After the release of version 22H2 in late September, gamers complained about poor performance in some titles. Part of the problem stemmed from Nvidia GPU drivers, which the company fixed with a quick update. However, Microsoft noted that there were deeper issues in the update. “Affected games and apps inadvertently enable GPU performance debugging features not intended for consumer use,” it said at the time.
Microsoft has never provided a list of titles that suffer from such performance degradation, but online gamers have cited issues with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Halo Infinite, and God of War, to name a few. When it became apparent that the performance issue was widespread, Microsoft blocked 22H2 update notifications and automatic installations on systems with affected games. It lowered that limit last week and now there’s a fix.
Anyone using the latest build can quickly go to settings to check for updates to find the patch: KB5020044. This update fixes the GPU debugging issue, which should eliminate the lags and stutters many were experiencing. However, that’s not all it does. There’s a full changelog to go through, but the highlights include some improvements to the OneDrive integration and fixes for File Explorer crashes. It also combines Windows Spotlight with themes on the Personalization page. Despite being probably the most significant change in KB5020044, the GPU fix is listed at the very bottom of the changelog. Way to bury the party, Microsoft.
The KB5020044 patch only takes a few minutes to install, but you’ll need to restart your PC to complete the process. Microsoft recently decided to end the practice of releasing one or two major updates to Windows every year. In the future, it will release new features for Windows 11 when they are ready. Hopefully, the focus on smaller incremental updates will reduce the number of major bugs that slip through the cracks.