How to optimize Windows 10 power settings for higher performance

Learn how to tweak power settings in your Microsoft Windows 10 PC to provide more reliable access to high-performance computing services.

istock-680359648.jpg
Image: ipopba, Getty Images/iStockphoto

Regardless of their assigned role within a business enterprise, most users want their Microsoft Windows 10 computer to always operate at its highest performance level. However, when a Windows 10 PC is shipped from the factory, it is more likely to have its power settings selected to provide what is referred to as "balanced" performance.

While balanced performance is fine for many activities, it may cause problems for more demanding tasks, especially if those tasks require editing audio, video, and large multimedia files. Such calculation and data-heavy activities may require readily available access to the high-performance computing services provided by specific changes to the Windows 10 system power settings.

This how-to tutorial shows you how to tweak power settings in your Microsoft Windows 10 PC to provide more reliable access to high-performance computing services.

SEE: Choosing your Windows 7 exit strategy: Four options (Tech Pro Research)

Optimize performance settings in Windows 10

The Windows 10 power options we will tweak are not located in the standard Settings configuration screen. It is buried in the Control Panel. If you do not have your control panel pinned to your Windows 10 taskbar, type "control panel" into the Cortana search box on the Desktop and click the result that shows the appropriate desktop app. You should see a screen similar to Figure A.

aoptimizepowersettingsperformance.png
Figure A

Click the System and Security section title and then click the Power Options section on the next screen to get to the correct control panel, shown in Figure B.

boptimizepowersettingsperformance.png
Figure B

Depending on your computer, you may see several preset plan settings (balanced, power saving, performance, etc.). For the notebook computer in our example, there is only a balanced setting. Click the appropriate active Change plan settings link to reveal the current settings (Figure C).

coptimizepowersettingsperformance.png
Figure C

Change the Put computer to sleep setting under plugged in to the Never position. If there is a battery position, like our example notebook, it is best to keep it at a relatively short time interval to save battery power.

Click the Change advanced power settings link to get to the configuration screen shown in Figure D.

doptimizepowersettingsperformance.png
Figure D

Click the plus button to expand USB settings and then click the plus button to expand USB selective suspend settings. Change the settings for plugged in to read "disabled," as shown in Figure E.

eoptimizepowersettingsperformance.png
Figure E

Next, expand the Processor power management settings and then expand the Minimum processor state. Change the plugged-in setting to read 100%, as shown in Figure F.

foptimizepowersettingsperformance.png
Figure F

When complete, click Apply, OK, and then Save Changes to have your new power settings take effect.

If you have trouble recording audio or video files using peripheral devices connected to your PC using USB ports, these tweaks could solve many of your problems and should be tried before taking more drastic measures. On the other hand, if your Windows 10 PC is acting a little sluggish lately these power settings tweaks could perk up your computer's performance without needing to spend money for new hardware.

Also see

By Mark Kaelin

Mark W. Kaelin has been writing and editing stories about the IT industry, gadgets, finance, accounting, and tech-life for more than 25 years. Most recently, he has been a regular contributor to BreakingModern.com, aNewDomain.net, and TechRepublic.