These days, graphics drivers don’t just install the software your OS needs to communicate with your GPU. With hardware accelerated video decoding, game recording and other services being provided, you might find a lot of unneeded odds and ends running on your system. Fortunately, disabling them is easy.
As Martin Brinkmann explains, the standard install by NVIDIA’s drivers include services for Shield, the company’s streaming gaming device, its optimisation tool GeForce Experience and various other components.
To disable them, just hit up the “Services” button on the “Performance” tab of Task Manager, or type “Services” into the Start Menu search box and select the “Services” icon. Then, locate and turn off the following:
- NVIDIA Streamer Service
- NVIDIA Streamer Network Service
- NVIDIA Streamer User Agent
Be sure to not only stop these services, but disable them so they don’t come back on a restart. Brinkmann offers more suggestions, though killing services such as the Capture Server or Network Service can break functionality you may be using — driver upgrade notices, ShadowPlay and the like.
There is a way to prevent most of these services being installed in the first place. Rather than selecting the “Express” install option when you upgrade your drivers, select “Custom” instead. Depending on what you need, you can get away with just the base driver and PhysX software (the first and last checkboxes).