16 Easy Ways to Make Your Laptop Faster for Gaming!

So, you want to make your laptop runs fast so that you can play games on it?

Want more speed and performance out of your current machine?

Then you have come to the right place.

Because today, I am going to show you some easy ways and tweaks that I use to make my old, regular, business laptops gain 10+FPS on Assasin Creeds and other games.

So if you want to get the most out of your laptop and make it a little bit fast for gaming, these tips are for you.

Let’s dive right into it.

1. Activate The High-Performance Mode 

This is often overlooked by most people when they want to up their laptop performance. 

Usually, your laptop will come with a power saver option where it prioritizes to save your battery and power so the computer can last longer.

So it will adjust and sets your laptop to save power instead of delivering its full power.

Now, you do not wanna save power and sacrifice on your laptop performance for gaming, especially if you don’t have a gaming laptop with excellent parts.

You can change your laptop’s power preferences by going to your power options settings. Go to Control Panel > Power Options and move your power plan settings to High Performance. 

If you cannot find the High Performance setting, you can check the Hide Additional Plans tabs on the Power Options window.

2. Activate Game Mode

Another setting that people often missed when setting up their laptops for gaming is activating the Game Mode configuration.

When the Game Mode is turned on, Windows automatically optimizes your PC to play video games. So this is something you might want to take advantage of.

To activate Game Mode, first, go to your Settings > Gaming. Turn to the Game Mode tab via the sidebar on your right and just Turn On the toggle.

3. Turn Off Unnecessary Animation and Effects

Windows 10 comes out of the box with little animations and effects here and there to make it look more modern and beautiful.

Your laptop’s processor will be used to make these little animations and effects to make the Windows prettier. 

Now, for gaming, we do not want that. We want all of our processor’s power to be focused on one thing alone. That is for gaming.

So we need to turn these unnecessary beautifying effects that are taking a part of our laptop performance.

To do this, you can go to the Control Panels > System > Advanced System Settings on the left sidebar of your windows.

System Properties windows will then pop up. Go to Performance > Settings.

On Performance Options, go check the “Adjust for Best Performance” and you are done.

This option will turn off all the effects and animations on your laptop and make your image appear to be a bit rough on the edges. 

But now you can expect improved performance on gaming because all the RAM and CPU power used to create that little animations and effects are now focused on delivering performance.

4. Turn Off Transparency Effects

Another unnecessary stuff that comes packaged with your laptop is the transparency effect.

This effect gives you the transparency effect you see when you open your start menus or your native windows bar. 

According to the guys at Computer World, to make these transparent effects, your computer needs a significant amount of power, and turning them off can make a difference in your laptop performance.

To turn this effect off, you just need to go to Themes and Settings > Colors > Turn off Transparency effects > Uncheck Show accent color on the following surfaces.

5. Disable Unnecessary Startup Program

Whether you realize it or not, there are many programs that come to life every time you turn on your laptop. 

These applications are called startup programs. 

They got started at the same time you turn on your computer and will keep on running on the background as long as your laptop is on.

I’m talking about programs that usually appear within the first 10 seconds after you see your desktop—Skype, torrent clients, dropbox, VPNs, etc. 

These programs will keep on running on the background and eating up your RAM and processor performance if you are not careful with them.

Go to your Task Manager and look at the Startup Tabs on the upper part to disable these programs.

Choose all the programs that you do not really need and disable them to free up some RAM and processor speed for your gaming session.

6. Turn Off Search Indexing Service

According to Microsoft, search indexing is the process of looking at all of the files in your laptop and making a catalog out of all your data.  

This is done so that when you search for a file, you can find it faster because Microsoft will then look at this catalog instead of opening your folder one by one.

This process automatically runs the first time you install your Operating System and will keep running on the background to constantly track changes happening on your laptop.

This indexing process will eat up your RAM and CPU process to run on the background, and turning it off will give you better performance out of your laptop.

To turn this process off, Open the Run dialog box by pressing Windows + R on your laptop. After that, type in services.msc and click Run. 

It will then open up a tab with all of the services and features Microsoft is providing you with their Windows Operating System.

On this tab, find Windows Search and double click it.

For startup type, choose to disable, and you can turn off indexing from running on the background by pressing stop.

This will stop all indexing services from Microsoft running on the background. 

If you want, you can turn off or turn on indexing on a specific area on your laptop. Go check this guide on how to do that.

I recommend to turn off indexing services entirely because we will need all of the RAM and processor performance for that extra boost of FPS.

7. Disable Windows Notification of Tips and Tricks

By now, you might be surprised at how many kinds of stuff Microsoft is running on the background to provide you with different types of services.

However, these services running on the background are eating up your RAM and processor power. 

That is why we want to eliminate every single one that is not essential or vital for the operating system.

In the background, Microsoft is tracking every interaction the users continuously have with the OS and will recommend “tips and tricks” that might be useful for its users.

To stop Microsoft from eating up our RAM and processor performance, let us turn this off.

Press Windows + I to open the Settings tab and go to System > Notifications and Actions.

Untick the checkmark on “Get tips, tricks, and suggestions as you use Windows.” box and you are good to go.

I rarely find the tips and tricks suggested by this feature to be helpful anyway, so just turn them off. Especially if you have been using windows for a couple of years.

8. Disable and Uninstall Unwanted Applications

I know that having more space on your storage will not directly increase your performance.

But you might want to check and see your applications list from time to time and get rid of apps you don’t really use.

For your information, some third-party software also runs services in the background, just like Microsoft does, to give its user a better user experience.

To check on these services, you can type msconfig to your Run dialog box. When the System Configuration box opens, go to the Services Tab to see all the currently running services at your laptop.

You can then choose one by one to disable services from third-party software that you do not use. 

However, this can break some of the software you use if you are not careful about which service belongs to what software.

That is why I recommend that you just uninstall any software you don’t use and remove all its services altogether. 

You can use famous uninstaller like CCleaner to completely uninstall the software you do not want entirely from your laptop.

9. Scans for Viruses, Malware, and Ransomware

If you download a bunch of stuffs from the internet, you might want periodically to scan for viruses and malware.

Not only are they dangerous for your security, but they can slow your laptop very very badly, for example, miner virus or Botnet that you can accidentally download on the internet recently.

Tips for you, if you see a lots and lots of advertising on your laptop, that might be a sign you get infected with a virus.

Also, if you feel like your laptop got considerably slow without apparent reason, you might want to check your computer.

Periodically, turn on your Windows Defender to scan and remove these nasty stuffs on your laptop.

You can also check many of the recommended antivirus and malware checkers on the internet if you want. 

As a free alternative, I recommend checking the Malwarebytes antivirus tool. They have a pretty version that does the job just fine in my experience.

10. Update Your CPU and GPU Drivers

From time to time, your laptop manufacturers and Microsoft and other software installed on your laptop will push out updates.

These updates are pushed out by those companies because they are meant to optimize their products’ performance. 

People often overlook these drivers versions and let the old version run for a very long time, affecting their laptop and software performance.

You can go to Settings > Update and Security and check for updates periodically for your laptop.

Other programs that you want to pay attention to will be your graphics card driver if your laptop has one. 

To update, you can go to your graphics card manufacturer website, enter your graphics card model, and usually, the newest driver model will pop up for you to install.

12. Install the latest version of DirectX 

DirectX is a software that contains a lot of tweaks done by Microsoft to the hardware on your laptop so that they can be optimized for multimedia consumption, primarily gaming.

Every new version of DirectX will bring more optimization and improvement on performance to your laptop. So, if you have an old laptop, you want to ensure your laptop runs the latest DirectX version, DirectX 12.

To check which version of DirectX is installed on your laptop, you can type dxdiag on the start menu and press enter.

The version of DirectX running on your screen will be displayed on the bottom part of the newly opened Windows.

If you want to update it to the latest version, you can once again go to, Windows Update from your Settings page and update it from there.

13. Undervolting Your CPU

Now, this is getting a bit technical. But do not worry, it is very easy to do. 

Even my 10 years old son can now undervolt its new laptop by himself.

So what is undervolting, you might ask?

It is merely a trick where you reduce the power output to your CPU to make it run cooler and more consistent and get more performance out of it.

Some tests that I have done with various laptops, undervolting can boost your laptop performance by up to 30%.

To explain it better, you can watch this video about how to undervolt your CPU explained by The Tech Chap on this video below.

It is a relatively safe practice to do and can even prolong the lifetime of your laptop while giving you a boost and more consistence performance.

14. Clean Your Laptop from Time to Time

If your laptop is old or at least has been around for more than a year, you want to open its back panel and get it clean regularly.

When using our laptop regularly, dust and other small bytes of nasty stuffs will get into your computer and settles there for a long time, can make your laptop heat up quickly. 

And of course, when this happens, your laptop’s performance will decrease because the available cooling system also has to work extra hard to cool the laptop completely.

A good sign of a dirty laptop is if your laptop’s fan started making loud noise without apparent reason.

You can check many cleaning tutorials on Youtube for a specific laptop.  

Be extra careful when opening the back panel as you do not want to mess things up or lose some bolt and nuts on your laptop.

Or, if you are not confident with cleaning it by yourself, go to your local computer store and get them to help you clean your laptop for a small amount of fee.

15. Reapply Your Old Thermal Paste

To optimize the performance of your laptop, sometimes tweaking the software will not be enough. 

Optimization also needs to be done on the hardware side to get maximum performance. 

Especially if you want your laptop to be faster to play some games.

Thermal paste is a substance in the form of a paste smeared on the top of the processor and your laptop’s graphics card.

The thermal paste helps transfer some of the heat generated by the two components to your heatsink so they will not overheat.

Your laptop will come with a thermal paste out of the box, but usually, the thermal paste applied by the laptop manufacturer was not good enough in transferring the heat.

Plus, if your laptop is 2 or 3 years old, you might want to reapply the thermal paste as the paste can become too dry, resulting in loss of performance in transferring heat.

You can watch how reapplying this thermal paste can boost your laptop performance by watching this video by Dave2D

Again, I suggest you go to your local computer store to get the thermal paste repasted. 

It will save you a lot of time and get it done professionally without damaging your wallet.

16. Upgrade, Upgrade, and Upgrade

Well, last but not least.

 If your laptop still cannot run the game you want after applying all the steps above, you might want to upgrade one or two parts of your computer.

I suggest you start by upgrading your storage system. 

If your laptop still uses an old hard drive, you might want to consider to upgrade into an SSD.

SSD is way faster than an old traditional hard disk. It can boost your booting time and your overall laptop performance, including how well you can run some games.

The next thing you might want to upgrade is your RAM capacity.

For Windows 10 and gaming in 2020, I would suggest aim to have a minimum of 8GB of RAM. 

You will need around 4GB to run Windows 10 alone. So, the extra RAM will be a significant performance boost for all others program besides the operating system, including your all of your games.

Last but not least, if your laptop can handle an external graphics card, you can opt for this solution to significantly improve your laptop graphical computing performance.

Although they are not cheap, they can be a versatile solution to your laptops. 

Check out the best External graphics card reviewed by the guys at laptopmag.com on these extensive posts.

Why is My Gaming Laptop So Slow?

If, after applying all the tricks I mentioned above, your laptop still runs slow, there are a couple of things you might want to check.

Check Your Hard Drive Health

To begin with, you might want to check your storage system’s health. 

There were a couple of instances where my laptop began to run very slowly, and the culprit was my faulty hard drive.

You can follow this detailed guide by PCMag on how to check your hard drive’s health.

If you found that your hard drive is faulty, be prepared to back up all your data and replace your old faulty hard drive with a brand new one.

Check Your RAM Health

Another thing you want to check is your RAM health. 

We know how important having RAM is on our machine.

And sometimes, you might get a gaming laptop that came with a faulty RAM. 

To check your RAM health, you can follow this really detailed guide written by the folks on howtogeek.com.

Check with Your Manufacturer

If you have done all the health checks mentioned above and your gaming laptop still runs slow, you might get a defect product.

To resolve this, go and visit one of the service centers provided by your laptop manufacturer and get them to check your machine.

I once got a gaming laptop that runs very slow out of the box. 

Even after applying all the tweaks and health checks above the computer still ran very slow.

So I brought the laptop to its manufacturer, and turned out I got unlucky because I got a laptop with faulty components inside.

Luckily for me, they replaced my laptop with a brand new one and my problem is solved immediately.

Now I would like to hear from you

There you have it—all of my hidden cards on getting my old laptop faster for gaming. All 16 tweaks on how to make your laptop faster for gaming.

I highly suggest you apply all the tricks above altogether to get the maximum performance out of your laptop.

Now I want to hear from you.

Did you learn a new trick from this post?

Or do you have any tips that I do not mention in this post?

Either way, drop a comment and let me know!

About the Author
Hi, I'm Steve. I'm a proud gamer. I have been active within the gaming sphere for 30+ years. As gaming is something I enjoy very much, I want other people to enjoy it also. That is exactly why I started this blog.

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