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Windows 10 Optimization Guide

 ·  ☕ 4 min read

This guide goes over using a Custom ISO, Removing Windows 10 Components, and Optimizing Windows 10 Settings.

Custom ISO

The whole purpose of a custom ISO is to make the initial install as slim as possible. You don’t have to uninstall bloat if it never gets installed to begin with!

Easiest Method NTLite ($30) - https://www.ntlite.com/

Free Method MSMG Toolkit - https://msmgtoolkit.in/

How to Make a Custom Windows 10 ISO with MSMG Toolkit Video
customiso
Note: YouTube Video - Hold Ctrl + Left Click to open in new window

Microsoft Method for Custom ISO (Advanced Users Only)

Downloading in Installing ADK (Microsoft Image Tools) https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-hardware/get-started/adk-install
Using sysprep from Microsoft https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-hardware/manufacture/desktop/sysprep--generalize--a-windows-installation

I highly recommend a video by Craft Computing going over Windows Deployment Services if you are interested in this method - https://youtu.be/PdKMiFKGQuc

Installing Windows 10 and Removing Components

The Full AME Experience. Most people will NOT want to do this as it will remove functionality from Windows 10, that you CAN NOT put back in. Some of the components can be taken out in the Custom ISO phase, but this takes it to another level.

Note: I do NOT recommend this for MOST machines

Components Removed

  • Windows Update
  • Windows Store
  • Media Player Functions
  • Telemetry
  • Windows Activation (YOU MUST Activate Windows Before this Tweak!) If you fail to do this, you will have a watermark you can’t get rid of
  • DirectX 12

Source files for Tweaks https://ameliorated.info/ or my GitHub mirror https://github.com/ChrisTitusTech/windows-lite-2004

ame

Installation Overview

  • Install Windows 10 (Stock or Custom ISO)
  • Activate Windows 10 and Disconnect from Internet afterwards
  • Run amelioration_2004.bat as Admin and Pre-Amelioration
  • Reboot to Linux (I recommend Linux Mint)
  • Run sudo ./ameliorate_2004.sh in Terminal on Live Linux USB
  • Reboot back to Windows
  • Run amelioration_2004.bat as Admin and Post-Amelioration

Driver Installation

Recommend using the Offline Snappy Driver Installer https://sdi-tool.org/. This is about 50 GB, but has every driver you need.

AME Step-by-Step Documentation

https://wiki.ameliorated.info/doku.php?id=documentation_2004

Running Updates

Extract Updates
expand -F:* .\Windows10SSU.msu C:\Update1
dism /online /add-package /packagepath=C:\1\Windows10.0-SSU.cab
Reboot
expand -F:* .\Windows10Cumulative.msu C:\Update2
dism /online /add-package /packagepath=C:\2\Windows10.0-Cumulative.cab
Reboot and Run
dism /online /Cleanup-Image /StartComponentCleanup

Note: File Names change and will be different from above!

Optimizing Windows 10 Settings

To finish things off we do some custom tweaks with the Official CTT Windows 10 Toolbox. This is something I have been customizing for years and refining every single month to work on any Windows 10 Installation.

1
iex ((New-Object System.Net.WebClient).DownloadString('https://git.io/JJ8R4'))

What this script can do

  • Installs Chocolatey, Notepad++, Irfanview, VLC, Java, and asks if you want Adobe Reader or Brave.
  • Removes all Windows Store Apps EXCEPT office, xbox, and WSL.
  • Removed Telemetry
  • Disables Cortana
  • Deletes various schedules tasks that rebloat the system
  • Removes Other Bloatware (Candy Crush, etc.)
  • Fixes problems that other scripts causes (lock screen and personalization options restricted)

Based on User feedback, this no longer uninstalls OneDrive or Office.

Toolbox Walkthrough Video

win10toolbox
Note: YouTube Video - Hold Ctrl + Left Click to open in new window

Windows Services to Disable

  1. Windows Defender & Firewall
  2. Windows Mobile Hotspot Service
  3. Bluetooth Support Service
  4. Print Spooler (Required for Printing)
  5. Fax
  6. Remote Desktop Configuration and Remote Desktop Services
  7. Windows Insider Service
  8. Secondary Logon
  9. Downloaded Maps Manager
  10. Touch Keyboard and Handwriting Panel Service
  11. Offline Files
  12. Windows Connect Now
  13. Remote Registry
  14. Application Layer Gateway Service
  15. Smart Card
  16. Windows Image Acquisition
  17. Security Center
  18. Connected User Experiences and Telemetry
  19. Retail Demo Service
  20. Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service
  21. AllJoyn Router Service
  22. Geolocation Service
  23. Windows Biometric Service (Required for Fingerprint logon)
  24. Program Compatibility Assistant Service
  25. Enterprise App Management Service

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