Windows 10 May 2020 Update has a weird bug that could slow down some games

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Windows 10 May 2020 Update reportedly has yet another issue, it would seem, with evidence of weird ESENT warnings being found under the hood in the operating system’s Event Viewer.

You may well not have heard of ESENT, but it’s a DLL in Windows which is the ESE (or Extensible Storage Engine) runtime. In basic terms, it’s a data storage tech, and part of the OS that helps with desktop searches and indexing your media catalog.

As spotted by Windows Latest, the problem with the ‘ESENT 642’ warnings has been observed in several threads on Microsoft’s support forum, and also the likes of Reddit and Tenforums, with fears that the glitch could be hampering performance as well as causing crashes, including some reported cases of slowdown in games.

This would appear to be an issue dating back to when the May 2020 Update was first launched, pretty much, although Windows Latest said that it has also just found the warnings itself in its own testing.

Stuttering in games

A few users on Reddit have reported that having experienced the errors, they have also noticed some bad stuttering when they’re playing a game at times.

Sonny-97 wrote: “I was stuttering like crazy too when playing R6S, I went from 150fps to 40/50fps, it was causing the OS to stutter also. I just restarted the PC, that seemed to fix it at least for the time being.”

Another user noted a problem with Call of Duty: Warzone.

Others have observed issues with Windows 10’s Films & TV app, and various crashes, commonly after the PC has resumed from sleep (and when using web browsers, including Firefox and Microsoft Edge).

In short, it seems like an odd flaw, with some pretty wide-ranging and unfortunate effects. Some users in some of the older posts we’ve seen reported that the problem did disappear for them eventually of its own accord – one theory is it’s perhaps related to the Windows.old file being removed by the OS, after the rollback period has expired for May 2020 Update. However, this bugbear is apparently still kicking about for some other folks.

The only certain cure for the issue seems to be rolling back, and reverting to the previous version of Windows 10 before you installed the May 2020 Update. Obviously that’s far from an ideal solution, but it may be better than sticking with the upgrade if you’re being hit by some of the more annoying side-effects that this flaw seems to be causing.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).