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After the release of version 22H2 in late September, gamers complained about spotty performance in some titles. Part of the issue stemmed from Nvidia GPU drivers, which the company solved with a quick update. However, Microsoft noted there were deeper problems in the update. “Affected games and apps are inadvertently enabling GPU performance debugging features not meant to be used by consumers,” it said at the time.
Microsoft never provided a list of titles suffering from such performance degradation, but gamers online have cited issues with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Halo Infinite, and God of War, to name a few. When it became apparent the performance issue was widespread, Microsoft blocked 22H2 update notifications and automatic installations on systems with affected games. It dropped that limit last week, and now there’s a fix.
Anyone running the latest build can take a quick trip into the settings to check for updates to find the patch: KB5020044. This update addresses the GPU debug issue, which should eliminate the slowdowns and stutters that many were experiencing. That’s not all it does, though. There’s a full changelog to peruse, but the highlights include some improvements to OneDrive integration, and fixes for File Explorer crashes. It also combines Windows Spotlight with Themes on the Personalization page. Despite being probably the most important change in KB5020044, the GPU fix is listed way at the bottom of the changelog. Way to bury the lede, Microsoft.
The KB5020044 patch only takes a few minutes to install, but you will need to restart your PC to complete the process. Microsoft decided recently to end its practice of releasing one or two major updates for Windows each year. Going forward, it will release new features for Windows 11 when they’re ready. Hopefully, the focus on smaller incremental updates will decrease the number of major bugs that slip through the cracks.