Windows 10 Fixes
by Tore Andersen

For enthusiast gamers, Windows 10 was a big downgrade from Windows 7. Microsoft thought it was more important to implement useless mobile features and more junk services, instead of making a fast and stable platform. The best fix there is for Windows 10, is to uninstall and get Windows 7 instead, but if you are stuck with Windows 10, then these fixes will come in handy.

General Tips
2: Stop useless Services
3: Disabling Cortana for good
4: Fixing Windows 10 after the "Creators Update"
5: Task-bar becoming visible in-game
6: How to scan/find and fix corrupted files
7: Steam Client fixes


1 - General Tips
These are he most important general optimizations/changes that will make Windows 10 less annoying to deal with.

1: Stop sending personal data to Microsoft
Windows 10 has this "feature" of constantly sends user-data to Microsoft. Who knows what data, and it's completely useless for YOU, and uses both CPU resources and internet data.
Open settings and go to Privacy. Select Feedback & diagnostics and turn it off.

2: Prevent apps from running in the background
While this may or may not be useful on a mobile device, it's definitely not useful on a gaming computer.
Open settings and go to Privacy. Select Background apps turn them off.

3: Take ownership (DOWNLOAD)
If you would like to manage your files yourself without having to setup permissions every single time, this file will add "Take Ownership" to the right click menu. It will give you ownership of everything within a folder with just one click.
Download the file and unpack anywhere. Double click the file and click OK. That's it.

4: Disable Windows Defender and Windows Firewall
Both these features are practically useless. They just take up resources, and do a really bad job at protecting anything.
1: Control Panel. Windows Firewall. Turn Windows Firewall off.
2: Control Panel. Windows Defender. Turn everything off.
Note: Just don't turn the Windows Firewall Service off, or the Windows Store won't work. - Yes, completely illogic.

5: Disable Maps
Maps are great for mobile devices, but for a stationary gaming PC it's just a waste of resources.
Open Settings and go to System. Select Offline Maps and turn everything off.

6: Disable Automatic updates (LINK)
Windows has a bad habit of launching forced Windows updates at any random time, without the option to pause or postpone. Very very annoying and unprofessional. You could be in the middle of a software installation or an online meeting.. I recommend disabling Windows auto update, and just check for updates manually instead.

7: Disable Automatic app updates
Same reason as above stated. Auto updates of apps are extremely annoying for gamers that play online.
Open the Windows Store. Click the user icon and select Settings. Turn App updates off.


2 - Services
Improve performance and free up resources by disabling the most useless services from running in the background

Windows 10 has more services running than any previous version of Windows. A lot of them are completely useless for most people, so there is absolutely no reason for them to be running all the time. This is just a short list of the most useless services that I highly recommend to disable.
If you want an in-depth list of all services, with descriptions of what they do, I can recommend to check out Black Viper's list (LINK)

1: How to disable a Service

To disable a Service, open op Computer Management. Right click the Computer icon and select Manage.

Click Services.

Right click the service you want to disable. E.g. "Adobe Acrobat Update Service". A ridiculous service that runs all the time, taking up resources, just in case there is a new update for Adobe Acrobat.

Stop the service by clicking Stop under Service Status. Now select "Disabled" from the Status type menu.

This will disable the service from being launched in the future. The function will still work, so you can still update Adobe Acrobat. The service will just not be running constantly in the background.

If you set the Startup type to "Manual" instead of "Disabled", that just means that Windows won't launce the service at startup, but other applications are still allowed to start the service. In this case I recommend "Disabled", as this service is 100% without purpose.

2: List of services I recommend to disable or set to manual instead of auto-start

Adobe Acrobat Update Service (Disable)
Adobe SwitchBoard (Disable) *Unless you use multiple Adobe products. If you just use Photoshop, then you can safely disable this service
AsusUpdateCheck (Disable)
Background Intelligent Transfer Service (Manual) *It works just fine by being called upon when needed, instead of running all the time
BitLocker Drive Encryption Service (Disable) *Unless you use drive encryption of course
Capability Access Manager Service (Manual)
Connected User Experience and Telemetry (Disable)
Diagnostic Execution Service (Manual)
Diagnostic Policy Service (Disable)
Diagnostic Service Host (Disable)
Diagnostic System Host (Manual)
Display Enhancement Service (Manual)
Display Policy Service (Disable)
Distributed Link Tracking Client (Manual)
Downloaded Maps Manager (Disable) *Leave if you actually use your computer and Microsoft Maps for navigation
GalaxyClientService (Manual) *GoG Galaxy works perfectly fine without these services constantly running in the background
GalaxyCommunication (Manual)
GameDVR and Broadcast User Service (Manual)
Geolocation Service (Disable) *Leave if you actually use your computer and Microsoft Maps for navigation
Google Chrome Elevation Service (Manual)
Google Update Service (Manual)
Infrared monitor service (Disable) *Unless you actually use infrared of course
Intel(R) Capability Licensing Service TCP IP Interface (Manual)
Intel(R) Dynamic Application Loader Host Interface Service (Manual)
Intel(R) Management and Security Application Local Management Service (Manual)
Intel(R) Optane(TM) Memory Service (Manual)
Intel(R) Rapid Storage Technology (Manual)
Intel(R) RST HFC Disable Service (Disable)
Intel(R) Storage Middleware Service (Manual)
Intel(R) TPM Provisioning Service (Manual)
Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) (Manual)
Machine Debug Manager (Disable)
Microsoft Edge Elevation Service (Manual)
Microsoft Edge Update Service (Manual)
Microsoft (R) Diagnostics Hub Standard Collector Service (Manual)
Microsoft Office Diagnostics Service (Manual)
Microsoft Software Shadow Copy Provider (Manual)
Office Source Engine (Manual)
Offline Files (Manual)
OpenSSH Authentication Agent (Disable)
Optimize drives (Disable)
Origin Client Service (Manual) *Origin works perfectly fine without these services constantly running in the background
Origin Web Helper Service (Manual)
Payments and NFC/SE Manager (Disable)
Phone Service (Disable) *Unless your computer has a built-in sim-card and can use a regular phone line
Problem Reports and Solutions Control Panel Support (Disable)
Problem Reports Control Panel Support (Disable)
Program Compatibility Assistant Service (Disable)
PnkBstrA (Disable)
PnkBstrB (Disable)
Remote Desktop Configuration (Disable) *Leave if you use Remote Desktop
Remote Desktop Services (Disable)
Remote Desktop Services UserMode Port Redirector (Disable)
Remote Registry (Disable)
Retail Demo Service (Disable)
Rockstar Game Library Service (Manual) *The RockStar launcher works perfectly fine without this service constantly running in the background
Routing and Remote Access (Disable)
Secondary Logon (Manual)
Sensor Data Service (Manual)
Sensor Monitoring Service (Manual)
Sensor Service (Manual)
Smart Card (Manual) *Leave if you use SmartCards
Smart Card Device Enumeration Service (Manual)
Smart Card Removal Policy (Manual)
Storage Service (Manual)
Superfetch (Disable)
Touch Keyboard and Handwriting Panel service (Disable)
User Experience Virtualization Service (Disable)
Volume Shadow Copy (Manual)
Windows Backup (Manual)
Windows Biometric Service (Manual)
Windows Camera Frame Server (Manual)
Windows Error Reporting Service (Disable)
Windows Insider Service (Manual)
Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service (Manual)
Windows Mixed Reality OpenXR Service (Manual)
Windows Push Notifications System Service (Manual)
Windows Search (Disable) *This will not disable "Search". This is actually the dreaded Indexing Service, just using a different name.
Xbox Live Auth Manager (Manual)
Xbox Live Game Save (Manual)
Xbox Live Networking Service (Manual)

The next 2 services can't be disabled the regular way. They are used by Windows Defender, even when Defender is disabled, and they use a lot of resources, so I highly recommend disabling them. Windows Defender is a horrible program, but if you actually use it, leave them of course.

Microsoft Defender Antivirus Network Inspection Service
Microsoft Defender Antivirus Service

If you try to disable them via Computer Management, you will get the following message:

To get around this nonsense, do the following steps:

1: Start RegEdit. Usually found here: "C:\Windows\regedit.exe".
2: Brows to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\
3: Find "WdNisSvc" and click "Modify" on Start.

4: Change the value to 4.

5: Now find "WinDefend", and modify the value of Start to 4 as well.
Close RegEdit and restart Windows.

Note: Any service status can be set from here, regardless of what Computer Management allows you to.
These are the meaning of the values:
0 = Boot
1 = System
2 = Automatic
3 = Manual
4 = Disabled


3 - Cortana

While Cortana was a cool AI in Halo, she is terrible in Windows. Ask yourself, has she ever been useful? ..Even once?

Cortana is using CPU and memory resources all the time, and sends data back and forth to who knows who, even when disabled.
This little script will remove her completely from your system. *Note that you can't bring her back again after running this.

1: Open PowerShell as Administrator.
2: Type the following command line, without quotes: "Get-AppxPackage -allusers Microsoft.549981C3F5F10 | Remove-AppxPackage".

3: Hit Enter.
4: If the Cortana-button on the taskbar is still there, right-click the taskbar and clear the Show Cortana button option.

That should be it.

However: If Windows is resisting this easy uninstall, use the following method to force it through:

Force Uninstall Cortana (DOWNLOAD)
Download and unpack the file anywhere. Right click "Uninstall Cortana.cmd" and select "Run as administrator"

Wait till the script is done, then close it and restart Windows.
That's it, Cortana is gone for good, and she will no longer be tracking and reporting your every move to Microsoft.


4 - The Creators "update"

As a new "feature" in the Creators Update, Windows's system d3d files now take priority over local d3d files. (Those inside the game-folders). This causes all kinds of errors. Crashes, messed up graphics, extreme slowdowns, and some games that won't even launch. Graphical renders like ENB or ReShade have very little chance of working, and even less chance of working correctly. It's a mess to say the least, and the new "Game mode" feature doesn't help. Unless disabled, this "feature" will cause even more problems. Fortunately this can be easily fixed by following the below steps. Unfortunately it won't fix the games that won't launch, but it will all the crashes, slowdowns and messed-up graphics.

1: Disable Game Mode
Game Mode is just another useless OSD with some recording features. It has no purpose, and it causes problems in several games.
Open settings and go to Gaming. Disable Game bar, Game DVR & Game Mode.

2: Disable the "Touch Keyboard and Handwriting Panel service"
*This "service" can cause several games to CTD after 5-10 minutes, or any time a dialog is shown in-game

3: Stop the "Microsoft text input application" from running in the background
*If it auto starts after shutting it down, go to "C:\Windows\SystemApps\" and rename the folder "MicrosoftWindows.Client.CBS_cw5n1h2txyewy" to "MicrosoftWindows.Client.CBS_cw5n1h2txyewy.backup". This will prevent it from launching again. Should you even need this app, just rename the folder back to it's original name again.

4: Stop "tabtip32.exe" from running in the background

5: Install DirectX9 (LINK)
*This doesn't interfere with DirectX12

6: Install the latest Visual C++ Redistributable

7: Install the latest Microsoft .NET Framework

8: Install the latest RivaTuner
Download, unpack and run the installer.
*If the installer doesn't work, download this zip instead (DOWNLOAD) *Unpack into the "Program Files (x86)" folder, and click the "Reg.reg" file.

Info: RTSS Rivatuner Statistics Server is a small tool that forces Windows 10 to use the d3d files from within the game-folders instead of inside Windows's system folders. It needs to run in the background while playing, but it only takes up about 8mb RAM and 0% CPU, so you won't notice it's there.

After installation, launch the tool. It will show as a blue-ish icon in the notification area of the taskbar. Right click it and select "Show" for settings.
Turn off "Show On-Screen Display" and set Application detection to "High". Set both "Stealth mode" and "Custom Direct3D support" On. Then turn "On-Screen Display support" Off. See image:

Use these setting, but set "Frame limit" to match your monitor:

Launch this small tool every time you want to play a game, or simply enable "Start with Windows".


5 - Visible task-bar in-game

Windows 10 task-bar becomes visible in-game:
This is a Windows error that happens quite often after hours of use. Windows is suppose to hide the task-bar when a full-screen application is running. For the first time in Windows history, this doesn't work very well.
Fix: Open the Task Manager and restart "Windows Explorer".


6 - How to scan/find and fix corrupted files

Windows 10 has a habit of corrupting system files over time. This can result in errors like broken menus, missing icons and such.

Here is how to fix it:
1: Open PowerShell as Administrator

2: Type the following line and press enter: "SFC /SCANNOW"

If no issues were found, or if Windows found some, but were able to fixed them, you are done.
If Windows found issues that it couldn't fix, then you’ll need to run a DISM scan.

3: Type the following line and press enter: "DISM /ONLINE /CLEANUP-IMAGE /RESTOREHEALTH"

This might take some time. At the end you will get a full report.


7 - Steam Client fixes

Fixing the "Could Not Connect to Steam Network" error:
1: Right click the Steam shortcut and select "properties".
2: Add " -tcp" at the end of the target command, as shown below. Apply.

Re-launch Steam.

Full-screen video error (Black screen):

If you only see a black screen when playing full-screen video, you might be able to fix it by turning AA off in your graphics drivers. Open the graphic driver settings and select Steam as specific program. Then set AA as "Application-controlled".

Slow video streaming:

If you have slow video streaming, or if the videos keep getting stuck, open these ports in your router.
TCP/UDP: 27015 - 27040
TCP/UDP: 3478 - 4380
If this doesn't help, switch to another server. *The one closest to your physical location is not necessarily the fastest.

Screenshots are not saved:
First check that the Steam Overlay is turned on while in-game.

If Yes, and the screenshot feature still doesn't work, then launch Steam with administrator rights.
Right-click the Steam client shortcut and go to Compatibility, then check "Run this program as an administrator".

Stem will warn that it's not a good idea, but it will work just fine. As soon as the screenshot feature works again, you can uncheck the "run as admin" again.

How to disable group notifications:
For reasons unknown, Steam removed the Group notification settings in their latest update. After updating, the client keeps your setting, so for most people it's not an issue. However, if you reset your cache or reinstall Steam, then you are stuck with the annoying Group notifications in-game, unless you completely disable Steam overlay. Here is an easy way to fix it:
Open the Steam user folder, and open "localconfig.vdf" with Notepad.
Usually found here: "C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\userdata\<yourID>\config\localconfig.vdf"
Find the string, "Notifications_EventsAndAnnouncements" and change the value to "0". Save.
That's it.
*If you have several IDs and don't know which one is yours, just edit the localconfig.vdf file inside all ID folders.




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