UPDATE – Virtualization Based Security that’s on by default in Windows 11 can slow apps and games down by 5 to 15%. Click here to learn how to disable it.
After performance drop issues with several official updates during 2021, the community around Microsoft Flight Simulator started to hunt down all kinds of tweaks to enhance the flying experience. The official troubleshooting site is good to check out frequently for new updates. If experiencing slow download speed while downloading the MSFS or its big updates such as Sim Update, do the following steps before starting to update. A loop issue during in-sim downloads can be fixed by force quitting the MSFS installer. The update download situation will resume where left off after relaunching the sim.
- In the Windows search bar, type “Delivery Optimisation”.
- Select “Delivery Optimisation Advanced Settings”.
- Set both Percentage of measured bandwidth limiters to 100%.
- In the Windows search bar, type “Command Prompt”.
- In the menu select “Run as administrator”.
- Type: sfc /scannow and wait for the progress to complete.
- Type: netsh int tcp set global autotuninglevel=normal
- By pressing Enter, you should receive an “OK.” message.
- Reboot your computer for this change to take effect.
Tips & Tricks
Here we have gathered some of the MSFS performance boost tricks I’ve tested, and I think you could also try and see if it helps to gain a bit smoother performance and fewer problems at your own risk. If you realize that the performance goes worse than before, always change the settings you made back to default ones. I’m using all the tricks introduced below with everything as described on the Best Graphics Settings Guide as well, and I’m really happy with the overall performance of MSFS.
- Apply the download speed tricks above this page as it might help performance too.
- Disable both Game Mode and Hardware-Accelerated GPU Scheduling as instructed.
- Disable Virtualization Based Security to boost apps and games up to 15%.
- Set Virtual Memory manually if less than 32GB RAM installed and restart PC.
- If Intel CPU, enter BIOS and disable both Hyperthreading and Virtualization.
- If your motherboard and memory both support XMP then enable XMP in BIOS.
- Avoid any CPU/GPU overclocking, can cause random crash-to-desktop issues.
- Use only the built-in Windows Defender for antivirus protection.
- Apply the NDU registery value change to fix the network usage.
- Disable High Precision Event Timer, aka HPET, using Device Manager.
- Download MSI Utility v3, apply GeForce interrupt priority to High and restart.
- In Nvidia Control Panel, for MSFS, set Background Application Max Frame Rate to 30.
- In Nvidia Control Panel, for MSFS, set Max Frame Rate to 30.
- In Nvidia Control Panel, for MSFS, set Power Management to Maximum Performance.
- In Nvidia Control Panel, for MSFS, set Threaded Optimisation to OFF.
- In Nvidia Control Panel, for MSFS, set Triple Buffering to ON.
- In Nvidia Control Panel, for MSFS, set Vertical Sync to ON.
- Disable Photogrammetry, Live Air Traffic, and Multiplayer via in-sim DATA settings.
- Select proper sound devices at in-sim SOUND settings instead of System’s default device.
- Disable all the unneeded in-sim Toolbar icons by unticking them via the gear wheel icon.
- Uninstall all World Updates, then install only procedural buildings via Content Manager.
- Disable aircraft, land, and sea traffic via in-sim TRAFFIC settings.
- Remove 60GB of offline mesh files to speed up flight loading times.
- Disable and remove DirectX Shader Cache using NCP and Disk Clean-up.
- If using non-English Windows 11, set Use Unicode UTF-8 and restart PC.
Remove Cache Files & Folders
By removing the cache files and folders of Microsoft Flight Simulator regularly, you are essentially deleting temporary files that have been generated by MSFS. This helps to free up hard drive space, and also improves the in-sim performance. There might be some folder locations that doesn’t exist for every user so just delete those you can find. Folders bolded below, can be deleted. USERNAME is your Windows username. If you are unable to find the AppData folder below, go to File Explorer – Options – View – Show hidden files, folders and drives and Apply.
- MSFS – OPTIONS – GENERAL OPTIONS – DATA – DELETE ROLLING CACHE FILE
- C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\MicrosoftFlightSimulator\ cache
- C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft Flight Simulator\Packages
– Do not delete Official and Community folders inside Packages folder, only the others.
- C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft Flight Simulator\ $PC$
C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft Flight Simulator\ cache
C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft Flight Simulator\ SceneryCache
C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft Flight Simulator\ SceneryIndexes
C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft Flight Simulator\ SimObjects
C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft Flight Simulator\ DCE
- C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Local\ D3DSCache