Windows 11’s 23H2 Update: Gaming Performance Issues and a Possible Fix

Windows 11’s latest update, the 23H2, has been causing concerns among users due to a noticeable drop in gaming performance. This irony of a Halloween update bringing “scary” issues feels all too fitting. Fortunately, Microsoft has temporarily put the update on hold to address another problem, giving hope that both issues will be resolved before it becomes available again.

For those who have already installed the 23H2 update and are experiencing performance issues, there is a potential fix. However, it’s important to note that the solution is quite complex. A Reddit user, BNSoul, reported that after installing the update, their system slowed down in benchmarks by approximately 5-8%. They also experienced random stuttering in games, which was only resolved by rolling back to the previous version, 22H2. Seeking assistance from Microsoft, they received a set of instructions that supposedly fixed the 23H2 version, but the process proved to be rather involved.

While the fix may work for some users, it’s important to exercise caution as it involves changing BIOS settings and tampering with Windows Defender. Windows Defender is a significant line of defense against malware and viruses for many users. Therefore, it is advisable to wait for an official update fix from Microsoft if you are satisfied with your current PC’s performance. Attempting the fix is done at your own risk.

One of the instructions provided by Microsoft was to reset Windows Defender, which appears to be the root cause of the performance issues. This can be done via two PowerShell commands, but it is essential to ensure that PowerShell has administrator access for these commands to work. The commands are as follows:
– Set-ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted
– Get-AppxPackage Microsoft.SecHealthUI -AllUsers | Reset-AppxPackage

After executing the PowerShell commands, the user was instructed to reboot and enable CPU Virtualization in the BIOS. The method to enable this feature may vary depending on your motherboard. Once back in Windows, the user needs to open Windows Security and enable Memory Integrity under Core Isolation settings. After another reboot, the user reported that Hypervisor was running, Virtualization Security was enabled, and their CPU performance issues were resolved.

Although the fix worked for some users, it is important to note that individual results may vary. Reddit user La773 expressed their gratitude for the suggested tweaks, stating, “I faced the exact same issues. After the 23H2 update, my CPU scores went crazy down…but thanks to u/BNSould, we could fix them with all the suggested tweaks! Scores are finally back!” Another user on the Microsoft Community forums, Žiga Iglič, also reported success using the same method, stating, “The same performance degradation reappeared after a Windows update, but going through the above procedure again restored it. You don’t need to disable and re-enable CPU virtualization in BIOS; you just set it to on, and that is it. 99% of computers already have it on.”

It is not uncommon for major operating system updates like Windows 11’s 23H2 to cause performance issues for some users. This problem adds to the extensive list of Windows updates that supposedly create difficulties for certain users, often making it challenging to replicate or troubleshoot these issues.

Windows 11’s 23H2 update has been associated with a drop in gaming performance for some users. While a complex fix involving Windows Defender and BIOS settings may resolve the problem for some, it is recommended to wait for an official update fix if you are content with your PC’s current performance. Performance issues resulting from major OS updates are not new, and diligent attention to user feedback is crucial for Microsoft to continue improving the Windows experience.

Hardware

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