MSFS Routine Cleanup Steps

A common question I often receive has to do with maintaining solid FPS and overall performance within Microsoft Flight Simulator as time goes by.  It’s true, even my beast of a PC tends to slow down over a period of time.  I built my current gaming machine about a year ago and it performed well the first 6 months or so, but over time I began experiencing micro stutters within MSFS and also noticed a slight reduction in my overall FPS.

My MSFS Settings and Hardware Specs

Before I get into all the nitty-gritty details of what I do from time to time to increase performance and keep my system running in tip-top performance, allow me to say this. Unfortunately, not all PC’s are created equal.  I made a sizeable investment when I built my gaming machine last May.  It features the Intel 9th Gen Core i9 13900KF CPU and the amazing 24 GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 GPU.  This powerful combination allows me to run MSFS at near max settings with an overall smooth experience.  But as I said, overtime I noticed a very slight reduction in performance and began experiencing those pesky micro stutters (especially on final approach).  In an effort to help you, I’ve documented the steps I take every few months to keep everything running as smooth as possible.

Clear MSFS Cache

The first thing I do is clear out the MSFS Cache.  To do this, start up MSFS and go to the General Options page.  Once on the General Options page, go to Data.  Scroll down to the Rolling Cache Settings section and click the Delete button, then click Apply and Save.  Once done, completely close out of MSFS.  You are ready for the next step.

Nvidia Control Panel

The next area we’re going to work on is within the Nvidia Control Panel.  On the Manage 3D Settings page, then scroll down to the section that reads Shader Cache Size and select the Disabled option and Apply.  You can close the Nvidia Control Panel.   We will return to this setting in a moment.

Delete Files

Navigate to your AppData Windows folder by typing %localappdata% in the address bar and navigate to local, then scroll down and double-click on the Nvidia folder.  Here you’ll see two folders named DXCache and GLCache.  Open up each of these folders one at a time and delete the contents of each while leaving the folders DXCache and GLCache remaining empty on your harddrive.

Disk Cleanup

Next, type in Disk Cleaner in your Windows search bar to bring up the Disk Clean-up utility.  Once open, make sure DirectX Shader Cache is selected and click OK. This will delete these files.

Restart PC

Before we go any further (and we’re almost done), do a full windows restart.

Nvidia Control Panel

Once you have restarted Windows, we need to navigate back to the Nvidia Control Panel and scroll back down to the Shader Cache Size section.  Re-enable that option back to Driver Default and click Apply.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully your experience is the same as mine where after you complete these above mentioned steps your MSFS performance will return back to normal and all those pesky micro-stutters will go away.  I tend to do this process every few months or when I begin to notice a drop in performance.  I also tend to do this after any major update to MSFS.  So while I just completed these steps in early May, I’ll most likely repeat them once SU15 is released, if that ever happens.

Until next time…

Happy Flying!!!


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