How to optimize your desktop

How to optimize your desktop

For live streamers taking their first steps into the live streaming industry, Streamlabs Desktop provides a feature that automatically scans your internet speed and computer hardware to give you our recommended settings for your particular set up. It’s a fantastic way to jump right in without having to fiddle with the finer details.

For those that are a bit more technically savvy, today we are going to discuss some of the settings you can adjust within Streamlabs Desktop to help ensure optimal quality.

Settings

Having settings that are too high for your computer's hardware can cause performance issues for your live stream. To adjust these settings, open Streamlabs Desktop and click on the settings cog in the lower left-hand corner.

Choose an Encoder

To change your encoder, navigate to “Output” in the settings window.

How to optimize your desktop

When it comes to encoders, there are two types: software (x264) and hardware (NVENC). The software encoder (x264) will use your CPU to encode video, while hardware encoders like NVENC will offload the encoding process to your GPU. Picking the encoder that works best for you depends on a few factors.

In general, the output quality of a given bitrate for GPU-based encoders won’t be as high as software encoders. However, the advantage is a decreased load on your CPU.

If you have a particularly powerful GPU or a dedicated streaming PC, consider using a hardware encoder. In most cases, the software encoder (x264) will be able to handle the encoding process, as long as your CPU isn’t being overly taxed in other areas.

To ensure your CPU isn’t being overworked, you can adjust a few settings to optimize for performance and quality.

Quality and Resolution

The output of your video resolution can have a significant impact on the quality of your live stream and the performance of Streamlabs Desktop. For example, streaming at 1080p vs 720p will double the number of pixels, meaning your computer will be using more resources.

To adjust your resolution, select “Video” from the side panel in the setting window.

How to optimize your desktop

You can leave the base (canvas) resolution as 1920x 1080 since, in most cases, that is the standard size of the content you are streaming. It is, however, recommended to lower the Output (Scaled) Resolution since streaming in 1080p can have a significant impact on your CPU. We recommend lowering the Output (Scaled) Resolution to 1280×720 for a good balance between performance and quality.

Change the CPU Usage Preset

To change the CPU usage preset, navigate to “Output” in the settings window.

The usage preset refers to how fast the CPU encodes video. The faster it encodes, the less CPU it uses. By default, this is set to “Very Fast”, which provides the best balance between performance and quality.

Enable Dynamic Bitrate

In the latest update to Streamlabs Desktop, we included a feature called Dynamic Bitrate. This feature allows our software to automatically adjusts your bitrate based on network conditions to prevent dropping frames.

Having a static bitrate can cause frames to drop because if your connection is unable to keep up, it will drop frames to improve the stability of your stream and minimize latency.

How to optimize your desktop

To enable Dynamic Bitrate, make sure you download the latest version of Streamlabs Desktop. Navigate to “Advanced” in the settings window. Scroll down and toggle the box next to the option that says “Dynamically change bitrate when dropping frames while streaming”.

Please remember, everybody’s set up is going to be different so make sure to play around with the settings yourself to find out what works best for you.

If you have any questions or comments, please let us know. Remember to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

When we mention performance, we mean the speed with which you can work in Tableau. It might mean the speed of data analysis, such as working in Tableau Desktop on a large corporate database that you are accessing remotely. Or, it could refer to the speed of loading views or dashboards that you access on your desktop from Tableau Server.

If you are working with small data volumes, many of the recommendations in this section are optional for you. Your workbook performance is probably as speedy as you expect. But if you work with hundreds of millions of records, designing an efficient workbook is critically important to the speed at which you can work. We recommend that you review the topics and tips in this section before you start building your first view.

Making performance improvements almost always means making trade-offs. For example: Do you sacrifice speed to make sure you have the most current data? Is it important to include all the data for analysis, or will a speedier subset do? The bigger and more complicated the data, the longer it takes to interpret and render. But there are things you can do to accelerate the process. Think of fine-tuning your workbook performance as working on a puzzle with multiple pieces. Pick and choose from the topics in this section to find the pieces that solve your particular puzzle.

The topics in this section on performance discuss the big picture and then drill down to specific functionality. It starts with databases, data, and extracts, and then focuses on things that affect your data source, your workbooks, your calculations, and visualizations. The next set of topics discuss how to record and analyze workbook performance. Finally we look at how to reduce upload times to a Tableau server.

General tips

This general list of considerations is a start in learning how to approach optimizing workbooks. It comes from the TL;DR page in the Designing Efficient Workbooks (Link opens in a new window) whitepaper.

The cleaner your data is and the better it matches the structure of your questions, the faster your workbooks will run and the happier your life will be. Only connect to the data that you need for analysis.

Extracts are a quick and easy way to make most workbooks run faster. If you don’t need real-time data and aren’t working over billions of rows of data, you should try them.

The majority of slow dashboards are caused by poor design – in particular, too many charts on a single dashboard, or trying to show too much data at once. Keep it simple. Allow your users to incrementally drill down to details, rather than trying to show everything then filter (guided analysis).

Don’t work with data you don’t need—both in terms of the fields you reference as well as the granularity of the records you return. Use filters, hide unused fields and aggregate.

While reducing the data, make sure you use filters efficiently.

Strings and dates are slow, numbers and Booleans are fast.

There is no silver bullet for inefficient workbooks. Start by looking at the performance recorder to understand where the time is going. Long-running queries? Lots of queries? Slow calculations? Complex rendering? Use this insight to focus your efforts in the right direction.

Upgrading to the newest version may boost performance without needing anything else.

If it is slow in the data source, it will be slow in Tableau Desktop. If it is slow in Tableau Desktop, it will (almost always) be slow in Tableau Server.

Performance tuning is highly individualized to the context of your environment, data, analysis, and workbook. What works in one situation may not work in another–test and iterate to see what works in your specific case.

Find out about the tools, offers, and guidance designed to help you manage and optimize your Azure costs. Learn how to understand and forecast your bill, optimize workload costs, and control your spending.

How to optimize your desktop

Understand and forecast your costs

  • Monitor and analyze your Azure bill with Azure Cost Management and Billing. Set budgets and allocate spending to your teams and projects.
  • Estimate the costs for your next Azure projects using the Azure pricing calculator and the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) calculator.
  • Successfully build your cloud business case with key financial and technical guidance from Azure.

Cost optimize your workloads

  • Follow your Azure Advisor best practice recommendations for cost savings.
  • Review your workload architecture for cost optimization using the Microsoft Azure Well-Architected Review assessment and the Microsoft Azure Well-Architected Framework design documentation.
  • Save with Azure offers and licensing terms such as the Azure Hybrid Benefit, paying in advance for predictable workloads with reservations, Azure Spot Virtual Machines, and Azure dev/test pricing.

How to optimize your desktop

How to optimize your desktop

Control your costs

  • Mitigate cloud spending risks by implementing cost management governance best practices at your company using the Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure.
  • Implement cost controls and guardrails for your environment with Azure Policy.

7 ways to optimize costs today

1
Shut down unused resources

Identify idle virtual machines (VMs), ExpressRoute circuits, and other resources with Azure Advisor. Get recommendations on which resources to shut down, and see how much you would save.

2
Right-size underused resources

Find underutilized resources with Azure Advisor—and get recommendations on how to reduce your spend by reconfiguring or consolidating them.

3
Reserve instances for consistent workloads

Get a discount of up to 72 percent over pay-as-you-go pricing on Azure services when you prepay for a one- or three-year term with reservation pricing.

4
Take advantage of the Azure Hybrid Benefit

AWS is five times more expensive than Azure for Windows and SQL Server. Save big when you migrate your on-premises workloads to Azure.

5
Configure autoscaling

Save by dynamically allocating and de-allocating resources to match your performance needs.

6
Set up budgets and allocate costs to teams and projects

Create and manage budgets for the Azure services you use or subscribe to—and monitor your organization’s cloud spending—with Azure Cost Management.

7
Choose the right Azure compute service

Azure offers many ways to host your code. Operate more cost efficiently by selecting the right compute service for your application.

How to optimize your desktop

Learn more about these 7 highly effective ways to optimize your Azure costs

Check out this infographic that shows how to take advantage of the free tools included with your Azure subscription. Find special licensing offers and other ways to assess and adjust your Azure workloads for optimal cost efficiency.

See how customers are optimizing their Azure costs

  1. How to optimize your desktop

Maersk delivers cost optimization across its organization

Global logistics leader Maersk gained significant benefits, like enterprise-wide awareness and better cost management processes, through its ongoing digital transformation by making cloud cost optimization a core practice.

ASOS weaves cost optimization into fashion innovation

"We spend a lot of money in the cloud, so it's one of those things that has a huge impact. Our cloud cost optimization has already saved us 25 to 40 percent."

How to optimize your desktop

H&R Block optimizes cloud costs with Azure

H&R Block partnered with Microsoft to increase the cost efficiency of its cloud deployments. Using Azure cost-optimization services and best practices, the tax preparation giant continuously optimizes its cloud spend and keeps monthly costs under control year-over-year.

How to optimize your desktop

Cost optimization training

Learn how to save money on Azure in this free, 51-minute Microsoft Learn module, Microsoft Azure Well-Architected Framework—Cost Optimization. You’ll learn how to:

  • Gain visibility and draw cost insights using monitoring and analytics.
  • Maximize the efficiency of your cloud environment.
  • Provision resources that are optimized for cost.

Additional cost optimization resources

  1. Overview
  2. Understand and forecast your costs
  3. Cost-optimize your workloads
  4. Control your costs

How to optimize your desktop

Get help managing your costs from expert partners

Find help with cost management from an Azure partner with verified capabilities—and move forward confidently, knowing your partner is committed to your success. Depending on your needs, there are two expert partner options to choose from:

Azure advanced specialization partners provide deep expertise in specific scenarios—such as infrastructure migration, app modernization, cloud-native app development, or managing specialized workloads on Azure.

Azure expert managed service providers are generalists, offering validated expertise in managing and optimizing Azure environments, following industry and Microsoft best practices.

How to optimize your desktop

Is Your Facebook Cover Image Optimized for Mobile Viewing.

Facebook Cover Image not showing up right on your mobile device? Or have you updated for mobile viewing and now it doesn’t show up correct on the desktop?

We’ve got the solution for you!?

How to optimize your desktop

Even the ‘pros’ don’t get it right all the time.

And don’t be too hard on yourself even the ‘pros’ don’t have it right all the time.

Check out how Hubspot’s page cover image looks on mobile…

As you know, Facebook does like to change things up fairly often & the way your cover images show up on mobile is no exception. Even Facebook itself doesn’t recommend the proper dimensions for your image to show up correctly on mobile and desktop. However, using the dimensions provided below you should be covered for optimal viewing on most mobile devices and desktop.

The secret is to make your image taller than the recommended 828 x 315 pixels or for mobile viewing 465pixels tall, to be exact. This gives you 75 extra pixels at the top and bottom which will be cropped on the desktop view.

You can easily do this using a free tool we love – Canva by selecting “Use Custom Dimensions”.

How to optimize your desktop

Use these dimensions for optimal viewing on both mobile and desktop for your Facebook Cover Image.

NOTE: You will want to be mindful of anything placed in the top and bottom sections for optimal desktop viewing.

You could even get creative and do a special offer for mobile users! This could be especially useful if you are a local store or restaurant. You could offer a discount or free item for mobile users who stop in and show they found you via mobile.

How to optimize your desktop

Offer a special deal for your mobile viewers.

We hope this article has been useful and if you know of someone who could benefit from this we’d love it if you shared. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about optimizing your Facebook page.

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About the Author

Erin Cell

Erin Cell, is the Founder & CEO of Socially Powered, LLC. helping business owners Power Up their online presence since 2012. Erin trains and speaks on social media around the world focusing on strategy, Instagram and marketing for blockchain, cryptocurrency and events..

Get the most out of your home network. Learn how to test and verify devices connected to your NVG599 are properly setup to connect at 802.11n speeds.

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WATCH AND LEARN

Optimize your network

Gateway location and settings

Note: Direct wired connections provide the fastest speeds and free up Wi-Fi bandwidth. Try connecting devices you keep in one place, such as computers and game consoles, directly to your gateway using the available Ethernet ports.

Establish baseline speeds
Running a speed test will allow you to see your baseline speeds, both wired and wireless. Prior to running a Wi-Fi test, disable all other household devices that may produce wireless interference. For example, Bluetooth devices, wireless phones, baby monitors and other wireless video devices.

Use the following steps to perform speed tests for your home network.

  1. Close any other applications on your device.
  2. Shut down any other Wi-Fi enabled devices including tablets, smartphones, computers, game boxes, and DVRs.
  3. Run the AT&T Internet Speed Test from a desktop or laptop wired to your gateway to see download and upload speeds.
  1. Connect to your Wi-Fi home network using your desktop or laptop.
  2. Close any other applications on your device.
  3. Shut down any other Internet-enabled devices including tablets, smartphones, computers, game boxes, and DVRs.
  4. Run the AT&T Internet Speed Test from a desktop or laptop connected through Wi-Fi to see download and upload speeds.
  • Away from large metal objects such as metal racks and cabinets.
  • Not near other power sources. The power supply should be at least 6 ft. away.
  • Away from cordless phone bases or microwaves.
  • Standing vertical with nothing resting on or against it.
  • Not contained within a closed area such as a cabinet or closet.
  1. Open a Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, or other browser window.
  2. Enter http://192.168.1.254 to access the gateway settings screen.
  3. Scroll to the Key things to do Using your Gateway and, select Wireless.
  4. Verify the following for both radios:
    • Security is set to WPA. (Selecting No Privacy will also work, but is not recommended for security reasons.) Selecting WPA-PSK is recommended if the SSID is changed.
    • Mode is B/G/N. This standard allows the maximum interoperability with clients, while allowing 11n speeds (with the correct security).
    • Bandwidth is 20MHz.
    • Channel is set to Automatic (default setting).
    • Power Level is set to 100 for maximum coverage.

Radio settings

NVG599 radios
The NVG599 has two radios (2.4GHz and 5.0GHz) allowing for multiple network names (SSIDs) to be supported. The default network name and password will be the same allowing the gateway to automatically switch between the radios based on which one is able to deliver the fastest Wi-Fi speeds. Although the default approach should meet your needs, you have the ability to rename your network radios by accessing the gateway settings on your computer.

How to optimize your desktop

While Gmail is just one of the many services you get when you create a Google account, for all intents and purposes you can think of them as the same thing. When you sign up for a Google account you automatically get Gmail, and if you have a Gmail account that means you already have a Google account.

In other words, if you have one you already have the other. Your Google or Gmail account also gives you free access to a large library of other apps and services, including Google Docs, Google Drive , Google Maps, and dozens more.

Here’s how to set up a new Gmail account to use with all of Google’s services.

Quick tip: If you ever need to sign in to your Google account to access a Google product, use your Gmail username and password.

How to create a Gmail account

You can create a Gmail account using a web browser on your computer or on the mobile app. No matter where you create your account, you’ll be able to access it from any of your web browsers or devices.

On desktop:

1. On your Mac or PC, go to Google’s Create your Google Account page. You can go there directly or find it by going to Google.com, clicking Sign In, and then clicking Create account.

2. Follow the instructions to complete the first page; start by entering your first and last name. It doesn’t need to be your legal name, but it should be the way you want to be identified in Gmail.

3. Enter the email username you’d like to use. Keep in mind that there are billions of Gmail users, so your first choice might not be available.

4. Enter your desired password and enter it a second time in the Confirm field. For safety and security, your password should be strong — use a combination of upper- and lower-case characters, numbers, and symbols that’s at least 8 characters long (and preferably 12 characters).

5. Click Next.

6. Continue to follow the instructions to set up your account. Enter your mobile phone number — this is an optional step, but highly recommended, to help recover your account if there’s a problem signing in. Likewise, you should also add a secondary email address to help in account recovery. Also enter your birthday and gender.

7. Click Next.

8. Google may ask you to verify your phone number. Click Send to receive a code at your designated mobile phone number, and then enter the code to verify the phone number is yours.

9. If you want to use this number with other Google services (like using it for video calls with Google Meet ) click Yes, I’m in. Otherwise, click Skip.

10. Finally, click I agree after reviewing Google’s terms of service.

You’re now logged into this new Google account in this browser. Once it’s set up, you can access your personal contacts in Gmail, and use your Google account to find, add, and manage those contacts.

On the Gmail mobile app:

1. Open the Gmail app and tap the account icon at the top-right.

2. Tap Add another account.

3. On the Add account screen, tap Google.

4. On the Google Sign in screen, tap Create account and choose For myself.

5. Enter your first and last name. It doesn’t need to be your legal name, but it should be the way you want to be identified in Gmail. Tap Next.

6. Enter your birthday and gender, then tap Next.

7. Choose one of the premade Gmail addresses or tap Create your own Gmail address to make your own unique address. Tap Next.

8. Create a strong password for your new Google account and then tap Next.

9. You can add a phone number that can be used to recover your account if you forget your password, and with other Google services (like using it for video calls with Google Meet). If you want to do this, enter a mobile phone number and then click Yes, I’m in. Otherwise, click Skip.

10. If you added a phone number, enter the verification code that’s texted to your number.

11. Finally, click I agree after reviewing Google’s terms of service.

Gmail mailbox settings

If you regularly use Gmail, you might want to change the mail app’s settings. Google gives you a lot of options for configuring Gmail. One of the first things you may want to do is change your Google profile picture; after that, you can access a wide variety of other settings from the web and your mobile device.

On desktop:

1. Open Gmail in a web browser and sign in if needed.

2. Click the gear-shaped Settings icon at the top-right. You should see some quick settings that let you change the overall appearance of the inbox.

3. Click See all Settings at the top of the menu.

Here you’ll find the Settings page. Google tends to change the organization and content of Settings often, but you should be able to find what you need with a little browsing. There are a number of tabs at the top of the page, such as General, Labels, Accounts and Import, and others.

Each of these tabs has its own group of settings, though you’ll probably find most of the features you need in General. Here you can configure your vacation auto-responder, for example, as well as turn on and off features like grammar checking, spell check, and autocorrect.

On the Gmail mobile app:

1. Open the Gmail app.

2. Tap the three-line icon at the top-left and tap Settings.

3. Tap the Gmail account that you want to configure. If you have several Gmail accounts, there might be more than one account in the list.

Here you’ll find a list of all the settings you can configure. Your options will be a little different than in a web browser — the display options are very different on a mobile device, for example — and there are no tabs at the top of the page.

Even so, it’s easy to browse, because you can scroll to see all the available settings. For example, instead of the Labels tab in the browser, you can tap Label Settings in the Settings menu to create folders in Gmail.

How to optimize your desktop

Digital photo frames are great devices we can use for storing and displaying our photographs. They provide a cool and entertaining viewing experience, experience which we can further improve with the aid of image editing software.

It may be the case that sometimes certain photos you take don’t come out exactly how you intended: they’re too dark or too bright or perhaps they aren’t sharp enough. This is why it’s necessary to perform a little bit of editing before we can transfer them to our digital frames. By performing the right edits and retouches you’ll make your pictures more visually appealing and hence you’ll truly enjoy viewing them on your picture frame.

Which Image Editing Software to Use?

If you want to edit your photos, it’s good to know you have several alternatives at your disposal. There are plenty of tools you can resort to, whether desktop-based or online, in order to edit your images one by one.

On the other hand, if you’re dealing with a large collection of photos, you can’t really afford to manually adjust hundreds of photos. It’s just too consuming time and energy-wise. In this situation it’s advisable to turn to a program like BatchPhoto that has the capacity to automatically edit multiple photos at the same time and implicitly make your job significantly easier.

Resize Photos to Fit your Digital Frame

The first thing you need to do is make sure your photos will be displayed in an optimal way on your frame. Let’s say your digital frame has a resolution of 800 x 600 pixels and the photos you have taken have a resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixels. If you’ll leave them like this, they’ll appear stretched and distorted on your frame and completely ruin your viewing experience.

In order to get the best possible viewing experience, you’ll need to change the size of your pictures so that they’ll match your frame’s resolution. With BatchPhoto you can resize multiple images at once, in a single session. All you have to do is add them, enter your preferred dimensions for width and height and choose your destination folder. Next the tool will automatically resize all your photos, while you can focus on other tasks.

Resizing is a necessary step in the entire optimizing process not only to optimally fit images within your digital frame, but also because it can help you save important storage space. High-resolution images come with large file sizes and by considerably reducing those sizes you can really save space on the internal memory.

Date Stamp Photos

A great way to remember certain events and special moments is to add a date stamp to your pictures. The best part about it is that you have the possibility to customize it, so that the final result will completely match your preferences in terms of appearance, placement and level of visibility.

To that effect you can select the suitable date and time format from multiple options, the position of the stamp, as well as its font, color and size. In addition to that you can also add special effects like stroke and shadow and draw a bounding-box around it.

How to optimize your desktop

Auto Rotate Images with Ease

This is another aspect you need to consider when it comes to displaying photos. When you take shots of various surroundings, objects or people you constantly switch between the portrait and landscape modes to best capture each scene. While on the camera preview they appear normal, when you transfer them to other devices it may happen that some of the shots will be displayed either sideways or upside down.

To solve this problem you could manually correct the orientation, but there’s a faster way to make sure your pictures are being shown the right way on your digital frame. All you have to do is apply the Auto Rotate filter and the program will automatically correct the orientation for multiple images at the same time.

Give your Pictures a Professional Look

A little retouching never hurts, as long as it’s tastefully done and you don’t go overboard. This way you can improve the overall quality of your images and give them that sought-after professional appearance. So what can you do to make your pics look better?

First of all, you can improve the image contrast. You could try to do this manually by playing around with the sliders, but it’s better to resort to the Auto Contrast filter to automatically adjust it. You can also use the Saturation filter to do some color correction if you feel like your photos need more vividness. If you’re dealing with blurred images, you can try to fine-tune them with the aid of the Sharpen feature.

Give your Photos Meaningful Names

It’s rather unpleasant to go through your photo albums and always run against those dull and impersonal file names generated automatically by your digital camera like DSC_016 or IMG_1434. Luckily you can change that and give your images relevant names such as “Paris 2017” or “Marriage Anniversary September 2017”.

With BatchPhoto you can easily rename photos in bulk without losing any quality whatsoever. You can add which name you find meaningful, you can change cases to your liking or even insert the original date and time into the file name.

As a conclusion, by applying all these changes to your images, you can really make a difference. You’ll considerably improve the general aspect of your pictures and you’ll adjust them so that they’ll be viewed at the highest quality on your digital photo frame.

How to optimize your desktop

Most of the time, a remote computer will function completely fine without a reboot, but in case you’re managing a session where the remote host machine requires a reboot and you reboot through the standard method, you won’t be able to resume the session without user interaction. Thankfully, with AnyDesk you will able to reboot the machine remotely (the Remote Reboot button must be clicked). To find that button, select „Actions“ (the menu with the flash symbol) and then „Restart remote machine“.

2. Optimize your screen

Especially if you’re working on a remote PC for hours, you might want to adjust the view to fit your needs. With AnyDesk, various visual settings can be adjusted to bring in the feel of actually using your local computer instead of a remote one. In the „Display“ settings you can set the defaults and you will be presented with several options:

  • Original size: ensures that the transmission window has the same resolution as the remote computer’s desktop. The transmission window may, however, be bigger than the AnyDesk window. In this case, the view will scroll automatically with the mouse movement.
  • Optimize monitor usage (stretch): ensures that the transmission window adapts to your local AnyDesk window or (if in fullscreen) monitor. This will stretch the image if your monitor’s resolution is larger than that of the remote computer.
  • Optimize display (shrink): this allows AnyDesk to automatically adjust the size to fit your local monitor if it is too small. But it will not stretch the image, if your monitor is larger.
  • Start new sessions in fullscreen mode: your entire monitor will be automatically filled with the image of the remote desk during a session. This is extremely helpful, if you intend to use the remote computer only without switching between applications on your local PC and the remote destop.

3. Show remote cursor

When we work with someone on his remote computer we won´t be able to know what the other user is trying to show as his mouse pointer is not visible by default. So to see the remote cursor you need to manually enable it. After you connect to the remote computer click on the „Display“ menu (with the screen icon) and at „Visual Helpers“ select „Show remote cursor“. Now, not only your desktop’s cursor is visible but also that of the remote desktop. This allows the remote user to point at certain elements on the screen.

4. Switch sides

In a regular remote support session, you will connect with your client (host computer) to view his desktop. But in case you would like to show or present something to your client without having to close and open a new session the other way around, you can select „Switch sides“ from the “Actions” menu, allowing your partner to view and control your desktop.

5. Unattended access

Setting up unattended access on a customer´s computer allows you to access their computer when the customer is not sitting in front of it, enabling you to provide unattended technical support at any time. Or if you wish to access your work computer from your laptop at home, this feature makes it possible. All you need to do is set a password in the “Security” tab of your work computer’s AnyDesk settings.

AnyDesk is super easy to use, but with the above tips, you should be able to really take advantage of its power – and make it feel like your remote computer is right in front of you!

It's hard to know which PC settings tweaks will improve your gaming experience and which ones are a waste of time. Here are a few adjustments that'll ensure you get the most out of your machine.

How to optimize your desktop

So you’re fired up to play the best PC games of the year, and you want to eke every bit of performance out of your rig as possible. We understand—after all, PCs are multipurpose machines, which means yours might not be optimized for gaming out of the box. But with so much snake oil out there, it’s hard to know what’ll actually improve your experience, and what’ll just waste your time. Here are a few tweaks that’ll ensure you get the most out of your machine.

Rein In Background Processes

If you have hardware-hungry programs open in the background, they may prevent your PC from using its full potential in games—particularly if you have a lower-end PC with limited resources. In general, closing those background programs is a good idea, but don’t expect miracles.

Windows’ built-in Game Mode is designed to help with this as well. It dedicates more of your system to the game you’re playing, so background processes can’t steal precious CPU power. It also prevents Windows Update from installing new drivers or sending restart notifications, which is a nice bonus. Game Mode is on by default in current versions of Windows 10, but it doesn’t hurt to check—head to Settings > Gaming > Game Mode and flip the switch to On. You might also try turning it off, as it has been known to cause problems with certain games.

Apart from this, don’t put too much stock in “slimming down” Windows for gaming. Many of the tips you’ll find for doing so are outdated or straight-up useless—instead of hunting through the registry for obscure tweaks, you’re better off focusing your attention on your hardware, drivers, and in-game settings. (Oh, and turning off notifications so they don’t bother you while you’re playing.)

Update Your Graphics Drivers

In general, you don’t need to go out of your way to update drivers for your hardware unless you’re experiencing issues. But your graphics card is an exception: manufacturers like Nvidia and AMD regularly issue driver updates that contain optimizations for the latest games. So installing the manufacturer’s drivers and keeping them up-to-date can give you a serious boost in performance, particularly on new titles.

You may already see the Nvidia or AMD driver icon in your taskbar, but that doesn’t mean you have the latest version. Head to the download pages on the Nvidia, AMD, or Intel website, punch in your graphics card model, and download the latest driver package—if you don’t know what graphics card you have, here’s how to find out.

Wire Up Over Ethernet (or Improve Your Wi-Fi)

If you play multiplayer games online, you’re just as limited—if not moreso—by your internet as you are your graphics hardware. If your game is lagging, stuttering, or constantly losing connection, you’ll need to improve your network connection.

Your best bet, if at all possible, is a wired connection: connect your PC directly to your router with an Ethernet cable. If your computer isn’t next to your router, find another way—your home may have Ethernet jacks in the wall wired to a central location, or you can use powerline adapters to run network data through the electrical wiring in your house. I’ve even run Ethernet cable across the ceiling of my kitchen before—desperate times call for desperate measures. If Ethernet isn’t an option, check out our tips for improving your Wi-Fi instead. If you can get a strong enough connection with low latency, it can be good enough.

Adjust Your Mouse Settings

You’ve probably gotten used to how your mouse moves on screen, but certain settings are designed more for desktop work than gaming. If it’s been a while since you dove into your mouse’s settings, there are a few things you might want to change.

From Settings > Devices > Mouse > Additional Mouse Options, make sure the pointer speed is set to the default 6th notch from the left, and Enhance Pointer Precision is disabled. Pointer Precision—also called Mouse Acceleration—will move your cursor farther when you move your mouse faster. That can be handy on the desktop, but it isn’t ideal for gaming where you want to build that muscle memory, predict where your cursor will land, and get enemies in your crosshairs every time. (If you use a trackpad or don’t have a lot of desk space, it could help you get around those limitations—but most gamers prefer to keep it turned off.)

If you want your movements to be more or less sensitive, it’s best to adjust sensitivity in-game rather than in Windows (provided your game supports it). If you have a gaming mouse with adjustable DPI, you can also adjust that in conjunction with in-game sensitivity to really dial things in. Mouse sensitivity is personal preference, and there are a lot of different configurations to try—so test different combinations and read up on other gamers’ recommendations to see what’s best for your playstyle.