Latest Windows 11 Update May Slow SSD Performance

NVMe SSD drive
(Image credit: Micron)

Windows 11 users that have applied the latest feature / bug fix update are complaining about storage performance. The impact appears to be quite severe for those affected, with some talking about transfer performance being halved, others saying OS and game loading takes much longer. Thankfully, victims of this bug say that rolling back the update returns their prior storage performance. Additionally, in a quick test using Windows 11 and the same update, we couldn't replicate this performance issue.

The Moment 2 Update for Windows 11 arrived last week, as a Patch Tuesday release, a couple of weeks after being trailed on the Windows Experience blog. Microsoft engineering started a Reddit thread to monitor and respond to feedback, but the thread doesn’t look like a happy place to be, with a number of issues repeatedly raised. Probably the most annoying bug discussed within the comments affects storage performance.

At this early stage in the complaints / feedback loop, we can’t be confident over the configurations affected, the scale of this issue, or what exactly is happening. However, the problem seems to most commonly affect users of NVMe SSD storage.

Considering some examples from the Reddit thread, brought to light by Neowin today. Mesp21, one of the first to complain about the Moment 2 update, claimed their SSD speeds went from 7,000 MB/s to 3,000 MB/s after the update. A rollback of the Windows update restored prior performance.

Another user, MrBigDog99, was lucid enough to save before and after screenshots from the CrystalDiskMark storage benchmarking tool. Here you can see that disk writes have been most severely impacted, but reads haven’t fared well either.

(Image credit: MrBigDog99)

Above are screens showing the severe storage performance impacts observed by MrBigDog99 and shared on Reddit. Below you can see our system, using a similar spec NVMe SSD, wasn’t adversely affected by the Moment 2 Update (KB5023706).

(Image credit: Future)

Interestingly, Microsoft said that it fixed a file copy slowdown with the KB5023706 update, but the update is having the opposite effect on these Reddit users. Sadly, it seems to be the case that the software maker has fixed one problem only to introduce another. Windows 11 has been particularly unfortunate with regards to storage performance and related issues.

If your Windows 11 install is being slowed down by the latest update and you can’t bear to wait for Microsoft’s next patch to fix it up (maybe), then you can roll-back right away by following these steps:

  • Right click the Start button and open Settings
  • Near the bottom left, click the Windows Update section
  • Click Update History
  • Scroll down to the Uninstall Updates section and click it.
  • Select KB5023706, before confirming the action with the ‘Uninstall’ button.

Last month we wrote a guide about how to optimize your SSD performance in Windows 10 or 11, for those looking to get their systems in tip-top shape. We also recently reminded readers about disabling VBS to speed up Windows 10 or 11 by up to 15%.

Mark Tyson
Freelance News Writer

Mark Tyson is a Freelance News Writer at Tom's Hardware US. He enjoys covering the full breadth of PC tech; from business and semiconductor design to products approaching the edge of reason.

  • JamesJones44
    These stories about Windows 11 bugs killing performance on systems are becoming all to frequent. I've had VM performance issues with Win 11 for a while, thought about giving it a try again, but with each one of these stories, I'm more convinced to just stick with Win 10 a little longer.
  • zecoeco
    SSD slowdown? Nothing new.
    This is why I switched back to Windows 10.
    My NVMe was around 30% slower on W11 (22H2).
    My FPS dropped noticeably and I hate the lag.
    It's just not as fast nor as snappy as W10.

    Windows 10 FTW
  • ex_bubblehead
    The more they overwork the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drain." --- Scotty, "StarTrek III, The Search for Spock"
  • FunSurfer
    Update (03/22/2023): A patch is coming soon, do not try to fix manually
    There is also a Windows Security bug, "local security authority protection is off" that requires 2 manual registry changes to fix.
  • USAFRet
    Just tested the 6x drives in my main system. CDM 8.0.4, after this referenced Update.
    All within single digit percentage from before the update.
    Some segments are faster than previous, mainly in the 1TB 980 Pro.

    1TB Samsung 980 Pro and 1TB Intel 660p
  • purple_dragon
    Honestly, Win 11 is not worth moving to unless you have Alder/Raptor Lake for better thread scheduling or just need the newest thing. Otherwise, Win 11 is more or less a reskinned Win 10 with more tracking.
  • samopa
    USAFRet said:
    Just tested the 6x drives in my main system. CDM 8.0.4, after this referenced Update.
    All within single digit percentage from before the update.

    Same here, the difference in mine ( 3 x 980Pro) are negligible (less than 1%).
  • TechieTwo
    IMO it's pathetic that MS can't maintain or fix their own OSs.
  • ThatMouse
    I had to roll back a few months ago due to the GPU being slow and stuttering. Rolling back in NOT fun and takes a long time. It's also very possible to break Windows when you do this causing you to have to reinstall!
  • digitalgriffin
    ex_bubblehead said:
    The more they overwork the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drain." --- Scotty, "StarTrek III, The Search for Spock"
    You're my new best friend for quoting that.