Yet Another Bad Windows Update
There was an update for Windows 10 and 11 back in November, KB50119980, which has been causing problems with some Intel GPU models, up to and including Arc cards. It has taken quite some time to pin down exactly what the cause of the issue was as the problem is intermittent but is certainly noticeable when it occurs.
The bug effects any game or app that relies on DirectX or Direct3D, popping up an error about apphelp.dll while you are running it. There is no patch for the update from Microsoft but do not despair as Intel offers a simple solution. The bug doesn’t impact GPUs with a driver newer than 184.108.40.2060 so updating your driver will solve the issue. The Register posted a link to Intel in their story to help those with an older Intel GPU find a driver, if they have issues installing the current version.
This does still leave the mystery of why the update interferes with DirectX and Direct3D, as it was to resolve an issue with localized folders in Explorer.