First off, take necessary precautions. If you can, back up critical files. Create system restore points. And probably the easiest thing you can do, the thing which saved my ass so many times, is to write your own log file detailing all the changes you make.

If you intend on tweaking, I can’t stress the importance of making the log file. In it, you should describe what you did, any programs you installed, what settings you changed: what the settings originally were when you changed them, and what you changed them to. You should describe in enough detail that you can easily retrace your steps should things go south. If you made a tweak and it broke something, this log file will help you quickly and easily revert it. A real lifesaver. Keep the log file somewhere safe.

In case you’re wondering, I recommend listing programs you installed because sometimes, a bad program is behind any issues you might be having.

Alright, hopefully you now have a “PC Tweak log” like I do. Great! Let’s move on.


First off, let’s make a master control panel shortcut. This is a shortcut that, when opened, shows a metric crap ton of settings you might wanna mess about with.

Go to desktop (or wherever you want to shortcut to be) > Create folder > Rename to

Master Control Panel.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}

Now, let’s do some tweaking.

(1) If you have a high refresh rate monitor, make sure it’s 120/144/165/240Hz mode.

  • Settings> System> Display> Advanced Display Settings> Display adapter properties for <your display>
  • In the new window, select the Monitor tab, click the Screen refresh Rate dropdown box, and select the highest one you see.

(2) Turn off mouse acceleration.

  • Open that Master Control panel> “Change how the mouse pointer looks when it’s moving”
  • Turn off “Enhance Pointer Precision”
  • While you’re there I also recommend setting “Select a pointer speed” to 6/11 (exact middle). Helps mouse accuracy in many games and reduces/prevents “pixel skipping”, an annoying effect which makes your mouse skip areas when you look around in-game.

(3) Settings> Ease of access> Keyboard

  • Use toggle keys> On
  • Check “Allow the shortcut key to start Toggle keys”
  • Use the PrtScn button to open screen snipping> On
  • The first 2 tweaks make a beep sound whenever you hit caps, num, or scroll lock. Useful for if you accidentally press that darn thing. Turn the beeping off easily simply by holding down the Num Lock key until you hear a longer beep signalling that the feature has been turned off. Turn it back on at any time by holding Num lock for 5 seconds.
  • The third tweak binds snip and sketch to printscreen. Now if you press that button, you can drag your mouse to select an area to screenshot. The buttons on the top let you use freeform snip (so you draw exactly the area you want to capture) or a full-screen snip. Snips are auto-saved to your clipboard. Just use Ctrl+V wherever you can paste a picture to, well, paste the snip. Useful for quickly sending cropped screencaps on Discord.

(4) Settings> Personalization> Colors

  • Pick your favourite color to use on the taskbar, on the start menu, and on window borders. If it says your color isn’t supported, there’s a registry modification to let you pick it anyways. I have a quick guide for that written down below, too. It’s your PC, not Windows’ PC, blyat!
  • While you’re here, scroll down and pick Dark mode if you want. Makes everything soooo much easier on the eyes ^^.

(5) If you’re running out of ram, or the disk is spinning too much for your liking, or you have an SSD, look into disabling SysMain, formerly known as Superfetch.

  • Win+R> Type “services.msc” without the quotes, wait for the window to appear, look for SysMain, right click, Properties, click Stop, then set Startup Type to Disable.
  • Also consider disabling Search indexing. Look it up, I find it somewhat useful so I personally don’t disable it.

(6) See a speaker icon on the right side of your taskbar? Right click it> Sounds> (in the new window) Playback> Right click speakers.

  • In the new windows, select the Enhancements tab (if available). Now you can either turn everything off (I HIGHLY recommend it), or turn everything except Loudness Equalization off. Loudness Equalization compresses sound and makes it more muddy, but is effective at lowering the sound of really loud things like gunfire in-game (Do this if you’re worried about your ears and use a high volume). You can also experiment with both and pick the one you like best.
  • Now close that window so you’re back on the previous one, now pick Recording> Right click Microphone
  • In the new window, go to enhancements and turn it all off (again, if available). Then go to levels and play around with it until you get a mic that’s neither ear-murdering loud, nor guilty-thief quiet. I recommend setting boost to 0 or +10 (once again, if available), and Microphone level to whatever you think is best.

(7) Settings> Privacy> Look through them all, there’s a LOT of important stuff there. What you would want to turn off depends on your usage. Be careful as turning off stuff blindly can break Windows Store apps. Personally, I turn off everything I DON’T use. (i.e. if a feature I want to use requires something from here, I’d leave that specific setting on.) I pretty much turned everything off. I don’t need Windows knowing what words I use in my… “homework”. There is one performance option here, though…

  • Background Apps> Turning this off in particular MIGHT improve performance a teeny teensy tiny bit.
  • If you want to know what I DIDN’T turn off, I left Microphone on because I use the Voice Recorder app on occasion, as well as Pictures for Snip n Sketch. Otherwise, everything else was turned off.

(8) Settings> Update and Security> There’s some work to do here.

  • Windows Update> Click “Advanced Options”. Turn off the first two settings, turn on “Show a notification when your PC requires an update to finish updating”. Now go back to “Windows Update, click “Change Active Hours”, and use those to try and give yourself some form of grace period. It isn’t perfect, though, and sometimes Windows will straight-up not give a crap and force update anyways.
  • Delivery Optimization> Review it and decide for yourself, I recommend turning everything off.
  • For Developers> Review and adjust to your liking. In particular, I recommend turning on everything under File Explorer.
  • One of the most recommended things in this sub is to get rid of Windows Updates. In a true Apple like fashion, Windows disgustingly employed the “Microsoft knows best” with regards to updates, making it far too difficult to configure your own update policy. I just listed a couple options to minimize updates a bit, and while I know a few ways to disable Windows Update for good, I HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY advise against it (and won’t show you how), unless you wanna do it temporarily so it doesn’t screw you over before a presentation or something. If you disable it for good anyways, be responsible and turn it back on periodically. Going months without updates isn’t safe. There are nasty people out there who prey on unpatched security holes, not updating will only make you more vulnerable. Stay safe, friend.

(9) Settings> Gaming> Game Bar> Turn off Game Bar. Now Settings> Gaming> Game mode> Turn off Game Mode as well. I found this to improve performance while playing video games by a bit. Your mileage may vary, though.

(10) If you use a password, consider using a PIN instead:

  • Settings> Accounts> Sign in options> PIN and set one up there. It’s a lot faster than a traditional password in my experience.

(11) Settings> System> There’s a lot of stuff here…

  • Display> If you’re on a 4k or even a QHD monitor, consider playing around with the scale.
  • Sound> Nothing much here
  • Notifications and Actions> I turned it all off, adjust to your liking.
  • Focus Assist> Off Off Off Off Off.
  • Power and sleep> Adjust screen and sleep settings to your liking. Now, click on Additional Power Settings. If you’re not going to run your PC on battery anytime ever (so if you’re on a desktop), consider running the High Performance power plan to speed up your system.
  • Storage> To your liking, nothing much here,
  • Tablet mode> Nothing much here either
  • Multitasking> Set everything on, set Timeline off, configure Virtual Desktops to your liking
  • Projecting to this PC> Nothing much here
  • Shared Experiences> Your choice, I have it all off
  • Clipboard> Play around with it, I preferred the basic clipboard.
  • Remote Desktop> Probably disabled for you. Else, configure to your liking, it’s disabled for me.
  • About> Here you can make a custom name for your PC. Helps you identify your computer more easily should a program refer to your PC by name.

WARNING. THESE REGISTRY TWEAKS, DONE WRONG, CAN SERIOUSLY SCREW UP YOUR PC. IT MIGHT FORCE YOU TO REINSTALL AND LOSE ALL DATA. IF THIS MAKES YOU SQUEAMISH, BEWAAAAAAARE!

So there is some tweaking you can do in the system settings. Now it’s time to screw up the registry. Well… screw it up for the better. First, though, a precaution: let’s back up the registry. Should something go wrong, while you can always undo the changes according to your log, restoring the backup of the registry would allow you to undo everything more quickly. Think of it as extra insurance.

To back up the registry, open up the run dialog (Win + R) and type regedit. Press enter and the Registry Editor should pop up. At the very top of the navigation pane (left side), click Computer so that it’s highlighted, then do File> Export. Save this backup and move on.

Alright, you got that done? Good. Now we can do more tweaking. I’m only going to cover cosmetic tweaks and a single functionality tweak.

Also, proper terminology for the “folders” are keys (or subkeys, depending), and those settings with data are called values. For simplicity’s sake I’ll call them Folders and Values, respectively.

(1) Remember how I said there’s a way to select your color if it wasn’t supported? Let’s do that. First, you need to know the hex code of the color. If you only know the RGB code, here’s a handy converter.

  • Computer> HKEY_CURRENT_USER> Software> Microsoft> Windows> DWM
  • With the DWM folder highlighted, in the right hand side, look for a Value called ColorPrevalence. Double click it.
  • If it isn’t already, set the number in “Value data” to 1.
  • Now look for a Value, still with DWM highlighted, called AccentColor. Double click that.
  • In “Value data”, type in the hex code. Leave out any symbols like #, only put in the 6-digit code (made up of numbers and/or letters a-b-c-d-e-f). Avoid pure black 000000 and pure white ffffff codes.
  • You can also make inactive windows turn a different color. You should prepare a separate hex code for this one.
  • With DWM still highlighted, right click anywhere in the unused area in the right hand side, New> DWORD (32-bit) Value. Call it AccentColorInactive, and if you misspell it, right click> Rename to fix it.
  • Right click the Value you just made, and click Modify.
  • In “Value data”, type in the other hex code.
  • You might have to reboot for this. Selecting/deselecting different windows should load the custom colors. If nothing shows, your settings are not configured right, your color choice is imperceptible from what it previously was, or you straight-up messed up somewhere.
  • Not all colors look great. Near pure white in particular doesn’t produce great results.
  • For possibly better results, consider going to Settings> Personalization> Colors> Under “Show accent color on the following surfaces”, uncheck “Start, taskbar, and action center” if it isn’t already.

(2) Wanna show seconds in the lil’ clock on the bottom right corner of your screen? If so, here you go:

  • Computer> HKEY_CURRENT_USER> Software> Microsoft? Windows> CurrentVersion> Explorer> Advanced
  • With the Advanced folder highlighted, in the right hand side, right click anywhere in the unused area, New> DWORD (32-bit) Value. Call it ShowSecondsInSystemClock and if you misspell it, right click> Rename and fix it.
  • Right click the Value you just made and click Modify.
  • In Value data”, type in 1.
  • To view the effects, open Task Manager (Ctrl+Shift+Esc), click Windows Explorer, and click restart. If it doesn’t show, restart the PC. If it STILL doesn’t show, you probably messed up somewhere.

(3) This shows a little more info on startup and shutdown when the windows spinny thingy is doing it spinny spin spin thing.

  • Computer> HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE> SOFTWARE> Microsoft> Windows> CurrentVersion> Policies> System
  • Highlight System. In the right hand side, right click anywhere in the unused area, New> DWORD (32-bit) Value. Call it VerboseStatus
  • Right click the value you just made and click Modify.
  • In “Value data”, type 1.
  • These settings will show on restart usually. They aren’t very noticeable if you have a fast PC on an SSD, they’re mainly there to assist troubleshooting if ever your PC hangs on boot.

(4) WARNING: THIS MIGHT BREAK SOME OLDER PROGRAMS. ONLY DO THIS IF YOU NEED ITS FUNCTIONALITY. If, like me, you love folders in folders in folders in folders to store stuff, you might eventually run into windows telling you that the file name or path is too long. That’s because there’s a 260 character limit on file paths. It can be lifted in recent Windows 10 builds through the registry BUT it could break some older programs. I suggest not screwing with this unless you run into it. 260 characters take you a surprisingly long way, so most of you won’t ever run into it anyways.

  • Computer> HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE> SYSTEM> CurrentControlSet> Control> FileSystem
  • Highlight FileSystem
  • Select the value LongPathsEnabled. If that value doesn’t exist, create it (It’s a DWORD (32-bit) Value).
  • Right click, Modify, Set to 1 (from 0)
  • This might need a restart to take effect