Windows 11 23H2 reportedly has a nasty bug slowing down PC games – but there’s a fix

Windows 11 is having serious issues with PC games due to the latest 23H2 update, according to a cluster of recent reports.

Neowin flagged up the performance hitches purportedly caused by the annual upgrade for Windows 11, which seemingly affects PCs with AMD processors in the main.

Redditor BNSoul describes the issue in a post that has garnered some serious attention, and a lot of other users chiming in that they’re suffering similar gaming woes.

BNSoul writes: “Every CPU benchmark shows significantly reduced CPU performance after updating to Windows 11 23H2 from 22H2, even after a fresh/clean install.

“I could add an endless list of benchmark results here but just let’s say it’s always 23H2 5-8% slower in every single one be it single or multi-thread compared to 22H2.”

They add: “Games are also affected with random stuttering, all of this fixed by rolling back to 22H2.”

Another user on Microsoft’s Answers.com forum, Anant Acharya, makes a similar complaint backed up by others further in the thread: “After I had updated to the Windows 23H2 update. I have been noticing sudden stutters and drastic FPS drops in the above-mentioned games [Valorant, CS:GO, Grand Theft Auto 5, Forza Horizon 5].”

The stuttering encountered is pretty bad according to those experiencing the problem, so this is a nasty one. The good news is that Microsoft has supplied a solution to the Redditor who made the original post, which we’ll discuss next.

Analysis: Defendius Kedavra

That solution apparently provided by Microsoft customer support involves resetting Microsoft Defender, so the conclusion tentatively drawn is that the security app is involved in some way here.

At any rate, the downside is that the procedure outlined is not completely straightforward, sadly, and involves using PowerShell commands – that’s not the tricky bit, mind, but it’s the main meat of the solution.

So, to fire up PowerShell, just right-click the Start button (or press the Windows key + X) and click on ‘Windows PowerShell (admin).’ While it’s not clear that you need admin mode – you could just run the plain ‘Windows PowerShell’ option – it might not hurt to use it.

Once open, run the following two commands in PowerShell (type them in and press enter). Firstly:

And then:

That second command resets Defender, and you then reboot your PC.

The instructions then say when rebooting you should head to your BIOS and ensure that CPU Virtualization is enabled. Rummaging in the BIOS is the slightly trickier bit – as BIOSes are all differently laid out and have their own interfaces and quirks (consult relevant help resources from your motherboard vendor) – but many PCs may already have this turned on anyway, so you might not need to do it.

Finally, when back at the Windows 11 desktop, fire up Windows Security (type that in the search box, and open the app that pops up), select ‘Device Security’ in the left-hand panel, and in Core Isolation settings you should turn on Memory Integrity. Again, you’ll need to reboot your PC.

Then you’re done, and according to BNSoul and others, this process gives you the same level of gaming performance for 23H2 as seen with 22H2.

If the above procedure sounds like a hassle, or doesn’t work for you, then you can always revert to 22H2 and wait for Microsoft to investigate and hopefully fix this issue. Or if you haven’t upgraded yet and you’re concerned about these reports, you can always hold off on the 23H2 upgrade for the time being.

We’ve dropped a line to Microsoft to try and find out what’s going on here, and whether a fix is underway. We’ll update this story if we hear anything back.

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