Microsoft says that gamers can boost performance by lowering Windows 11 security settings

Windows 11 laptop

It is not very often we are told to disable security features -- usually, we're enabling options, or leaving things well alone. But now Microsoft has issued some advice about improving game performance in Windows 11, and it involves turning off security features of the operating system.

The somewhat surprising advice comes in a support document entitled Options to Optimize Gaming Performance in Windows 11. Microsoft does point out, however, that this is meant to be done only when gaming, and that security should be re-enabled afterwards.

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There are two settings that the company says can impact on game performance -- Memory Integrity and Virtual Machine Platform. By switching these off, you should be able to enjoy a better gaming experience, albeit on a less secure machine.

The advice says: "Microsoft uses virtualization in Windows 11 for scenarios including Hypervisor-protected code integrity (HVCI), also called Memory Integrity, and the Virtual Machine Platform (VMP)".

The company goes on to explain:

VMP provides core virtual machine services for Windows. Memory Integrity helps prevent attackers from injecting their own malicious code and helps ensure that all drivers loaded onto the OS are signed and trustworthy. It will be enabled by default on all new Windows 11 devices. Enabling security features on by default is based on the evolving threat landscape and the responsibility Microsoft has to protect its over a billion Windows users. 

As part of continued testing and feedback from users, Microsoft has seen that in some scenarios and some configurations of gaming devices there may be a performance impact with Memory Integrity and VMP on. 

Windows provides choice and control for users to configure their PCs to meet their specific needs, including the ability to turn Windows features like Memory Integrity and VMP on and off. Gamers who want to prioritize performance have the option to turn off these features while gaming and turn them back on when finished playing. However, if turned off, the device may be vulnerable to threats. 

Instructions for how to disable these security features can be found here.

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