Microsoft releases KB5004296 update for Windows 10 to fix game performance problems and more

Windows key on keyboard

It's time for Windows 10 users to gamble with another update. With the release of the KB5004296 update, Microsoft addresses a longstanding problem with game performance under Windows 10.

KB5004296 does not include any security fixes but the promise of boosting game performance is a major highlight. Microsoft says that the update "addresses an issue that prevents power plans and Game Mode from working as expected", pointing out that this has been causing "lower frame rates and reduced performance while gaming".

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Before you roll the dice and take your chances with this particular update, you might be heartened to know that there are no notable known issues (aside from the usual potential problems with Furigana characters when using the Microsoft Japanese IME, and the failure to remove legacy Edge from custom images). But in the coming days this is almost certain to change as people install KB5004296 on myriad configurations.

Keep in mind that this is a "C release" update which serves as a preview of next month's Patch Tuesday updates.

Microsoft shares the following list "key changes" that apply to Windows 10 versions 2004, 20H2, and 21H1:

  • Addresses an issue with searchindexer. After you sign out, searchindexer continues to hold handles to the per user search database in the profile path, "C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Search\Data\Applications\<SID>\". As a result, searchindexer stops working and duplicate profile names are created.
  • Addresses an issue that prevents gaming services from opening certain games for desktop users.
  • Addresses an issue that prevents you from entering text using the Input Method Editor (IME). This might occur, for example, after startup if you have set the power options to shut down a laptop by closing its lid.
  • Changes the functionality for uploading new activity into Timeline. If you sync your activity history across your devices using your Microsoft account (MSA), you cannot upload new activity into the Timeline. You can still use Timeline and see your activity history (information about recent apps, websites, and files) on your local device. This does not affect Azure Active Directory (AAD) accounts. To view web history, Microsoft Edge and other browsers provide the option to view recent web activities. You can also view recently used files using Microsoft OneDrive and Microsoft Office.
  • Addresses an issue that might cause the File Explorer window to lose focus when you are mapping a network drive.
  • Addresses an issue that causes File Explorer to stop working after reaching 99% completion when you are deleting many files on a mapped network drive.
  • Addresses a timing issue in the Group Policy Registry Telemetry that causes Group Policy extension processing to fail.
  • Addresses an issue that repeatedly rebuilds the Windows Filtering Platform (WFP) filters. This issue occurs when a device is enrolled in a mobile device management (MDM) service and "MDMWinsOverGP" is set.
  • Addresses an issue with an MDM service that fails to correctly apply certain junk mail rules.
  • Addresses an issue that always reports the update build revision (UBR) as zero (0) on a device during enrollment to an MDM service.
  • Addresses an issue that causes the enrollment of the Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm (ECDSA) certificate to fail with the error, "0x80090027 NTE_INVALID_PARAMETER". This issue occurs when the Trusted Platform Module (TPM) provider (the Microsoft Software Key Storage Provider) stores the key.
  • Addresses an issue with auditing events 4624 and 5142 that display the wrong event template when Dutch is the display language.
  • Addresses an issue that causes System Integrity to leak memory.
  • Addresses an issue that plays the sound for selecting something in a game loudly when you press the trigger button on a game controller.
  • Addresses an issue that prevents power plans and Game Mode from working as expected. This results in lower frame rates and reduced performance while gaming.
  • Addresses an issue in which "Network Internal Access" appears on the taskbar network icon on systems that access the internet from certain domains.
  • Addresses an issue in which the Network Connectivity Status Indicator (NCSI) fails to detect internet connectivity after you connect to a virtual private network (VPN).
  • Addresses an issue that causes printing to stop or prints the wrong output. This issue occurs when you print using a USB connection after updating to Windows 10, version 2004 or later.
  • Addresses a rare issue that might degrade performance in applications that call Gdiplus.dll!GdipMeasureString in a tight loop with a new font on each call. This issue occurs after installing Windows updates released on and after February 2021.
  • Addresses an issue that incorrectly routes some audio channels when streaming using certain fixed channel layouts.
  • Addresses an issue that always displays devices that RemoteFX USB redirects as "Remote Desktop Generic USB Device" instead of the actual device name.
  • Addresses an issue in which Set-RDSessionCollectionConfiguration does not set the camerastoredirect:s:value custom property.
  • Addresses a Local Security Authority Subsystem Service (LSASS) domain controller memory leak that is reported in Privileged Access Management (PAM) deployments.
  • Addresses an issue that prevents you from accessing a network drive that maps to a Distributed File System (DFS) root after you sign out.
  • Addresses an issue that prevents you from reconnecting to mapped network drives after you sign in and displays an access denied error. This issue occurs if you use the net use /deep option to create multiple drive mappings to different paths on the same encrypted file share.
  • Addresses an issue that prevents access to files on a Server Message Block (SMB) share when you enable Access Enabled Enumeration (ABE).
  • Addresses an issue that prevents the Windows Server service from starting if SrvComment is greater than 128 characters.
  • Addresses an issue in the Windows Network File System (NFS) client that might prevent you from renaming a file after mounting an NFS share. This issue occurs if you rename the file using File Explorer, but does not occur if you rename the file using command line.
  • Addresses an issue with an unhandled Open File dialog critical exception. As a result, Microsoft Foundation Class (MFC) applications might close unexpectedly.
  • Adds a new policy that creates generic strings and removes branding-specific terms, such as "Windows" or "PC", for IoT Enterprise editions. For example, we changed "computer" to "device". Instead of "Getting Windows ready," we changed that to "Getting things ready" and so on. These generic strings display on a user’s screen when an update is in progress.
  • Addresses an issue in which the Storage Sense page in Settings might incorrectly report the size of some storage devices that use the GUID Partition Table (GPT). The affected devices will incorrectly report in Storage Sense that the size is twice as large as the size reported in File Explorer. 

Note This issue does not affect storage devices that use a master boot record (MBR).

The patch is available to download from Windows Update (it's an optional update), or you can grab it from the Windows Update Catalog.

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