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How to assign graphics performance preferences to Windows 10 programs

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Windows 10 users and administrators may assign graphics performance preferences to specific programs on the operating system.

Windows 10 supports different power plans, e.g. power saver or the new ultimate performance plan. Devices may switch between different power plans automatically, depending on whether they are connected to a power source or run on battery, or manually.

Windows users may also run one of the good dozen power plan switching programs such as Easy Power Plan Switcher, Laptop Power Plan Assistant, or PowerSchemeSwitcher.

Microsoft added a feature to the Settings application of the Windows 10 operating system to assign graphics performance preferences to individual Win32 programs or UWP applications

You could assign the high performance preference to a computer game or other application that is resource intensive, or the power saving preference to an application that is very power hungry.

Configuring graphics performance preferences for individual programs


First thing you need to do is open the Settings application. You can do so with the shortcut Windows-I, or by clicking Start > Settings.

Select System > Display > Graphics settings to open the configuration menu in the Settings application.

Customize graphics performance preference for specific applications. Preferences may provide better app performance or save battery life. Choices may not take effect until the next time the app launches.

There, you need to select whether you want to assign a performance preference to a classic app (Win32 program), or a Universal App (from the Microsoft Store).

Select Browse to locate and pick the program or application that you want to assign a custom performance level to. Windows lists the selected program or application underneath the browse button afterward.

If you selected classic app, a file browser opens that you may use to pick a program. The selection of universal app displays all apps installed so that you may pick one from the list that Windows presents to you.

Select the program or app, and then options to display the following menu:


Select one of the available options: system default, power saving, or high performance and then save to save the new preference. Windows may list different graphics processors for the power saving and the high performance plan if multiple are available on the device.

Note that some programs or apps are limited when it comes to the graphics processing unit that they may utilize. Some games can't be switched over to onboard graphics while some Windows Store applications can't utilize a dedicated graphics processor.

Windows 10 assigns the selected graphics performance level to the application when it is run on the system.

The operating system picks the GPU for a select application when the default option is selected (which it is by default).

You may use the remove button that is displayed when you select an application to remove it from the listing again or options to switch to another plan.

Closing Words

High performance mode appears to have little impact on an application's performance based on tests that I ran on a Windows 10 PC. Your mileage may vary as it may depend on the system configuration.

It feels a bit like Windows 10's game mode which did not really improve performance either.

Still, it is worth a shot if you need more performance or want to force apps to save more power. The changes that Windows 10 makes when you select high performance or power saving are not listed anywhere.

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