Windows 11 and 10 users have been hit by a bug that affects those with Intel GPUs and causes games (or any software that uses DirectX or Direct3D) to crash and crash.
Neovin (opens in a new tab) announces that Microsoft now has confirmed (opens in a new tab) that the November 2022 cumulative updates (KB5019980/KB5019961 for Windows 11 and KB5019959 for Windows 10) caused this issue. To be clear, this is for PCs running on integrated graphics with an Intel processor – not anyone using one of Intel’s dedicated Arc graphics cards.
So, if you’ve encountered a DLL error (apphelp.dll to be exact) messing with your computer, you now know the cause – but the important thing to keep in mind is that the error only affects older Intel graphics card driver versions.
Microsoft informs us that the issue affects Intel drivers versions 188.8.131.5263 through 184.108.40.2060 and that: “This issue may occur intermittently and affects applications that use DirectX or Direct3D to render some or all of their content.”
The software giant promises us that it is working on a solution now and we should get an update when it arrives soon.
Analysis: Newer drivers, no problems
At least according to Microsoft, the error is “intermittent”, meaning it doesn’t necessarily have to happen all that often, even if you’re using one of the mentioned versions of Intel’s graphics drivers. Of course, these are older drivers, so you should update to a newer version anyway.
It’s important that your drivers are at least relatively up-to-date, otherwise you may miss out on important security fixes. As time goes on, vulnerabilities in software and drivers are inevitably discovered – and nefarious types may try to exploit them. That’s why tech companies fix drivers and apps on a regular basis, so it’s always a good idea to use the latest version.
GPU drivers can look a little different in some respects, for example, performance levels could potentially drop in your favorite PC games with each new driver version (this shouldn’t happen, but it does sometimes, especially with older graphics cards). So while gamers don’t always keep their drivers up to date, as long as they’re using something brand new they should be well covered.
For this error, we are talking about Intel driver versions that are at least a year old (or much older) and at this point, it’s definitely time for people to start looking for a newer driver. This just goes to show that old drivers not only pose a security risk, but are also more prone to bugs.