How To Disable Windows 10 Gaming Features

The various Windows 10 gaming features can cause rendering and encoding issues when using OBS. It is recommended you disable all gaming related features in Windows 10 to ensure OBS performs at its best.

All features can be found in the Windows Setting App under Gaming, the keyboard shortcut to open settings is Windows + i.

Windows 10 Gaming Features

Game Bar

  • Settings App > Gaming > Game bar> set "Record game clips, screenshots and broadcast using Game bar" to "Off"

Game DVR/Captures

Game DVR can cause conflicts with OBS when using hardware encoding such as NVENC.

Consumer NVIDIA GPUs for example are limited to two(2) encoding sessions. Game DVR and Geforce Experience(ShadowPlay) will often consume both of these sessions if enabled, preventing you from recording or streaming(or both simultaneously) when using NVENC.

Game DVR can also cause performance issues, it is still recommended to disable Game DVR even if you don't plan on using hardware encoding.

Depending on your version of Windows 10 the name of this feature changes.

  • Settings App > Gaming > Game DVR> set "Record in the background while I'm playing a game" to "Off"

or

  • Settings App > Gaming > Captures> set "Record in the background while I'm playing a game" to "Off"

Game Mode

This feature can cause major performance issues with OBS and games, it is strongly recommended to disable it.

The Windows 10 Creators Update (version 1703) added Game Mode. Game Mode tries to allocate all GPU resources to the current game in focus, starving OBS of the GPU resources it needs to render.

Game Mode is enabled automatically by Windows and disabling it is performed differently depending on your version of Windows 10. Not sure which you have?

  • Press Windows + R and type in winver to show your current version of Windows 10.

Windows 10 "Redstone 5" 1809 (October 2018) or later

To disable Game Mode in Windows 10 1809 or later.

  • Settings App > Gaming > Game Mode > set Game Mode to "Off", reboot your PC.

Windows Gaming Settings

Windows 10 "Fall Creators Update" 1709 and "Redstone 4" 1803 (April 2018)

For Windows 10 1803 or earlier, Game Mode must be disabled individually per-game or globally using the Registry.

It's recommended to disable it globally.

Disable Game Mode globally using the Registry

The following steps require Administrator access to perform.

  • Press Windows + R> type regedit> hit OK/Enter. You can also open the Start Menu and type regedit or Registry Editorand launch the application.

Registry Editor icon

In the Registry Editor:

  1. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\GameBar. You can paste this directly into the address bar at the top to go there quickly.

  2. In the GameBar folder look for an key called AllowAutoGameMode in the right panel, if the key is not there you can create it.

    • To create the key, right-click inside the panel and select New > "DWORD (32-bit) Value". Rename the new key to AllowAutoGameMode.
  3. To disable Game Mode, set the value for AllowAutoGameMode to 0, close the Registry Editor, reboot your PC.

Registry Editor value highlights

Disable Game Mode per-game

To disable Game Mode per-game:

  • Open the properties for the game shortcut or executable, go to Compatibility and turn on "Disable full-screen optimizations"

Windows application properties