How Disabling Two Virtualizations Can Boost Your Game Performance on Windows

If you are struggling to get your games to run smoothly on Windows 11, temporarily turning off certain security virtualizations can help. That isn’t just us saying that, either Microsoft agrees that some virtual environment features in Windows 11 can cause lower game performance.

What Is Virtualization in Windows 11?

Virtualization is a method of running a computer process in a layer that is removed from the system hardware. Windows uses virtualization in the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL), creating a virtual environment for Linux to run within. You can even run a Linux desktop using WSL.

In the case of security features, virtualization works similarly. Memory Integrity, for example, creates an isolated environment for code to be inspected before it is allowed to run. Malicious code can be safely detected and kept away from the Windows system.

Microsoft has stated on the Microsoft Support site that some virtualization features can adversely affect game performance in some situations and computer configurations. This is based on ongoing testing and feedback from Windows users.

There is no easy way to tell if these virtualization features are hampering game performance aside from testing your games with them turned off.

If you are completely new to the concept, our guide to what virtualization is and what it is used for will help.

Which Virtualization Features Should You Disable

There are two virtualizations that seem to cause the largest performance problems: Memory Integrity and Virtual Machine Platform. Disabling them isn’t guaranteed to improve gaming performance in Windows 11, but it is worth testing on your PC to find out.

How to Disable Memory Integrity

The Memory Integrity feature helps to prevent malicious code from being inserted into high-security processes through low-level device drivers.

  • To turn off Memory Integrity, open Settings and click Privacy & Security > Windows Security > Open Windows Security.
  • Select the Device Security tab and click Core isolation details.
  • Use the slider switch to disable Memory Integrity. You will be asked to confirm the action.
  • Restart your computer to apply the change.
  • Turning Memory Integrity off before installing apps, drivers, or updates is not recommended. You could leave your system open to attack.

    How to Disable the Virtual Machine Platform

    The Virtual Machine Platform is part of the system required to run other operating systems, such as Linux, on your computer. It is similar to the Hyper-V service.

  • You can disable VMP in the Windows Features menu. To open this, type Windows Features in Search.
  • Select the Turn Windows features on and off option in the search results.
  • Scroll down the list of features and deselect Virtual Machine Platform.
  • Click Ok to close the window, then restart your computer.
  • If you don’t plan on using WSL on your Windows 11 computer, you can leave this setting turned off without any adverse effect.

    Does Disabling These Make Any Difference to Game Performance?

    We tried turning off these features individually and together before playing a few games. Using a fairly average Windows 11 laptop, the results were quite good. The games we tested were Sniper Fury, Apex Legends, and Forza Horizon 5.

    Memory Integrity turned off definitely saw the most significant improvement. All three games we tried appeared to run more smoothly to the naked eye. Using the Windows Game Bar performance monitor, we saw a definite reduction in RAM usage and a slight decrease in CPU load.

    data-modal-container-id=”single-image-modal-container” data-img-caption='”Before and after turning off Memory Integrity”‘>

    Turning only VMP off didn’t seem to make any difference in our limited tests, but that doesn’t mean it won’t improve game performance for you.

    Disable Security Virtualization to Improve Performance

    Turning off security features full-time isn’t recommended. But disabling them temporarily, when you need a boost in gaming performance, is definitely worth trying. If and how much these changes will improve performance is hard to predict, but every bit of speed and smoothness helps when gaming.

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