What is Superfetch in Windows 10

What is Superfetch in Windows 10 & Understanding How to Deactivate It

 – What is Superfetch – 

This service is supposed to guess which applications you may opt to use, then load their corresponding data and necessary files into memory beforehand, but it can end up slowing your PC to a crawl instead.

Superfetch was introduced in Windows Vista, and on the latest versions of Windows 10, it’s now known as Sysmain. If you believe your PC is sluggish and not reacting as quickly as you’d expect, disabling Superfetch could help speed things up.


What is Superfetch? 

This is a Windows service that is intended to make your applications launch faster and improve your system response speed.

It does so by pre-loading programs you frequently use into RAM so that they don’t have to be called from the hard drive every time you run them.

Is It Really Necessary?

For the most part, Superfetch is useful. If you have a modern PC with average specs or better, Superfetch most likely runs so smoothly that you won’t even notice it.

There’s a good chance Superfetch is already running on your system right now and you didn’t even know.

But there are some “problems” that can arise with Superfetch:

  • Since Superfetch is always running in the background, the Superfetch service itself is always using some CPU and RAM.
  • Superfetch doesn’t eliminate the need to load apps into RAM. Rather, it relocates the loading to an earlier time. Whenever that loading happens, your system still experiences the same slowdown as if you were launching the app without Superfetch.
  • System startup can be sluggish because Superfetch is preloading a bunch of data from your HDD to RAM. If your HDD runs at 100% for a few minutes every time you start or restart your computer, Superfetch could be the culprit.
  • The performance gains of Superfetch may be unnoticeable when Windows 10 is installed on an SSD. Since SSDs are so fast, you don’t really need preloading.

Superfetch has also been known to cause performance issues while gaming, particularly on systems that have 4GB of RAM or less.

It’s unclear why this happens because it doesn’t occur for everybody, but we suspect it has to do with RAM-heavy games that constantly request and free up memory, which may cause Superfetch to constantly load and unload data.

How to Disable (SysMain) on Windows 10

To reiterate, we don’t recommend disabling Superfetch except as a troubleshooting measure for the potential issues mentioned above.

Most users should keep Superfetch enabled because it does help with overall performance. If you aren’t sure, try turning it off. If you don’t notice any improvements, turn it back on.

Using the Services App

Step 1: Launch the Services app. Open the Start Menu, search for services, then launch the Services app. Alternatively, open the Run prompt by pressing Windows key + R, then type services.msc and click OK.

Step 2: Disable the Superfetch service. Scroll down until you see Superfetch, right-click on it, and click Stop. Superfetch is now disabled.

Step 3: Prevent Superfetch from running automatically. Still, in the Services app, right-click on Superfetch and select Properties. Under the General tab, look for Startup type and change it to Disabled. (Or Manual if you’d like the option to turn it on when you need it.)

Using the Registry Editor

The Services app is the preferred method for this, but if it doesn’t work for some reason, you can always edit the registry key directly. Before you do this, make sure you back up the registry in case something goes wrong.

Step 1: Open the Registry Editor. Open the Start Menu, search for Regedit, then select it from the results. Alternatively, open the Run prompt by pressing Windows key + R, then type Regedit and click OK.

Step 2: Find the Superfetch key. Using the left sidebar, navigate to the following:

Step 3: Disable Superfetch. In the right panel, you should see a key called EnableSuperfetch. Right-click on it and select Modify… to bring up the key editor. To disable Superfetch, change Value Data to 0 and click OK.

Enable Or Disable SuperFetch (SysMain) With Command Prompt

If you prefer working with the command prompt, there are some simple commands you can use to enable or disable the SuperFetch service.

Open the command prompt in administrator mode first, and then use the following commands:

  • Enable: sc config “SysMain” start=auto & sc start “SysMain”
  • Disable: sc stop “SysMain” & sc config “SysMain” start=disabled

Note: If you’re using an older version of Windows, replace “SysMain” with “SuperFetch” in the commands above.

If you prefer PowerShell, open it with administrator rights and use the following commands:

  • Enable: Set-Service -Name “SysMain” -StartupType Automatic -Status Running
  • Disable: Stop-Service -Force -Name “SysMain”; Set-Service -Name “SysMain” -StartupType

This approach can be much faster and simpler than clicking around in the Task Manager or the Windows registry.


Should You Disable (Sysmain)?

What is Superfetch in Windows 10

Generally, there’s no need to stop it from running. It uses a very minuscule amount of CPU, and only uses unused RAM. All of this is unnoticeable to the general user.

However, there have been some reports throughout Microsoft user forums that sometimes the Superfetch (Sysmain) process actually causes performance issues. Some of these reported issues include:

  • Constant 100% disk utilization.
  • Overheating leads to system shutdown.
  • Slow bootup time when you start your computer.
  • On weak hardware, Superfetch could use more CPU and RAM than you might like.
  • Has been known to cause performance issues while gaming.

The most common problem people report is the 100% disk utilization issue. If this is you, then disabling Superfetch or Sysmain may resolve the problem.

Since Superfetch is only a system optimization feature, you won’t hurt Windows by stopping the service. However, you may notice that launching your favorite apps may take a little longer than usual.


What If This Doesn’t Fix The Problem?

If disabling SuperFetch(SysMain) doesn’t resolve your issue, then something else may be the source of the problem. 

If you’re still having 100% disk utilization, you may need to upgrade to a larger hard drive or opt to upgrade to an SSD drive.

SSD drives are very affordable now and have data-transfer rates far above that of traditional hard drives.

If this information was useful to you, do well to share it with friends and loved ones. It’s your turn to help other people. You can share this article on your favorite social media handle.

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