Common problems with the Windows Vista operating system are issues with driver compatibility, installation errors with Adobe Reader, wireless connectivity problems and difficulties with non-functional Virtual Private Networks. Users sometimes face performance problems when trying to work with Vista in a dual boot environment and also run into trouble with the System Restore feature, specifically its failure to reset some applications when restoring. Widespread Vista issues related to Symantec Antivirus 10.2 are also common.
Vista is often criticized for being slower than the operating system, or OS, that preceded it, Windows XP. The new OS slows down considerably or hangs altogether when processing system-heavy tasks such as video transcoding or using CPU-intensive programs such as WinRAR, Moviemaker or Photoshop.
Many lower-end systems with Windows Vista pre-installed suffer serious lag under Microsoft's default settings configuration. Often, a downgrade to XP is preferable to struggling with Vista's glacial pace.
Vista also suffers from serious drawbacks in gaming performance, with buggy GPU drivers resulting in a decreased frame rate, compared to XP.
Vista is also criticized for Microsoft's abrupt removal of certain valued features, without warning or explanation. For example, users are surprised to find that AutoPlay settings can't be set per device and now must be configured system-wide; that the ability to perform a case-sensitive search has been eliminated; and that Active Desktop has been removed, thereby prohibiting the use of GIFs as desktop backgrounds.