How to disable hardware acceleration in Windows 10

Close up of graphics card in PCIe slot on ATX motherboard on open computer case

In this article, we’ll give you some insight on how to disable hardware acceleration in Windows 10. Before we jump into that let’s just discuss what hardware acceleration is.

Hardware acceleration is the process of involving your computer’s hardware in performing a particular task or function.

By enabling hardware acceleration, your device combines hardware or GPU rendering with software to boost the computer speed and perform tasks much faster.

It simply enhances your computer capacity to render smooth graphics. The aim of hardware acceleration is to shift all graphics and text renderings from CPU to GPU.

But what if you want to disable hardware acceleration? You want your computer only to rely on software acceleration and do not involve the GPU in performing tasks. Is there any way?

Well, there is. This is the beauty of Microsoft Windows.

All the features exist to ease your experience and enhance your performance. But in the same manner, it can be disabled as per your requirements and preferences.

In this article, we’ll present you with some super easy methods to disable hardware acceleration in your Windows 10 computer.

So, without any further delays, let’s just get right into it.

Table of Contents

  1. How to disable hardware acceleration in Windows 10
  2. How to disable hardware acceleration in Google Chrome
  3. How to update graphics driver in Windows 10
    1. Update graphics driver manually
    2. Update graphics driver automatically
  4. Wrap Up

How to disable hardware acceleration in Windows 10

Follow the next easy steps to do it:

  • On your desktop screen, right-click and go to “Display Settings” from the drop-down menu;
How to disable hardware acceleration in Windows 10


  • Press Windows key + I to open “Settings” and click on the “System” tile;

  • Now click on the “Display” option from the left window pane to open the “Display Settings” window;


  • Type “Control Panel” in the search bar next to the Start Menu and open Control Panel;
  • Change “View by” to Large icons and click on “Display” from expanded options;
  • All these methods lead you to the display settings window where you’ll change display settings;
  • Now, scroll down and click on the “Advanced display settings” option from the right window pane;

  • Advanced display settings window opens. Now click on “Display adapter properties” under “Display information“;

  • A new box displaying your graphic properties opens. Go to the “Troubleshoot” tab;
  • In the troubleshoot tab, you’ll find an option named “Change settings“. Click it;
  • This will open the “Display adapter troubleshooter” box on your screen. Here you can see hardware acceleration and an adjustable bar ranging from none to full. You can either reduce or disable hardware acceleration option completely by sliding the bar towards the extreme left;
  • Now simply click “Ok” and restart your device.

Note: If your change settings option is greyed out or you do not see a troubleshooting tab in display adapter properties, your graphics driver is either not updated or doesn’t support change.

You can update your display driver and check if the option enables or not. Furthermore, some versions of Windows 10 no longer have the option available.

How to disable hardware acceleration in Google Chrome

Do you know that even web browsers use hardware acceleration and shift all your surfing tasks to GPU hardware acceleration from the CPU?

Wondering how? Keep reading.

A browser, just like any software, uses hardware graphics acceleration by shifting high graphic rendering tasks within the browser to your GPU.

This helps your browser to increase its performance and perform tasks quicker.

Now, if you want to disable or enable hardware acceleration on your Google Chrome browser, perform the following steps:

  • Open Google Chrome and click on the three dots menu in the top right corner;
  • Then click on “Settings” from the drop-down menu to open the settings window;

  • Now click on the “Advanced” tab from the left window pane;
  • Under the Advanced tab, click on “System“;

  • In your right window pane, a list of three options emerges. The second option says, “Use hardware acceleration when available“;
  • If the toggle key is blue, it means hardware acceleration is enabled. You can simply disable it by clicking on the toggle key;
  • Now click “Relaunch” to restart Chrome with disabled hardware acceleration.

How to update graphics driver in Windows 10

Now, if you want to update your graphics driver in Windows 10, you can choose between two methods.

You can update it manually as well as automatically.

Here’s how you can do it:

Update graphics driver manually

To update your graphics driver manually, you need to visit the website of your graphics card manufacturing company and download the latest updated drivers from there.

But always remember to check the compatibility of the driver with your installed card version.

If you’re unsure about which graphics card is installed on your computer, you can fetch details by performing the following steps:

  • Press Windows key  + R to open the “Run” dialogue box;
  • Type “dxdiag” in the search bar and press Enter;

  • A diagnostic tool window opens. Go to the Display tab and check all the specs related to your graphics card. You can check both graphics card device and driver details in this window.

Now that you have checked your currently installed driver and graphics card device, you can simply cross-check if your drive is updated from the website or not.

In case of no, simply download the latest updated driver and install it on your computer.

Update graphics driver automatically

You can even set your computer to update the graphics driver automatically:

  • Open the Start Menu and type “Device Manager” and open it;

  • Click on the arrow icon to expand options and select “Display Adapters“;
  • Now double click on your driver’s name;

  • A new dialogue box opens, displaying your card’s properties. Go to the Driver tab and simply click on the “Update driver” option.

Note: you can also install a third-party app that can update your graphic drivers. Notable app recommendations include DriverPack solution, DriverBooster, and DriverHub.

Wrap Up

So, what should we do? Is It wise to disable or enable the hardware acceleration features, and what is suggested for a better performance?

Well, the answer to your question is that there is no absolute answer.

In general, it is advisable to use hardware acceleration to achieve better overall performance and take advantage of the graphic’s card graphics processing unit, or GPU.

If your computer works fine with enabled hardware acceleration, you can keep it as it is.

However, if your computer is having frame drops or any lags while rendering graphics or text, you can try and disable hardware graphics acceleration for a better experience.

It is completely fine to disable hardware acceleration if you’re having any hardware acceleration issues.

It does not harm your computer in any potential way. Despite this, it is essential to remember that not all graphic cards support it.

You can this clear by going to default graphics settings from the Settings app and checking if the hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling feature is enabled.

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