When playing fullscreen games in Windows 10 with the input bar, message bar, or Xbox game bar turned on, it sometimes causes problems such as a drop in game frame rate or input lag. This is most likely due to a feature called “Full Screen Optimization”. In this case, if you control the “Full Screen Optimization” feature in real time, the experience may be improved. So, what is fullscreen optimization? And how to control it as needed?
Trivia: The history and status of Fullscreen Optimization
To talk about Fullscreen Optimization, we can’t talk about a common mode called Exclusive Fullscreen in older versions of Windows. When we play some games in older versions of Windows, if we switch to fullscreen mode, the game will exclusively display the screen, and Windows will not render components outside the game such as the desktop taskbar. In the process of playing full-screen games, no word selection box will appear when typing Chinese, no volume progress bar will be displayed when pressing the volume adjustment key, and no push notifications will be displayed. In response to this “exclusive” rigid situation, Microsoft has enabled the Fullscreen Optimization feature for all fullscreen games since Windows 1709, changing the pattern that fullscreen games can only occupy the display, so that the game screen can be overlaid with Components outside of the game interface (such as input method indicators, system push notifications, volume bar, Xbox game bar, etc.) can be superimposed on top of the game screen. While this is a good idea, some users have found that turning this feature on in certain environments can bring drawbacks such as frame rate drops and input lags, which are improved by turning off full-screen optimization. Although Microsoft has removed this feature from the new version, it does not mean that everyone does not need this feature. Whether or not this feature needs to be turned on depends on the balance between the specific computer configuration and the gaming experience, and whether it can meet the needs of the user. Therefore, we still need to master the methods to turn on and off this feature.
1. Two basic ways to control fullscreen optimization
If you are using a version with the “Full Screen Optimization” option (some versions before 1803), you can use the following method to set it. Go to Windows 10 “Settings” program, select “System → Display → Advanced Graphics Settings or Graphics Settings”, and under the “Full Screen Optimization” group, uncheck the Under the “Full Screen Optimization” group, deselect the “Enable Full Screen Optimization” option so that you can disable the feature.
Fullscreen optimization can also be controlled through the Game Bar settings. Right click on the “Start” button, select “Settings”, then find “Games” in the settings window, click to enter the “Games After the “Settings” window, click “Game Bar” in the left column, and then in the right pane, uncheck the “Show Game Bar when I play Microsoft verified full-screen games” option. This will also disable fullscreen optimization, so you can try it if you experience lag when playing fullscreen games (Figure 1).
However, since most of the current Windows 10 versions have removed the Full Screen Optimization control option from the system Settings after the upgrade, you need to find another solution to control the Full Screen Optimization items if the system has Full Screen Optimization enabled by default.
2. How to control fullscreen optimization without basic controls
If you are using Windows 10 version 1803 or above, or you can’t find the “Full Screen Optimization” option in the current version, you can control Full Screen Optimization directly, you can control Full Screen Optimization through Registry Editor.
First, press Win+R to launch the “Run” dialog box, type REGEDIT and enter to start the Registry Editor (Figure 2).
In the Registry Editor, locate “HKEY_CURRENT_USERSystemGameConfigStore” along the following path, right-click in the right pane and select “New → DWORD (32-bit) Value” (Figure 3).
Next, rename the newly created DWORD (32-bit) value to GameDVR_DSEBehavior and enter to save it (Figure 4).
Double click on the GameDVR_DSEBehavior value and in its edit window, change the value data to 2 to disable fullscreen optimization; if the value is changed to 0, fullscreen optimization is enabled (Figure 5).
After changing the above values, close the registry editor and restart the system to make the settings take effect.
3. You can control fullscreen optimization even without leaving the application
Fullscreen optimization can be done not only through system settings and registry modifications, but also through the game or program itself.
If you want to disable fullscreen optimization for a software or game, you can also right-click the main program of the software, select “Properties” option in the pop-up shortcut menu, click the “Compatibility” tab in the “Properties” window, and then click the “Compatibility” tab. Compatibility” tab, and then under the “Settings” group option, select the “Disable fullscreen optimization” option (Figure 6). If you leave this item unchecked, the default is to turn on fullscreen optimization.
If you want to control the full-screen optimization function for all users, you can click the “Change settings for all users” button in the above “Compatibility” property setting window, and then check the “Disable full-screen optimization” under the “Settings” group box in the “Compatibility for all users” setting page to disable the full-screen optimization function for all users (Figure 7).