How to Disable Superfetch in Windows 10
For years, Microsoft’s main goal in creating updates for Windows has been to upgrade their operating system to higher standards, making it easier than ever to use the operating system and to make the OS work for the user, instead of the other way around. Every new version of Windows has had new features and upgrades to assist in making the general use of the program that much easier. Whether it comes down to the inclusion of voice assistant Cortana for answering your question, the inclusion of a notification center, the Timeline feature in the April 2018 update for Windows 10 that adds the ability to open files you were working on using other devices, or the ability to sync your Android phone with Windows to pair your notifications and messages.
Some of these features aren’t quite as user-facing as Cortana or Timeline, though. One feature, known as Superfetch, was actually added all the way back in 2006 with the launch of Windows Vista, and has been included on every version of Windows since. Superfetch works in the background of your computer, but the description of the service provided by Microsoft is vague enough that you might not know what it does. Microsoft says Superfetch “maintains and improves system performance over time,” but in reality, Superfetch is working much harder than that vague description implies. The system works in the background to analyze patterns in your RAM usage, learning the apps you use the most often and predicting which apps you’ll need at any given time. When Windows learns the apps you use the most often, it’ll load the program into your RAM prior to you even clicking the application icon to launch it, thus saving you time in the process.
On most computers, Superfetch is a solid program to leave running in the background. That said, there are a few reasons you might want to choose to disable Superfetch on your PC. Slower and older computers might actually be bogged down by the utility, forced to load programs they don’t need and using up your already-limited resources, like weaker processors and small amounts of RAM. Likewise, newer computers that use solid-state drives (SSDs) instead of traditional disk-based hard drives will likely find that it provides no useful benefit, since those drives are fast enough to launch without having to use Superfetch in the first place. Superfetch can also slow down your computer’s start-up, which can make booting your PC a frustrating experience every morning. Luckily, you don’t have to run Superfetch on your PC; the utility can be disabled entirely on your PC. Let’s take a look at how to turn off Superfetch on Windows 10.
Disabling Superfetch Using Services
- To start, press Win+ R to open the Run dialog box on Windows, type ‘services.msc‘ and press Enter.
- This is a full list of services running on your computer, provided by both Windows 10 and by applications and utilities you’ve installed since setting up your computer. There are plenty of services in this window, and for the most part, you can leave them alone, running in the background on your computer. Be careful not to disable any utilities by accident, as some of the services in this program are required by Windows 10 to run properly.
- Scroll through the list until you find Superfetch, right-click on it to open the context menu seen in the screenshot below. From the list of options here, select Stop.
Once you’ve selected the Stop option, Superfetch will be switched off completely, disabling the program from running on your system. Alternately, you can switch Superfetch back on by repeating the steps above and selecting Start from the context menu.
Disabling Superfetch Using the System Registry
A second option to disable Superfetch is by editing the registry on your computer, an option that gives you a bit more flexibility than the Services list above. By editing the Superfetch registry option on your PC, you can actually configure the system, giving you four options as to how Superfetch can run on your computer.
- Open Run again by tapping Win + R, type “regedit” into the dialog box and press Enter. This opens the Registry Editor on your computer, another system you’ll likely not want to mess with too much, in order to avoid disabling or deleting an important prompt on your computer.
- Now, type ‘Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management\PrefetchParameters‘ into the Search bar at the top of the screen and hit Enter or navigate to the folder manually.
- At this key, you’ll find a DWORD with the name EnableSuperfetch, click this registry listing to edit the DWORD value, as seen in the screenshot below. If you don’t see it, then you’ll need to right-click on PrefetchParameters and select New > DWORD, and then name it accordingly.
- The above window has a value data of 3, which means Superfetch is fully enabled. To switch off the Superfetch, enter 0 into the Value data text box. Alternatively, you can also enter 1 to enable the prefetching when a program launches, while inputting 2 activates boot prefetching in Windows. When you’ve completed the entry, press OK and then exit the registry editor.
For most users, Superfetch provides a valuable utility on their PC, helping to preload applications regularly used and needed by the user to launch applications like Chrome or iTunes from RAM, loading faster than ever before. It’s not a perfect system, but most people will likely find that the tool speeds up their computers through regular use. That said, SSD users can disable the prompt to stop the application from running in the background, and owners of older or less-powerful PCs can disable the utility on their computer to help stop Superfetch from taking up CPU cycles and filling their RAM. Ultimately, it’s up to the end user to choose to disable the tool, depending on both their own needs and the power level of their own computer.