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Windows 10 update looks like bad news for PC gamers

Windows 10’s most recent update has been giving some PC gamers a headache, brining lag to their gaming sessions – and causing other performance issues besides.

Windows Latest picked up on feedback posted on the official Reddit thread introducing the July cumulative update for Windows 10 (patch KB5028166).

One Redditor said: “Did somebody experience after updating, game and apps became laggy?”

A bunch of replies in the affirmative then ensued, along the lines of: “Yes! I can’t do anything, it takes forever. Everything is slow.”

Another user notes: “I’ve had a few games becoming laggy and freezing at points since updating.”

A further user on Reddit observes: “The last update has given my W10 PC a bad case of constipation; Chrome and other apps take a minute or two to open, webpages often delay opening or display a ‘page is not responding’ message. I’ve not uninstalled the last update in the hope MS releases a new update soon that sorts all this out, as it doesn’t seem to be an uncommon problem.”

It doesn’t seem to be uncommon indeed, with another Redditor posting to confirm: “Had to uninstall this update, caused an ungodly amount of stuttering afterwards. Reformatted the PC, tested before and after this update after so I know this is definitely the cause of the stutter. Clearly I am not the only one and would highly recommend avoiding/uninstalling this update.”

As well as these issues for gamers and general performance slowdown, there are complaints on the same Reddit thread about KB5028166 taking ages to install.

One tech support person (presumably) notes: “On all my clients’ computers, this update takes forever after restart and there’s nothing you can do. Everyone has been calling since morning because they can’t work on their computers.”

A reply to that says the update went on for ‘many hours’ and the user ended up restarting their PC to get out of it (not advisable, really, though sometimes you may feel left with little choice after waiting for ages for an update to finish) – only to encounter the same problem again. Nasty.

Analysis: Not the first time, and likely not the last

Unfortunately, we’ve not heard anything official from Microsoft about how KB5028166 might be causing issues for gamers (indeed, we haven’t seen any official confirmation that there’s a problem at all). Clearly, though, there are a bunch of unhappy folks out there, so hopefully the software giant is investigating. Even the best PC games aren’t so great when frame rates are stuttering like crazy.

This wouldn’t be the first time a cumulative update for Windows 10 (or Windows 11) has seemingly thrown a spanner in the works for games, or has slowed down apps in general. This kind of apparently random lag attack has happened over and over throughout the years, so it’s not exactly a surprise to see this as a (potential) side-effect of KB5028166. The sad truth is that vague problems like this can be difficult to pin down, and sometimes remain ongoing issues for a while.

All we can do is keep our fingers crossed that Microsoft looks into this, and how to cure the affected PCs, and does so quickly. Or at least gives us some indication of what’s going on here. Meanwhile, you can’t really avoid the update on Windows 10 Home – only for a limited time – so you’re going to have to install it soon (besides, there are important security fixes in the patch).

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