Download: Windows 10 May 2020 ISO Update With Built-In Linux Kernel And Cortana Improvements Released

You can now download Windows 10 May 2020 ISO update with built-in Linux kernel and Cortana improvements. Here are the details.

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Windows 10 Search Cheat Sheet: Shortcuts and Tips to Know

When you’ve amassed hundreds of files on your PC, finding one specific file can quickly turn into a nightmare. Fortunately, Windows 10 has a few methods that you can use to navigate through your files and find the exact document or tool you’re looking for.

Using Windows Search is the easiest way to get started. You can simply press the Windows key to start searching, or you can click the built-in search bar on your taskbar.

Alternatively, you can use Cortana to find files or search for information on the web. Cortana gives you the convenience of asking questions via voice commands, and also lets you type in specific searches. Just hit Windows + Q to open Cortana, or click the Cortana icon on your taskbar.

The final way to search through your documents is with File Explorer. With this feature, you can browse your entire collection of files to find specific data. What’s more, you can narrow down your search using Advanced Query Syntax and Boolean operators.

This cheat sheet will go over the shortcuts you can use to search in Windows 10 using each of these methods.

FREE DOWNLOAD: This cheat sheet is available as a downloadable PDF from our distribution partner, TradePub. You will have to complete a short form to access it for the first time only. Download The Windows 10 Search Cheat Sheet.

Windows 10 Search Shortcuts and Tips

Basic Windows 10 and Cortana Search
WindowsOpen Start menu search bar
Windows + S OR

Windows + Q
Open Cortana search bar in text mode
Down ArrowSelect result below
Up ArrowSelect result above
Right ArrowSelect option to the right
Left ArrowSelect option to the left
EnterOpen selected item
EscClose search menu
Narrow Down Local Cortana Search
Apps:Search within Apps
Documents:Search within Documents
Videos:Search within Videos
Folders:Search within Folders
Music:Search within Music
Settings:Search within Settings
Photos:Search within Photos
Mail:Search within your Outlook email inbox
People:Search within People
Cortana Web Search Tools
Web:Search the internet
Paris weatherGet weather information
Sydney timeGet time zone information
Define: "technology"Find word definitions
Facebook stockGet stock market information
Donald Trump ageFind facts about public figures
50usd to eurConvert currencies
5in to mmConvert measuring units
74f to cConvert temperatures
86/2*10Perform math calculations
DAL1439Track flight status
red sox scoreFind current sports scores
food near meFind local restaurants
Cortana Voice Command Search
Windows + COpen Cortana in voice command mode
Say "Hey Cortana"Open Cortana in voice command mode
Find document (file name)Find a specific file
Find photos from January 2018Find photos from a specific time
Open (app name)Open a specific app
Search the web for Lenovo laptopsSearch the internet for a specific term
What's the tallest mountain in the world?Find facts on the internet
Find restaurants near meSearch the internet for local restaurants
What's the time in Paris?Find time zone information
Show me the latest newsDisplay the latest news headlines
What's the weather?Find local weather information
Find showtimes near meFind local movie showtimes
What's 2+2?Perform math calculations
What's 13 pounds in ounces?Perform measurement conversions
Basic File Explorer Search
Windows + EOpen File Explorer
Ctrl + F OR

Ctrl+E OR

Place cursor in the search bar
Ctrl + L OR
Alt + D
Place cursor in the address bar
Up ArrowSelect result above
Down ArrowSelect result below
Right ArrowSelect result to the right
Left ArrowSelect result to the left
EnterOpen selected file
Backspace OR

Alt+ Left Arrow
Return to previous page
Alt + Right ArrowGo to next page
Alt + Up ArrowReturn to the folder that the current file or folder is in
EscClear search or address bar
File Explorer Advanced Query Syntax Search
store:desktopLimit your search to the desktop
store:filesLimit your search to Files
store:outlookLimit your search to Outlook
store:oeLimit your search to Outlook Express
*.file_extensionSearch for a files with a specific extension
kind:everythingSearch all file types
kind:communicationsSearch communication files
kind:contactsSearch contacts
kind:emailSearch emails
kind:imSearch instant messaging conversations
kind:meetingsSearch meetings
kind:tasksSearch tasks
kind:notesSearch notes
kind:documentsSearch documents
kind:textSearch text documents
kind:spreadsheetsSearch spreadsheet files
kind:presentationsSearch presentation files
kind:musicSearch music files
kind:picsSearch picture files
kind:videosSearch video files
kind:foldersSearch folders
kind:favoritesSearch favorites
kind:programsSearch program files
date:today, date:tomorrow, date:yesterdaySearch for items with a specific date
modified:last weekSearch for items by modification date
size:>40, size:<40Search for items by size
File Explorer Search Using Boolean Operators
Keyword 1 NOT keyword 2Results with keyword 1 but not keyword 2
Keyword 1 OR keyword 2Results with keyword 1 or keyword 2
Keyword 1Results with the exact phrase "keyword 1"
(Keyword 1 keyword 2)Results with keyword 1 and keyword 2 in any order

Search Smarter in Windows 10

With these Windows 10 search shortcuts, you can access various Windows features, find lost files, and also uncover answers to your questions on the internet. If you’re still having trouble locating files, check out these free search tools for Windows 10.

Image Credit: Bruce Mars on Unsplash

Read the full article: Windows 10 Search Cheat Sheet: Shortcuts and Tips to Know


Kodi 18.7 Leia Is Now Available For Download

You can now download Kodi 18.7 IPA / APK for iOS 13, iPadOS 13, Android running on iPhone, iPad or Android device. Here are the details.

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8 Most Common Internet Explorer Issues (And Easy Ways to Fix Them)

After being the subject of jokes and hated for years, Internet Explorer has largely moved into obscurity now. Microsoft still includes Internet Explorer 11 (the final version) with Windows 10, but it’s more for compatibility reasons than anything else.

However, you might sometimes find yourself in situations where you have to use Internet Explorer. Let’s look at quick fixes for common Internet Explorer issues so your time with the aging browser isn’t a hassle.

1. Internet Explorer Is Not in Active Development

Before we address specific Internet Explorer problems and fixes, we have to cover the obvious. While Microsoft maintains it on supported versions of Windows, Internet Explorer is an old browser that the company no longer actively develops. Due to a lack of modern features and an aging configuration, Internet Explorer 11 is increasingly insufficient for today’s web.

Because of this, we don’t recommend that you use Internet Explorer unless you absolutely have to. It’s mainly included with Windows 10 as a backward compatibility tool, as many internal business websites require Internet Explorer to work properly. Unless you come across such a site, you’ll be much better off using Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Microsoft’s revamped Edge, or even an open source browser.

Below, we’ll cover a few common problems with Internet Explorer. If you can’t solve any of them easily, don’t waste your time—just use something else.

2. Basic Internet Explorer Troubleshooting: Updates Not Installed

IE 11 About Page

As mentioned, Internet Explorer doesn’t receive updates often. However, on the off chance that Microsoft fixed a known problem with Internet Explorer recently, you should check for updates before you start more focused troubleshooting.

On Windows 10, the browser receives updates through Windows Update, since it’s a component of the OS. Head to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update to check for the latest updates, and apply any that appear here.

3. Can’t Find Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer comes with Windows 10 by default. To open it, just search for Internet Explorer on the Start menu. If it doesn’t appear there, press Win + R to open the Run box and type iexplore.exe.

Should you see an error message or have Internet Explorer fail to load, it’s likely that you (or another administrator on your computer) disabled it. Perhaps they didn’t want anyone using the old browser unnecessarily.

To activate Internet Explorer again, type Windows features into the Start menu and select Turn Windows features on or off. In the list that appears, scroll down and check Internet Explorer 11 if it’s not already. Click OK, wait for the process to complete, then restart your PC. It should then be available.

Enable IE 11

4. Error 404 in Internet Explorer

Error 404 means that the page you’re trying to visit doesn’t exist. Usually, this happens because you mistyped a URL or clicked on a link that leads to a dead page; it’s rarely a problem with IE.

When this happens, press F5 to refresh the page and make sure it’s not a temporary issue. If you manually typed the URL, double-check to confirm you didn’t make any mistakes. After checking those, try searching for the page using Google.

If it doesn’t appear from searching, chances are that the page no longer exists. Try accessing it from another browser, or a different device like your phone. If that works, try clearing your browser cache in IE.

5. Internet Explorer Crashes, Freezes, or Hangs

A lot of Internet Explorer troubleshooting revolves around poor performance. To address these problems, you should first run the Internet Explorer Performance troubleshooter.

To access this, search for control panel in the Start menu to open it. If you see Category in the top-right, click this to change it to Small icons. Next, select Troubleshooting, followed by View all at the top-left.

In the resulting menu, double-click on Internet Explorer Performance. Before you start, click the Advanced link and choose Run as administrator for best results.

Internet Explorer Performance Troubleshooter

Once the troubleshooter completes, it shows you any completed actions that it took. Hopefully, these will resolve your Internet Explorer problem.

Toggling hardware acceleration can also help with these issues. This option uses your PC’s graphics card (instead of the CPU) to handle graphics-extensive tasks, such as streaming video. Most of the time it’s better to keep it enabled, but you can try toggling it to see if it makes a difference.

To change this, click the gear icon at the top-right of Internet Explorer (which represents the Tools menu), followed by Internet options. Select the Advanced tab at the top, then check the box for Use software rendering instead of GPU rendering. Click OK, then you’ll need to restart your PC for the change to take effect.

Internet Explorer Use Software Rendering

Further Performance Troubleshooting

Browser add-ons can often interfere with performance. Click the gear icon and choose Manage add-ons to review the ones you have enabled and try turning off any that you don’t need. As another troubleshooting step, you can also run Internet Explorer without any add-ons and see if that improves anything.

To do this, close all Internet Explorer windows first. Then press Win + R to open the Run dialog, enter iexplore.exe -extoff, and hit Enter. See if IE performs better with no extensions running.

Internet Explorer No Add Ons

If all else fails, you should try a complete reset of Internet Explorer. This sets everything back to its default state so you can start from a clean slate. Before proceeding, we recommend saving anything you want to keep from Internet Explorer, such as backing up your bookmarks.

To reset IE, go to Tools > Internet options > Advanced and click the Reset button at the bottom. You’ll see a warning letting you know what this process will do. It resets all your settings, but won’t remove personal content like your homepage, history, and saved form data.

Check the Delete personal settings box if you want to erase this content as well.

After you click Reset, you’ll need to restart your computer for the changes to take effect.

6. Internet Explorer Display Issues

If a website doesn’t look like you expect, such as appearing blank, images not displaying, broken or jumbled text, or misplaced menus, there could be some compatibility issues between IE and the website.

This can often occur due to Compatibility View, a feature designed to help display websites built for ancient versions of IE. To check, click Compatibility View settings from the Tools menu. The current website will show in the Add this website box; click Add to display it using Compatibility View.

On the flip side, if the site looks wrong and it’s on the Compatibility View list, click it and choose Remove. You should never need to use Compatibility View Unless a website was specifically built for IE 8 or older, which is rare these days.

IE Compatibility View

Internet Explorer’s Tracking Protection feature, which reduces website tracking for your privacy, can also interfere with content. To turn off Tracking Protection, select Manage add-ons from the Tools menu. Choose Tracking Protection from the left sidebar, then right-click on each item in the list and choose Disable.

IE Tracking protection

You can also try clearing your browser cache, as mentioned in section #4 above. Head to Tools > Internet options > General and click Delete under Browsing history.

Display issues can also be caused by hardware acceleration, as mentioned above. Try toggling that setting if you haven’t already.

7. Videos Won’t Play in Internet Explorer

If you can’t get a video to play in IE, try using another browser. Most video uses HTML5 these days, which works in every modern browser. When a specific video won’t play, it probably relies on a feature that IE lacks.

If you really need to watch it in IE, check your add-ons to check for conflicts, as described above.

8. Can’t See Any Pictures in Internet Explorer

You can try all the previously mentioned solutions for this problem, such as Compatibility View, turning off Tracking Protection, and clearing temporary internet files. However, there’s actually a setting that disables all pictures in Internet Explorer. It’s a simple fix if you’ve run into this issue.

Browse to Tools > Internet options > Advanced. Scroll down to the Multimedia header and make sure that Show pictures is checked.

IE Show Pictures

If this is checked, you may want to reset Internet Explorer’s security settings. While in Internet options, click the Security tab and you’ll see several “zones” at the top (most sites fall into the Internet zone). Simply click Reset all zones to default level and restart your PC to put everything back to normal.

Should this all fail, reset IE to its default settings as explained above.

IE Is Old, So Issues Aren’t Surprising

Now you know how to respond when Internet Explorer isn’t working properly. Hopefully, you almost never have to use it and thus don’t run into many problems. Again, since the browser is far from modern, these problems can definitely occur. We urge you to use another browser when at all possible.

In case you’re stuck with IE for a while longer, check out our Internet Explorer FAQ for more help.

Read the full article: 8 Most Common Internet Explorer Issues (And Easy Ways to Fix Them)


The 5 Best Free Internet Security Software for Windows

As a Windows user, you have three possible paths regarding system security. You can use the built-in Windows Security suite, install third-party security software, or ignore security altogether. The path you take is crucial.

Windows Security (formerly Windows Defender) is better than it has ever been. As a default security option, you’re in safe hands. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t opt for a free security suite alternative.

So here are five of the best free security suites for Windows, all of which offer antivirus, antimalware, and real-time protection features.

1. Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition

bitdefender free antivirus

Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition consistently ranks highly on independent antivirus testing sites, offering award-winning protection for your Windows computer.

The free Bitdefender version brings you the core of the premium Bitdefender suite. This means excellent protection against viruses, malware, ransomware, phishing, and other scam sites. Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition provides real-time antivirus protection and takes instant, autonomous action to protect your system.

The only downside to Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition is that autonomy. There is little by way of customization in the free Bitdefender version. While that is perfect for those that want to download, install, and receive instant protection, it can cause issues at times with false positives.

That said, those instances are few and far between. Overall, Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition is an outstanding free internet security suite.

Features at a glance:

  • Award-winning antivirus and antimalware protection
  • Automatic detection and removal of malware, zero-day exploits, rootkits, and spyware
  • Works well with other resource-intensive programs, such as games and media editors

2. Kaspersky Security Cloud Free

kaspersky security cloud internet security

Kaspersky Security Cloud Free is the free internet security suite from Kaspersky Lab. Although there were allegations of Kaspersky Lab antivirus products being spyware tools for the Russian government, there is little indication that regular consumers should stop using one of the most effective antivirus tools around.

In that, Kaspersky Security Cloud Free is another internet security tool that performs consistently well in antivirus and antimalware tests. Like the free version of Bitdefender, the free version of Kaspersky brings you the core antivirus experience from the premium product, without all the bells and whistles.

Recent updates to Kaspersky Free include an integrated VPN option to protect your online data, plus a secure password storage function. Plus, the security suite is simple to navigate.

Kaspersky Lab also offers a bootable antivirus disk you can use to clean stubborn malware from your system.

Features at a glance:

  • Automatic silent virus and malware removal—no irritating popups
  • Very low impact during system scans, runs well in the background
  • Optional Kaspersky Free browser extension to check malicious webpages
  • Includes email, instant messaging, and other local program scanning and protection

3. Avira Free Antivirus

avira antivirus free 2020 internet security

Avira Free Antivirus (not to be confused with AVG or Avast) is one of the best free internet security suite options currently available. It regularly outperforms the big-name kings of security—including Kaspersky, Norton, and McAfee—in controlled comparisons of real-world effectiveness from sites like AV-Comparatives.

You get what you’d expect and more. The antivirus/antimalware scanner provides manual and real-time protection against all kinds of hazards, and the real-time scans use a cloud database to stay up-to-date and guard you against new and emerging threats.

What’s nice about Avira is that it also detects and blocks potentially unwanted applications—those bundled programs that hitch rides within installers and end up on your system without your knowledge.

If you install the free Avira browser extension, then you can also take advantage of features like harmful website detection and the ad-tracker blocker.

The only major downside to Avira Free Antivirus is the number of popups. It does hassle you at times to upgrade to the premium version of the internet security suite. There are several alternative free suites that don’t bother you with desktop advertisements, which Avira could learn from.

Features at a glance:

  • Antivirus blocks malware, Trojans, worms, and spyware
  • Real-time protection based on up-to-date cloud database
  • Blocks unwanted applications bundled inside installers
  • Browser extension offers even more protective features

4. Sophos Home Free

sophos home free internet security suites

Sophos Home Free brings Sophos’ powerful business-grade internet security suite to your home computers. You can use Sophos Home Free to protect up to three computers simultaneously, which is a handy option in conjunction with the integrated parental controls.

Sophos Home Free doesn’t offer much in the way of advanced features. However, you can happily download and install Sophos Home Free and let it go to work. It’ll block and remove viruses and malware automatically.

Furthermore, Sophos Home Free adds internet protection. The free security suite blocks malicious websites from opening and stops potential phishing attacks.

You’ll note that the image displays the Premium version of the Sophos Home security suite. When you download and install Sophos Home Free, you receive a 30-day free trial of the premium version.

Features at a glance:

  • Handy cloud-control of security settings for computers in your network
  • Integrated phishing and malicious webpage blocking
  • Easy to use interface with parental controls
  • Unlimited protection for Android and iOS devices

5. Panda Free Antivirus

panda free antivirus internet security

Panda Free Antivirus is a highly rated free internet security suite for Windows. You must feed it bamboo to get it up and running, but it is well worthwhile. Silly name aside, it nails the trifecta of security software: light on resources, easy to learn and use, and effective at keeping your system secure.

Panda Free Antivirus is as simple as they come. It was designed with the phrase “install and forget” in mind, with few settings to fiddle with. It stays out of the way, making it great for those who aren’t tech-savvy. If you want a simple solution that’s better than Windows Defender, this is it.

Recent updates to Panda Free Antivirus have modernized the user interface, giving it a sleek and modern feel. Yet, it remains easy to navigate. Those same updates also introduced a multimedia/game mode which stops Panda Free Antivirus interfering with system resourcing at critical points.

Compared to their premium products, Panda Free Antivirus might seem a bit limited. There is no online shopping protection, no data backups, no file encryption, no system optimizations. But what it does do, it does well, and that’s real-time protection against malware and spyware.

Features at a glance:

  • Antimalware, anti-spyware, and external device protection
  • Up-to-date malware definitions using a cloud database
  • Internet protection through URL/web filtering and analysis
  • Advertisement popups asking to upgrade every once in a while

More Free Security Software for Windows

Here you have the choice of five excellent free internet security tools for Windows. They all offer exceptional protection against malware, viruses, phishing attacks, malicious web pages, and much more. However, some of the options might struggle against advanced threats, such as code-signed malware.

Your choice comes down to what you need, what you can live without, and how much you trust the companies behind said products.

Of course, these are not the only security tools on the market. There are plenty of excellent security, antivirus, and antimalware tools to consider.

Read the full article: The 5 Best Free Internet Security Software for Windows


How to Find Your IP Address on Windows 10

Simply put, you can think of your computer’s IP address as a virtual residential address—one that can be changed if necessary. In real terms, an IP address serves two primary purposes: network interface identification and location addressing.

For example, maybe you need to know your computer’s IP address because you’re having internet connectivity issues or you’re trying to set up a home theater app like Plex.

There are two ways to see your IP address on Windows. You can either use the Settings app or go poking around in the Command Prompt. Keep reading to find out how to find your IP address on Windows.

Find Your IP Address Using the Settings App

ip address windows 10

The easiest way to find your IP address on Windows 10 involves firing up the Settings app:

  1. Go to Start > Settings.
  2. Click on Network and internet.
  3. In the left-hand panel, choose either Wi-Fi or Ethernet, depending on what type of connection you use.
  4. Click on your network or connection name.
  5. Scroll down to Properties.
  6. Find the IPv4 address listing.
  7. The number you see is your IP address.

How to Check Your IP Address Using Command Prompt

ip address via the command prompt in windows 10

If you want to know how to find the IP address on Windows 10 using Command Prompt, follow these instructions instead:

  1. Click on the Start Menu.
  2. Type cmd and click on Command Prompt.
  3. Type ipconfig and press Enter.
  4. Locate either Autoconfiguration IPv4 Address (Ethernet) or IPv4 Address (Wi-Fi).
  5. The number you see is your IP address.

Which method do you prefer? You can let us know in the comments section below. And to learn more about IP addresses, check our article on how to find the IP address of your printer.

Read the full article: How to Find Your IP Address on Windows 10


Adobe Rolls Out Major Updates To Photoshop For iPad, Fresco, Creative Cloud Video Apps

Adobe has been on something of a release tear today, updating multiple apps across both iPad and Mac. Apps like Fresco and Photoshop have had big updates in particular.

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How to Optimize Windows 10 for Gaming and Performance

Windows 10 is a great OS for gamers, mixing native games, support for retro titles, and even Xbox One streaming. But it isn’t perfect straight out of the box.

Some tweaks are required to enjoy the best gaming experience Windows 10 has to offer. Here are several ways to optimize your Windows 10 PC for gaming.

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1. Optimize Windows 10 With Gaming Mode

Optimize Windows 10 for better gaming performance

Looking for another option to squeeze the best gaming performance out of Windows 10?

Later releases of the operating system feature a gaming mode, built-in optimizations for Windows 10 gamers. To find out more:

  1. Press Windows key + I
  2. Type game mode
  3. Click Game Mode settings or Turn on Game Mode
  4. On the Gaming screen, click Game Mode
  5. Switch to On to use Game Mode

If your PC supports Game Mode, resources will be managed to achieve the optimum frame rate. Additionally, Windows Update will be suspended.

While this is one way to improve gaming performance on Windows 10, Game Mode is not perfect. Keep reading for more Windows 10 gaming tweaks.

2. Disable Nagle’s Algorithm

Nagle’s algorithm essentially bundles data packets at the cost of a smoother internet connection. It’s useful but having Nagle’s algorithm enabled on your computer may contribute to latency issues when playing games online.

To disable this and improve gaming performance on Windows 10, start by checking your IP address:

  1. Hit Windows key + X
  2. Select Windows PowerShell
  3. Enter ipconfig
  4. Look for “IPv4 address” to identify your PC’s IP address

With the IP address noted, edit the Windows Registry:

  1. Click Start
  2. Type regedit
  3. Select Registry Editor (Tread carefully when fiddling with the Windows Registry)

In the address bar, copy and paste the following path:


In the left-hand pane, you’ll see a collection of folders, with filenames comprised of letters and numbers. To access the correct file, match your IP address with the one listed against DhcpIPAddress in one of these folders.

Disable Nagle's Algorithm for better online gaming network speeds

When you find your matching folder:

  1. Right-click on the folder
  2. Select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value
  3. Name this TcpAckFrequency
  4. Click OK
  5. Select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value again
  6. Name this one TCPNoDelay.
  7. Double-click on each and set their parameters to 1

Doing so disables Nagle’s Algorithm. If you run into any problems, reset their parameter values to 0 and they will be disabled.

3. Optimize Windows 10 Online Gaming With Faster DNS

If you’re playing online multiplayer or relying on a remote server for Windows 10 gaming, network traffic can cause problems.

While upgrading to faster internet can help, it’s quicker and cheaper to just make some networking tweaks.

  1. Hit Windows + I to open Settings
  2. Find Network and Internet > Change Adapter Settings.
  3. Right-click on your wireless network
  4. Select Properties
  5. Highlight Internet Protocol Version 4.
  6. Make a note of the two DNS entries for future reference
  7. Replace them with 1.1.1 and
  8. Click OK, then Close.
  9. Restart your default browser

Your internet should now be faster, which will help with online gaming.

4. Disable Automatic Updates for Better Windows 10 Gaming

Windows 10 will automatically update your OS and schedule a restart without your permission. While this feature doesn’t activate often, you never want to be caught unaware and risk your game save.

Not only can automatic updates restart Windows without warning, downloading updates in the background will limit your network connectivity.

While you cannot disable automatic restart, it can be delayed. To reduce the chance of Windows Update downloads interrupting your gaming performance:

  1. Open Settings with Windows key + I
  2. Click Update and Security > Windows Update
  3. Look for Advanced options then click Update Options
  4. Disable Restart this device as soon as possible when a restart is required to install an update.
  5. Enable Show a notification (Windows will give plenty of warning when the system is going to restart following an update)
  6. Use Pause updates to delay installation of updates for up to 35 days

Limit Windows Update to improve game performance

By specifying when you’ll be using Windows 10, you can prevent Windows Updates downloading and installing during active hours.

5. Disable Notifications in Windows 10

The Focus Assist feature in Windows 10 lets you specify how and when you receive notifications.

Popups and chimes usually accompany notifications, but these can interrupt games. The solution is to minimize the impact of notifications, using Focus Assist. It’s basically a feature that lets you manage what level of focus you devote to your work.

  1. Hit Windows + I to open Settings
  2. Click System > Focus Assist
  3. Select Alarms Only to hide all other notifications
  4. Close the Settings screen

Disable notifications to improve Windows 10 gaming

6. Prevent Steam Auto-Updating Games

If you use Windows to play games, you’re probably buying and installing games via Steam.

One of the largest annoyances with Steam is its update feature. This blocks you from preventing automatic updates across all your games. This may eat up memory by updating games you don’t play or limit your network connectivity with background updates.

To prevent Steam from updating games in the background:

  1. Launch the Steam client
  2. Open Steam > Settings > Downloads
  3. Uncheck Allow downloads during gameplay

Tweak Steam for Windows 10 gaming optimizations

You can also prevent Steam from downloading updates for largely unused games:

  1. Open the Steam Library
  2. Right-click an underused but installed game
  3. Select Properties and find Automatic Updates
  4. Change Always keep this game up to date to Only update this game when I launch it

Disable automatic updates in Steam for optimized Windows 10 gaming

With Steam correctly optimized, Windows 10 will be ready for AAA gaming.

7. Tweak Windows 10 Visual Effects for Game Improvements

Your graphical user interfaces (GUI) can be a hindrance to your processing power. By default, your Windows 10 appearance settings are set to impress.

Games running in the foreground may conflict with a shiny GUI running in the background. Adjust these settings to optimize Windows 10 for gaming performance.

  1. Open Settings with Windows key + I
  2. Type performance
  3. Select Adjust the appearance and performance of Windows.
  4. In the settings box, select Adjust for best performance
  5. Click Apply
  6. Click the Advanced tab
  7. Ensure that Adjust the best performance of is set to Programs
  8. Apply again, then OK to confirm

8. Tweak Your Mouse Settings for Windows 10 Gaming

Could you mouse be impacting gaming performance on Windows 10? To find out, it’s a smart idea to optimize your mouse settings. A feature called pointer precision (AKA mouse acceleration) can impact how your mouse performs in games. Disabling this can help to optimize gaming in Windows 10.

  1. Open Settings
  2. Click Devices > Mouse
  3. View the Pointer Options tab
  4. Clear the Enhance pointer precision checkmark
  5. Click Apply
  6. Click OK to exit—you might also adjust the pointer speed to suit

Disable mouse enhancements to optimize Windows 10 gaming

If gaming has improved, your mouse was almost certainly slowing things down.

9. Max Power Plan to Improve Windows 10 Gaming Performance

Power options are often ignored due to their supposedly negligible effect. Some gamers claim adjusting for higher performance works, while others fail to notice any difference changing their PC power settings.

The only way to know for sure is to test it out on your PC. To change your power settings:

  1. Open Settings
  2. Type power
  3. Click > Power & sleep settings > Additional power settings
  4. Select the high-performance option
  5. If none is available, use Create a power plan to configure a new, custom power plan

This option will allow your PC to perform better at the cost of higher energy consumption and temperature levels. For this reason, it’s better to activate this Windows 10 optimization on the desktop rather than laptop PCs.

10. Keep Your Windows 10 Drivers Updated for Improved Gaming Performance

Your GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) is the core of your PC gaming experience. However, the GPU requires the latest Windows driver to keep it working faster and better.

All graphics cards, no matter how old or new, benefit from continually updated drivers.

To check your GPU name and specs:

  1. Right-click Desktop
  2. Select Display settings > Advanced display settings
  3. At the bottom, find Display adapter properties

Optimize Windows 10 display settings for improved gaming

You can download driver updates through this window under Properties > Driver > Update Driver. Alternatively, visit the manufacturer’s website to ensure the driver is up to date.

Manufacturers will often provide free gaming and update software to keep your drivers up to date automatically. An example is AMD’s Gaming Evolved client.

For optimal performance, it is highly recommended that you install the chipset and LAN drivers for your motherboard as well. Since these are crucial for optimal gaming performance, this makes sense.

The easiest method to check chipset drivers is to open Windows PowerShell (right-click Start to find it) and enter:

wmic baseboard get product,Manufacturer,version,serialnumber

Your motherboard’s manufacturer and the product name will appear in the command prompt.

List your manufacturer and product name to search for your drivers online. You should find the necessary software on the Support page of the manufacturer’s website.

Along with the chipset drivers, you will also find your on-board LAN drivers for an optimal internet connection.

11. Install DirectX 12 to Optimize for Gaming

DirectX 12, the latest version of Microsoft’s popular API tool, is a key element of Windows 10 gaming.

It delivers support for multiple GPU and CPU cores, better frame rates, lowered power consumption and enhanced graphical effects.

To check if you have the latest version of DirectX:

  1. Open Windows PowerShell
  2. Type dxdiag
  3. Tap Enter

Moments later, you’ll see the DirectX Diagnostic Tool.

Ensure DirectX 12 is installed to ensure game optimizations for Windows 10

Don’t have DirectX 12 installed? There’s a small chance this can happen if you have upgraded from Windows 8.1. Fix this by:

  1. Opening Settings with Windows key + I
  2. Select Update and security
  3. Find Windows Update > Check for updates
  4. Wait while the updates install

DirectX12 will automatically optimize many gaming settings in Windows 10.

Optimize Windows 10 for Gaming With These 11 Tweaks

Windows 10 is a legitimate delight for the modern gamer (and now, so is Linux, thanks to these technologies and services that have saved gaming on Linux.)

With a towering game selection, Xbox One compatibility and software specifically designed for gaming, it’s clear the gamer community has a special place in Windows 10’s future. However, nothing’s perfect. Reach closer to gaming perfection with these Windows 10 gaming optimizations:

  1. Windows 10 Gaming Mode
  2. Disable Nagle’s Algorithm
  3. Use faster DNS servers
  4. Disable automatic updates
  5. Disable Notifications in Windows 10
  6. Prevent automatic updates from Steam
  7. Tweak visual effects for performance
  8. Adjust mouse settings to improve gaming speeds
  9. Use maximum power settings
  10. Keep drivers up to date
  11. Install DirectX 12

Gaming on your laptop? You’ll benefit from these extra tips to improve gaming performance on your Windows 10 laptop. Do you also need a special router for a better gaming experience? Let’s see if gaming routers are worth it.

Read the full article: How to Optimize Windows 10 for Gaming and Performance


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