Windows 11 and 10 users have been hit by a bug that affects those with Intel GPUs and causes errors and crashes in games (or any software that uses DirectX or Direct3D).
Neowin (opens in a new tab) reports that Microsoft has now confirmed (opens in a new tab) November 2022 Cumulative Updates (KB5019980/KB5019961 for Windows 11 and KB5019959 for Windows 10) caused this issue. To be clear, this affects PCs running on integrated graphics from an Intel processor – not just anyone using one of Intel’s dedicated Arc graphics cards.
So if you ran into a DLL error (apphelp.dll to be specific) that bugged your PC, you now know the reason – but the important thing to note here is that the bug only affects older Intel graphics versions. of pilots.
Microsoft tells us that the issue affects Intel driver versions 188.8.131.5263 through 184.108.40.2060, and that: “This issue may occur intermittently and affect applications that use DirectX or Direct3D to render some or all of their content.”
The software giant promises us that it’s working on a solution right now, and we should get an update on when it’s available soon.
Analysis: new drivers, no problems
At least the bug is only “intermittent” according to Microsoft, meaning it doesn’t necessarily happen much even if you’re running one of the mentioned Intel graphics driver versions. Of course, these are older drivers, so you really should have updated to a newer incarnation by now anyway.
It’s important to keep the drivers at least relatively up-to-date, otherwise you may miss important security patches. Over time, vulnerabilities in software and drivers are inevitably discovered – and malicious types may try to exploit them. Tech companies therefore patch drivers and apps as they go, which is why it’s always a good idea to run the very latest version.
GPU drivers can be a bit different in some ways, like for example performance levels could potentially drop in your favorite PC games with a given new driver version (this shouldn’t happen, but it does happen sometimes, especially with older graphics cards). So while gamers may not always keep their driver on the latest version, as long as they are running something fairly recent they should be perfectly covered.
In the case of this bug, we’re talking about Intel driver versions that are at least a year old (or way older), and at this point it’s definitely time for people to look to upgrade to a newer driver. It just goes to show that old drivers are not only a security risk, but are also more likely to encounter bugs.