensuring the foundation for a buttery smooth Windows 11 experience.

Part 6: Suggested Software to Install in Windows 11

Here is a list of software I recommend using on your PC for different usages.

Compress & Extract Files

For optimal Windows 11 performance, effective file management is key. One type of software I always install is a reliable file compression and extraction tool. Not only does it save space by compressing large files, but it also makes transporting and sharing files more convenient. Look for a program that supports a wide range of formats, like ZIP, RAR, and 7z. I find that these tools are indispensable when managing my files, and they truly contribute to my overall Windows 11 optimization strategy.

Nothing more to say here; just download 7ZIP at some point; you’ll need it.

WINZIP

Text Editor

While Windows 11 comes with Notepad, I often need a more robust text editor. A feature-rich text editor supports various coding languages and is essential for anyone dabbling in web development or programming. Features like syntax highlighting and advanced search capabilities can significantly optimize Windows 11 for productivity. Text editors can be lightweight yet powerful, ensuring they don’t bog down your system.

Notepad ++ is one of the best and most well-organized text editors out there, and it’s completely free.

NOTEPAD ++

Music / Videos

If you’re like me, enjoying media on your PC is a must. Hence, installing a solid music and video player that supports a multitude of formats is crucial. Some of these players come with built-in codecs eliminating the need for external downloads. They can also include features like media library organization and audio enhancement tools which enable an optimized entertainment experience on Windows 11. My tip: find a player that balances functionality with minimal resource usage.

VLC can run any video/music format you throw at it, and it’s completely free!

VLC

Organize Emails

Handling my email efficiently is part and parcel of a streamlined workflow. Modern email clients offer more than just sending and receiving messages; they include calendar integration, task management, and even social media updates.

If you want to have all your emails in one place, then ThunderBird is the app for you.

THUNDERBIRD

VPN

A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, is paramount for securing my connection and maintaining privacy online. When choosing a VPN, I look for one with a no-logs policy and robust encryption. The benefits go beyond security—VPNs can also potentially improve network speeds by routing traffic away from congested servers.

I recommend getting NordVPN since it’s the best all-around VPN in the market and it’s also well-priced.

NORDVPN

Part 7: Optimize your Games in Windows 11

When it comes to enhancing your gaming experience in Windows 11, optimizing your games is as crucial as upgrading your hardware. I’ll walk you through some essential tweaks that can significantly boost your game performance, ensuring that you’re getting the most out of your system.

Below, you can find guides on how to optimize every single game that you might be playing. The list will update every time I upload a new game optimization guide.

Still here?

Optimizing Windows 11 isn’t just about a one-time setup; it’s an ongoing process to ensure peak performance. I’ve walked you through the crucial steps to enhance your gaming experience, from tweaking BIOS settings to streamlining system features. Remember, regular maintenance like updating drivers and cleaning your disk can make a significant difference. Stick with these strategies, and you’ll enjoy a seamless and responsive gaming environment on your Windows 11 machine. Keep gaming without the drag!

Optimize Windows 11: Frequently Asked Questions

What BIOS settings should I adjust to optimize gaming performance in Windows 11?

To enhance gaming performance in Windows 11, consider fine-tuning BIOS settings such as enabling XMP for memory, updating to the latest BIOS version, and disabling any power-saving features that could impede performance.

How can I use Game Mode and Graphics Settings to improve gaming on Windows 11?

In Windows 11, Game Mode can be turned on to prioritize gaming resources. Additionally, adjusting Graphics Settings to specify which GPU is used for games can help improve performance, especially on systems with multiple GPUs.

Should I disable Xbox Game Bar and Background Apps for better gaming performance?

Yes, disabling Xbox Game Bar and Background Apps can free up system resources and minimize distractions, leading to a smoother gaming experience on Windows 11.

How does upgrading to an SSD improve gaming performance?

An SSD can dramatically improve game load times and overall system responsiveness compared to a traditional HDD, resulting in a more seamless gaming experience on Windows 11.

Why is it important to update GPU drivers for gaming?

Updating GPU drivers ensures that your graphics card operates at peak efficiency and compatibility with the latest games, which can significantly enhance gaming performance on Windows 11.

Does cleaning up the disk affect gaming performance?

Yes, cleaning up the disk can help by removing unnecessary files and freeing up space, which can prevent potential slowdowns and maintain optimal system performance for gaming on Windows 11.

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2 Comments

  1. I am really grateful to you for creating such a wonderful and easy to follow guide, it helped me a lot in optimizing my recently updated windows 11 by increasing frames in Valorant and Fortnite not only do I get more frames now but I feel like the latency has gone down noticeably as well. Though I want to ask you if I want to play story games like Red Dead Redemption 2 or GTA V will these settings be an obstacle for my graphics card to render stuff in higher quality?, because in fps games I don’t really care about graphics but in story games, I would prefer if I could get better visuals than frames.

  2. the best feed ive ever come across , no stone unturned, do you have any thoughts on OC settings for z170a gaming m7, 6700k , 32gb lpx 3200, 980ti evga superclocked thank you mate!