How To Switch Off Gaming Mode On Your Keyboard

How to turn off gaming mode on a keyboard
Tips And Tricks

These days computers are designed to know what you want before you ask for it! Windows 10 and 11’s Game Mode is an example of this. Game Mode is designed to detect when you are using your computer for gaming and optimize your processes to give you the best gaming experience. Sometimes, though, you’ll want to know how to turn off gaming mode on a keyboard.

Unfortunately, Game Mode doesn’t always work the way it is supposed to and during these times it can cause issues in your system. It can undermine background processes that you have left running while taking a game break, and can also misidentify elements of some games which leads to worse rather than better game performance. When this happens, you will want to turn Game Mode off.


Game Mode is a system-wide setting, so you can’t set it to only run when you are playing certain games. You may want to toggle it on and off frequently because of this, but it can be a pain to enter the Settings menu every time. This is why the keyboard shortcut for enabling and disabling Game Mode is one that everyone should know!

In this article, we will explain how to enable and disable Game Mode using both the keyboard shortcut and the Settings menu. We will also look at exactly what Game Mode is, what it is supposed to do, the benefits and disadvantages, and when you might want to turn it on or off.

What Is Game Mode?

What Is Game Mode and how to turn off gaming mode on keyboard

Computers running Windows 10 and 11 come with Game Mode, which is activated by default on your new computer.

The purpose of Game Mode is to automatically detect when you are using your PC for gaming and optimize your settings for a better gaming experience. It does this by prioritizing your gaming functionality over other processes running on your computer, pushing more CPU and GPU power to your game by temporarily disabling background processes.

This sounds great in theory, but it doesn’t work all the time. Why not? What if you are having a quick gaming session while waiting for something to happen in the background? You won’t want Game Mode to put your background activity on hold.

Also, Game Mode does not recognize all the elements of all games. It can misidentify certain game elements for some games and put these elements on hold, which leads to your game stalling and crashing rather than running more smoothly. Known examples of Game Mode crashing popular games include Call of Duty: Warzone and League of Legends.

Game Mode will also deactivate the use of certain keys while you are gaming. These are the keys that are most often hit unintentionally when gaming on a keyboard including ALT+TAB and ALT+F4. Many people find this function especially frustrating.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Game Mode

Considering the issues with Game Mode, is it even worth using? The answer to this question depends mostly on the type of PC that you have.

If your PC isn’t very powerful, Game Mode can make a big difference by freeing up processing space to run heavier games. If you have a powerful PC with plenty of CPU and GPU, you probably won’t notice any difference in game performance with Game Mode switched on, but you will notice when Game Mode causes unwanted background glitches.

It may also be that you want to use Game Mode selectively, only enabling it when you are playing your heaviest games. Game Mode is a system-wide setting, so you can’t ask it to only activate when you are playing certain games. If this is your plan, you will need to turn Game Mode on and off manually.

How To Turn Game Mode On And Off

How To Turn Off Game Mode And On

If you decide that you only want to use Game Mode some of the time, or there are certain games that you love but you know you need to disable Game Mode to play, you will want to know how to toggle Game Mode on and off quickly and easily.

The fastest way to switch between Game Mode and normal PC Mode is with the keyboard command FN+F10. You should receive a quick on-screen notification after hitting these buttons, to let you know that this has been successful.

If it isn’t successful, you will need to hit CTRL+ALT+DELETE first to get to the task manager, and then use the FN+F10 command to change your mode.

If this does not work for you, then you can toggle Game Mode on and off in the settings of Windows 10 and 11. Head to the settings menu, which is the cogwheel icon that you can see when you open the Windows start menu. Here you will find that one of the principal menu options is “Gaming”, and this is where you will want to go.

Within the sidebar of this menu, you will see Game Mode. When you select this, you will see a toggle that allows you to switch the gaming mode on or off.

Find our best ergonomic keyboards to further enhance your gaming experience here.

Other Windows Modes

Game Mode and standard PC Mode are not your only options when running Windows 10 and 11. Windows also has something called S Mode, which stands for Security Mode. This mode streamlines your experience for both security and performance by only allowing you to use apps from the Microsoft Store. This significantly reduces your chances of installing malware on your computer. It also freezes non-Microsoft applications that tend to hog your CPU, giving you more power for your authorized apps.

Of course, there are downsides. You are limited in what you can use; for example, there is no Chrome or Firefox for browsing, as you are forced to use Microsoft Edge.

Some new computers come with S Mode enabled, or they only have S Mode and you need to download Windows Home separately.

To enable or disable S Mode, head to the Settings menu and then select System and Activation. If you are using S Mode you will see an option to Switch to Windows 11 Pro (or similar). To complete this task you will need to follow the options to Go to the Store. This will take you to a Switch out of S Mode page in the store, and you will have to hit the Get button to enable this. You will receive a confirmation message when Windows has updated.

Read what Microsoft has to say about S Mode here.


Should I turn on Windows Game Mode?

Windows Game Mode is recommended if you have a lower-end PC without a lot of CPU and GPU and you plan on gaming. It pauses background programs to give you more processing power for your game. But if you have a powerful PC with plenty of processing power, you probably won’t see the difference between Game Mode and standard PC Mode.

Does Windows Game Mode increase FPS?

Since Game Mode sends more processing power to your game in Windows, it can slightly increase your frames per second when gaming.

Is it OK to put your PC in high-performance mode?

Putting your PC in high-performance mode pushes your PC to use its full CPU speed in all activities currently underway. This is unnecessary in most cases, as your computer detects when you need increased CPU and increases its function automatically. Meanwhile, high-performance mode burns through your battery and uses full CPU capacity when it isn’t necessary.

Does Game Mode drain battery power?

Game Mode does not drain battery power any more than standard PC mode, though, of course, when you are gaming you should expect your battery to deplete much faster than for less CPU-intensive activities.

The Verdict

Software designers are always coming up with useful settings to make our experience easier and more intuitive, but not every feature always works the way it is supposed to.

Game Mode is an excellent feature in Windows 10 and 11, but it can cause unwanted issues in certain games, and if you have a powerful PC, the setting probably isn’t necessary. Your PC comes with the setting activated, and there are plenty of examples of moments when you may want to toggle the setting on and off since it is a system-wide setting and can’t be activated only for specific games.

Your keyboard command is probably the fastest and easiest way to toggle between Game Mode and standard PC Mode, though you can always change modes in the settings menu if your PC decides to be uncooperative.

What to read next? Check out our recommendations for the best ergonomic kit for your home office and gaming space.

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