This Windows 11 update is essential for PC gamers

Angry PC gamer sitting at a gaming desktop PC and losing
(Image credit: DC Studio / Shutterstock)

Microsoft has released a new Windows 11 update that PC gamers in particular should install, as it fixes an annoying issue that caused games to sometimes crash.

The update, known as KB5014668, is currently an optional update, which means it won’t be installed automatically. However, as Bleeping Computer reports, it’s set to be included in an automatic update on the next ‘Patch Tuesday’, which is on July 12.

According to Microsoft in a release announcement about the patch, this update “Addresses an issue that causes certain games to stop working if they use certain audio technology to play sound effects.”

For PC gamers, any issue with Windows 11 that causes their game to crash and become unresponsive is particularly annoying, so it’s good to see Microsoft address a common complaint with this update, so if you have been experiencing crashes, it’s worth installing this update ASAP to see if it fixes it for you.

The issue appeared to be primarily affecting people who use the XAudio API to play sounds.

Other fixes

The update also addresses an issue where upgrading to Windows 11 fails, as well as some Bluetooth connectivity problems.

It also introduces a new feature, but don’t get too excited. Called ‘search highlights’, it “presents notable and interesting moments of what’s special about each day, —like holidays, anniversaries, and other educational moments in time both globally and in your region.”

To us, that sounds a bit like yet more distracting icons and notifications on the Taskbar. Hopefully it proves to be more useful than that, but we wouldn’t suggest rushing to download KB5014668 just for that. 

How to download the Windows 11 KB5014668 update 

As this is an optional update, it won’t be installed automatically. So, to manually install it, open the Start menu and type in “Windows Update” and press return on your keyboard.

Click “Check for Updates”, and you should see KB5014668 displayed. Select it, then click “Download now”. Windows will take care of the rest.

If you don’t want to mess around with manual updates, then you should automatically get the update on July 12. It may be worth waiting until then to make sure any issues with the update are ironed out (hence why it’s currently optional), but if you’re a PC gamer that can’t play games because of this problem, that may be too long a wait.

Also, make sure you check out our Windows 11 problems guide for more help if you’re having trouble with the operating system.

Matt Hanson
Managing Editor, Core Tech

Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Core Tech, looking after computing and mobile technology. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. Ever since he got an Amiga A500+ for Christmas in 1991, he's loved using (and playing on) computers, and will talk endlessly about how The Secret of Monkey Island is the best game ever made.