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Today we are going to explain what the SuperFetch function of Windows 10 is and what it is for. Microsoft describes it as a system that “maintains and improves the performance of the system over time,” a description that does not really clarify anything about how it works.
However, it is an always-on internal Windows tool that takes advantage of your spare RAM memory to speed up the applications you use the most by preloading them on the system. We are going to explain it better so that you understand what it means, and we will end by also explaining how to deactivate it, although it is not recommended to do so on most computers.
What is SuperFetch?
SuperFetch is a feature that was introduced in Windows Vista, which is dedicated to analysing our RAM usage patterns in the background. In this way, this feature is able to “learn” what kind of applications you use most often, and puts them in an internal list.
What Windows does afterwards is optimize the loading of these applications to the maximum, and it does so by preloading them in the computer’s RAM memory. This means that as Windows knows that you often use these applications, it opens them before you do so that when you decide to run them they load faster.
SuperFetch is a tool designed to occupy the remaining RAM with these preloaded applications. However, it only uses RAM memory that is in disuse, and as soon as your operating system needs to use more RAM to load other applications, the tool dispenses or renounces the memory that is necessary so as not to hinder the correct functioning of the system.
This means that SuperFetch is not something that is going to bother you, and if there is some kind of slowdown because of it, it will only be in very isolated cases and only for just a few seconds. In exchange for these unlikely consequences, your computer’s performance will generally improve thanks to this application preloading.
What is SuperFetch for?
SuperFetch helps the applications you use the most load faster. As it has them preloaded in the RAM memory of your computer, the loading process is much faster when you decide to run these applications, and you will practically not notice it in most modern computers with average specifications on the market.
As we have said, you do not have to worry that these preloads will consume too much RAM. SuperFetch is not like Chrome or other applications, it is a system that will free up the memory that you are using when the computer needs it, and that will only use the memory that is left over when you use the computer.
However, the fact that it is always running will cause this feature to constantly consume CPU and RAM, so you may want to disable it in the interest of needing to speed up a slow running computer. It can also cause a specific problem when you start playing if your computer has less than 4 GB of RAM, and it can also cause the CPU to work a bit too much when restarting while loading programs into RAM.
However, it is not recommended that SuperFetch be the first sacrifice if you are looking to speed up your computer. It is a system that you can deactivate whenever you want, but when doing so it can happen that the applications load a little slower, especially the ones you use daily, since none of them will be preloaded.
How to disable SuperFetch
If you want to improve the performance of a PC with little RAM, it is recommended that you first try alternatives such as configuring virtual memory to act as RAM. However, in the event that for whatever reason you finally decide to sacrifice total loading speed for some specific problem that may be giving you, you can start by opening the start menu and launching the Services application.
Once you load the Services panel, find and click to select the SuperFetch option (1). Once you do, on your left you will see two options, and there you must click on the Stop option (2) to stop this feature.
Well, SuperFetch is already stopped, but it will still run when you restart your computer. To avoid this, right click on the SuperFetch option in the list of services, and in the drop-down menu click on the Properties option to enter the properties for this feature.
Once you are in the SuperFetch properties, click on the drop-down panel of the Startup type option, and select the Disabled option from the options that will open. Now you just have to click OK to apply the changes.
How does the SuperFetch services host work exactly?
SuperFetch predicts which applications will run next and preloads the necessary data into memory. It also does it with boot files. This helps to not access the hard drive as often, which is slower. The result? Programs open earlier and Windows boots faster.
SuperFetch’s prediction algorithm can determine which application will open at a certain time on a certain day. You can predict the next three applications that it will open.
SuperFetch is smart – it prioritizes the programs you’re currently running over background tasks like detracting. These background tasks run when the computer is idle, but after completion, the Windows SuperFetch services host refills memory.
SuperFetch is dynamic – constantly adapting to your needs. This means that if your favorite shows change, SuperFetch will adapt quickly.
Why do we need SuperFetch?
Although SuperFetch is not strictly necessary for normal computer operation, on most computers it provides significant performance improvements. In fact, SuperFetch can be a good performance optimizer. Your favorite programs, such as your web browser, your media player, and your email application, will surely load more quickly after a couple of days.
And even if you install a new application, SuperFetch will not adversely affect performance. As soon as the new application requires memory, the SuperFetch data is cleared. From the point of view of the new program, the memory is empty.
For those who love technology, we recommend this helpful video from Channel 9 from MSDN. Michael Fortin, a member of the Windows Performance Team, talks about what Microsoft had in mind when developing SuperFetch and other similar performance technologies.
Is the SuperFetch service host required to play?
SuperFetch should improve video game performance, in theory at least. However, video game users have reported some issues with this service because SuperFetch can cause high disk usage, both before and while playing games. If your computer slows down and experiences long load times, it could be because SuperFetch is having trouble getting game data.
The reason why SuperFetch sometimes chokes on games is that some of these files are extremely large, and if you continuously play a video game like the classics Ark: Survival Evolved and GTA 5, SuperFetch will try to preload game files on the memory. In some situations, this can cause problems. To check this, right-click on the desktop taskbar and select Task Manager. Scroll down until you see the entry “Service Host: SysMain”. This is SuperFetch.
If the Task Manager shows that SuperFetch is consuming a lot of resources (tens of MB / second or high CPU usage) for a long time, you should disable it. Find out how to do it. If games generally run slow, we also have a good tips guide to optimize video game performance.
Problems with SuperFetch
SuperFetch doesn’t just cause problems with video games: Even on normal work computers, SuperFetch can cause high CPU usage, drain your memory (RAM), and abuse your hard drive, which has a huge impact on system speed and overall performance. . This can happen when SuperFetch spans too much and loads too many programs or applications in advance (or loads the wrong items). This happens even with those with an ultra-fast SSD.
If you notice strange behavior on your hard drive or if background processes drain your resources, you might require cleaning software to optimize performance. AVG TuneUp will automatically clean unnecessary programs, unwanted files and other inefficiencies that slow down the system. AVG TuneUp is a comprehensive tool designed to restore your computer. Try it free for 30 days.