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Windows 11 drive slowdown bug affects more users than thought – but a fix is coming

Microsoft Store in Windows 10
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Windows 11 continues to run into trouble with drive speeds being seriously hampered, as more users are being affected by a previously flagged issue than was first thought – this isn’t just about NVMe SSDs it seems – but the better news is that Microsoft has a (hopefully imminent) fix in the pipeline.

Earlier this week, we reported on the problem with NVMe SSDs running over 50% slower in some cases with write speeds, but as noted, it turns out that this nasty storage flaw affects all disks, as Microsoft has recently admitted (as spotted by Windows Latest, which points out the problem has been observed across all sorts of online forums).

On November 22, Microsoft pushed out a cumulative update in preview, KB5007262, and under the listed fixes, a cure for this issue is present noting that it affects all types of storage medium.

Microsoft said that KB5007262 “addresses an issue that affects the performance of all disks (NVMe, SSD, hard disk) on Windows 11 by performing unnecessary actions each time a write operation occurs. This issue occurs only when the NTFS USN journal is enabled. Note, the USN journal is always enabled on the C: disk.”

As this is an optional (preview) update, you have to manually install it, and as with anything which is still officially in testing, it may also cause problems as well as solve them.

The best course of action at this point is likely to wait, because this preview update arrived a few weeks back now, and the full (finalized) cumulative update will be available for Windows 11 users on Patch Tuesday for this month, which is this coming Tuesday, December 14.


Analysis: A chance to turn over a new leaf squandered

This is another of those alarming bugs which have blighted Windows 11, and made it an unpleasant experience performance-wise for a number of users. It’s worrying to learn that it affects all types of SSDs and even hard disks as well, considering how much of a speed reduction can be caused by the problem, but at least we know that the resolution is (theoretically) just around the corner now.

Windows 11 has also witnessed a number of serious issues around performance on the desktop with File Explorer, and this is such a fundamental piece of the interface that it’s another very concerning facet of what seems to be misfiring QA (quality assurance) at Microsoft.

That isn’t a new thing, and we’ve got used to this state of affairs with Windows 10, sadly. But it’s something we hoped might be rectified, given that Windows 11 could have been a new leaf for the software giant – but Microsoft certainly hasn’t got off on the right foot here, bug-wise. Indeed, these performance problems with drives and the UI were in evidence before Windows 11 was even released, so it’s not like Microsoft hasn’t had some time to get things right.

Clearly, the drive issue was a thorny problem, and it’s better late than never with the fix – but we won’t stop banging the drum that Microsoft needs to do better when it comes to keeping its desktop operating systems in more bug-free shape than this.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).