Nvidia has quickly released a hotfix for Game Ready graphics driver 531.18 that was found to contain a bug causing high CPU usage after playing and exiting games on both Windows 10 and 11.
The problem seemed more of an annoyance then a serious issue at first, with users reporting up to 10 per cent CPU usage attributed to the Nvidia Container process, causing performance issues and unnecessarily ramping-up fans as a result.
However, within the last 24 hours the issue has quickly escalated on the web. Users on social media and via Nvidia’s feedback page started reporting blue screen issues, constant freezing while playing games, and a sudden spike in load, causing 100 per cent utilisation on a single CPU core. Sheesh.
One forum user claims to have “Gotten 2 x BSODS so far as well as the issue with Nvidia Container maxing out a core after game exit. Wiped and now using the previous versions Studio driver, zero issues.”
A rollback appears to have done the trick for most, but if you’re still experiencing issues, the official 531.26 hotfix ought to do the trick. This 872MB update is based on the latest Game Ready Driver 531.18 and tackles the following issues:
- Higher CPU usage from NVIDIA Container might be observed after exiting a game 
- [Notebook] Random bugcheck may be observed on certain laptops with GeForce GTX 10/MX250/350 series GPUs 
Note that the aforementioned bugs aren’t encountered by all users, so while the hotfix may not seem necessary for your particular setup, it may still be a good idea for added peace of mind.
Those looking for a clean install without any residue of the old drivers can also use DDU (Display Driver Uninstaller) or NVCleanstall to clear the way for this fix.
It’s always good to see brands react swiftly to problems with products, especially when said issue deducts performance from your hardware after a basic task like leaving a game.
The 531.26 driver hotfix can be found on Nvidia’s website here.