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Windows 11 23H2 update might be slowing your computer down – here’s how to fix it

Published Dec 4th, 2023 6:52PM EST
A laptop running Windows 11
Image: Microsoft

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Windows 11’s 23H2 update has introduced a slew of new features and fixes to the Microsoft-built operating system. While the launch of Copilot’s preview is exciting, many users have reported less than stellar performance after installing the 23H2 update. If you’ve encountered this same issue, Microsoft has a fix. But it’s a little complicated.

While I haven’t personally noticed any huge changes in the performance of my PC since updating to the 23H2 update, other users have taken to the official Microsoft forums to complain about the issue, with one noting that his 2020 HP Pavilion laptop began to stutter and slog through games after updating.

Luckily, Microsoft shared a workaround with another user who complained and shared the fix on Reddit. However, the company hasn’t said exactly why the Windows 11 23H2 update affects performance just yet. If you’re one of the unlucky users encountering a loss of performance since updating, follow these steps to see if they resolve the issue.

Copilot in Windows 11 logo
The Windows 11 23H2 update enables Copilot, Microsoft’s GPT-powered AI companion. Image source: Microsoft

First, reset Microsoft Defender by entering the following commands in Powershell:

  1. Set-ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted
  2. Get-AppxPackage Microsoft.SecHealthUI -AllUsers | Reset-AppxPackage

Restart your PC and enable CPU Virtualization in your computer’s BIOS settings. The exact steps for this will differ depending on your motherboard and CPU, so you will need to Google instructions for that if you don’t already know how to do it.

Restart Windows again and then ensure Memory Integrity is enabled under Core Isolation in Windows settings. Microsoft says this will enable Virtualization Security and will resolve any Windows 11 23H2 update performance issues. According to the user that shared the fix, this made their computer run just as well as it did before the update.

It’s a bit disappointing to have to jump through a bunch of hoops like this just to get your performance back to where it was. I’m not sure what Microsoft did to cause the performance issues, but it definitely seems related to something that changed behind the scenes with the 23H2 update, perhaps something having to do with the features that enable Copilot to work directly in Windows.

Either way, this fix could resolve the issues for you if you’re running into performance trouble, so give them a try if you’re comfortable making changes like this to your PC.

Josh Hawkins has been writing for over a decade, covering science, gaming, and tech culture. He also is a top-rated product reviewer with experience in extensively researched product comparisons, headphones, and gaming devices.

Whenever he isn’t busy writing about tech or gadgets, he can usually be found enjoying a new world in a video game, or tinkering with something on his computer.

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