Microsoft removes Windows 11 22H2 safeguard hold related to problematic games, apps

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Microsoft has finally removed the safeguard security hold related to unspecified games and apps that caused a GPU-related bug. The problem was first confirmed in early November, with the company saying it could cause such programs to experience decreased performance. 

“Some games and apps might experience lower than expected performance or stuttering on Windows 11, version 22H2,” Microsoft said, detailing the problem in November. “Affected games and apps are inadvertently enabling GPU performance debugging features not meant to be used by consumers.”

Originally, affected Windows 11 22H2 users were given a workaround to resolve the issue by simply updating their apps to their latest version. This, however, is unnecessary now through the KB5020044 update preview recently introduced by the company. It can be found in the Windows Update and is optional, meaning affected users have to install them manually. Alongside the fix for the problem, the November 2022 non-security KB5020044 preview update delivers a new Microsoft OneDrive information alert, Input Method Editor and File Explorer fixes, and the inclusion of Windows Spotlight to Themes. Most of all, its arrival signals the removal of the issue as a security hold of the update. With this, Windows 11 users who were formerly hindered from getting the 2022 update because of the problem should be able to get it now.

It’s worth noting that the bug was not the only game-related issue encountered by those who installed Windows 11 22H2. In September, Windows 11 22H2 users using NVIDIA GPUs reported gaming performance issues, such as stutters and lags in their games. NVIDIA, nonetheless, was quick to address the issue. After days of the report, the company released a solution through the latest NVIDIA GeForce Experience v3.26 BETA.

In October, Microsoft also released the issue regarding the Xbox Game Bar that caused Windows 11 22H2 users to experience out-of-sync audio when capturing video using the app. This was also declared as a compatibility hold but was later resolved via the KB5018496 release.

Though not a bug caused by the update, Microsoft also revealed that two of its virtualization features could affect the gaming performance in Windows 11.

“Microsoft uses virtualization in Windows 11 for scenarios including Hypervisor-protected code integrity (HVCI), also called Memory Integrity, and the Virtual Machine Platform (VMP),” explained Microsoft at that time. “As part of continued testing and feedback from users, Microsoft has seen that in some scenarios and some configurations of gaming devices there may be a performance impact with Memory Integrity and VMP on.”

The revelation related to HVCI, responsible for checking the drivers, led to further problems after an expert discovered that Microsoft’s vulnerable driver blocklist was outdated. The issue was made known to Microsoft in September but was later resolved in October.

More about the topics: gaming, Safeguard holds, Windows 11 2022 update, Windows 11 22H2, Windows 11 update