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Windows 11 is a great operating system for productivity, thanks to features like Snap Layouts, Android apps, and WSL. The best laptops and desktop computers out there let you do all kinds of work with Windows 11. But if it's gaming that you're planning on doing, then we have some suggestions for how you can make your PC even better. You can turn on Windows 11's dedicated Game Mode to optimize performance for digital gaming, tweak Windows 11's security measures to free up your CPU and RAM for gaming, and so much more.

Turn on Game Mode

The best way to optimize Windows 11 for gaming is to turn on the dedicated Game Mode. This mode is designed for digital gaming and can turn off background processes that might otherwise occupy your PC's resources. It'll prevent Windows Update from going through driver installations or sending restart notifications. It also can help achieve stable framerates in games. The Game Mode is usually on by default, but just in case, here's how to enable it.

  1. Open the Windows 11 Settings app with Windows Key and I.
  2. Choose Gaming.
  3. Choose Game Mode.
    Windows 11 Game Mode
  4. Flip the switch for Game Mode to on.

Change Windows 11 security settings

Windows 11 has some security measures that help protect your system against things like malware. When these are turned on and run in the background, they can end up taking CPU power, and resources that your games would otherwise need. When you head into a game, and you know that you need the most resources, you can adjust Windows 11's Memory Integrity and Virtual Machine Platform settings to free up resources. You should only do this temporarily, though.

  1. Open the Windows 11 Start Menu and search for Core Isolation.
  2. Turn the toggle switch to Off and restart your PC.
    Windows 11 Core isolation
  3. Open the Windows 11 Start Menu and search for Windows features.
  4. Select the option for Turn Windows features on or off.
  5. Uncheck the option for Virtual Machine Platform.
    Windows 11 virtual machine platform settings
  6. Restart your PC.

Adjust display and graphical settings

Another way to tweak Windows for gaming is to adjust the graphical settings. This includes tweaking your display settings, so you can get the most resolution and refresh rate. Then, tweak your GPU settings to make sure your games are using the GPU, and that games are optimized for your GPU.

Tweak display settings

  1. Open the Windows 11 Settings app and choose System then Display.
  2. Make sure you adjust the scaling to the recommended levels and set the maximum display resolution.
    Windows 11 Display Settings
  3. If your monitor supports it, make sure HDR is turned on, too.
  4. Additionally, click the arrow next to HDR, and make sure Auto HDR is enabled.
  5. Go back to the main Display settings page
  6. Choose Advanced Display.
    Windows 11 Advanced Display Settings
  7. Choose the highest refresh rate.

Tweak graphics settings

  1. Open the Windows 11 Settings app and choose System then Display.
  2. Choose Graphics.
  3. Choose an app on the list, or search for the name of your game.
  4. Choose Options.
  5. Select High Performance then click Save.
    High performance graphics settings Windows 11
  6. Go back to the main Graphics settings page, and choose Change default graphics settings.
    Default Graphics Srttings in Windows 11
  7. Make sure the switch for Hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling is on.

Turn Off Enhanced Pointer Precision

The last tip we want to cover is one that can improve the accuracy of your mouse. We suggest turning off Enhanced Pointer Precision. When you turn off this feature, you'll get more out of games that typically have settings that already improve your mouse movement. Here's what you'll have to do.

  1. Open the Windows 11 Search Box and search for Mouse settings.
  2. Choose the top result.
  3. Scroll down in the settings app to Related settings.
    Mouse options Windows 11
  4. Pick Additional mouse settings.
  5. In the Mouse Properties menu choose Pointer Options and then uncheck Enhanced pointer precision.
    Enhance pointer Windows 11
  6. Click Apply and then OK.

Those are the four core ways that you can optimize Windows 11 for gaming. We do have some extra tips, though. You might want to turn off your system's notifications. Just click on the date and time, then click on the notification bell at the top to temporarily snooze notifications. You also might want to head to Windows Update and check for updates to ensure your PC has the latest drivers for your CPU and your GPU. Our other guides also cover how you can get higher FPS in games, how you can customize notification settings, and turn off startup tasks, too, all for better gaming experiences on Windows 11.