How To Disable Hardware Acceleration [All Apps]

Maximizing Compatibility and Performance: When and How to Disable Hardware Acceleration

Disclaimer: Consider your specific needs and circumstances carefully When disabling hardware acceleration in software applications or systems. There may be scenarios where disabling hardware acceleration is appropriate and sometimes when not. Before making this decision, being aware of potential implications is essential.

Your computer has to perform multiple tasks, like playing videos, running games, or displaying images. However, certain hardware components are better suited to perform specific tasks than others. 

When Hardware Acceleration is turned on, your computer uses these specific hardware components to perform specific tasks. Reducing overall load and making more balanced use of the capabilities of integrated Hardware Elements. However, this feature can raise multiple compatibility issues and might make your experience more sluggish. 

Key Takeaways
  • You should disable Hardware Acceleration when your PC becomes slow and fails to launch apps and browsers without freezing.
  • You can disable this feature in Windows in two different ways. One is through Settings, and the other is through the Registry Editor.
  • For Google Chrome, you can disable it by accessing System Settings.
  • When it comes to Discord, you can disable the feature through the Appearance option in App settings.
  • Microsoft Edge makes things easier. You can disable the feature by simply searching it in Settings. 
  • You can disable the scheduling of this feature through the Graphics Settings in Windows. 
  • To start things off, I recommend checking out wikiHow’s and MakeUseOf’s detailed articles on hardware acceleration and why you should disable it.

Before I start this guide, here’s a quick rundown of the pros and cons for Hardware Acceleration:

ProsCons
Improves application performanceIt may unnecessarily increase CPU and GPU utilization
Frees up CPU to handle other tasks on handIncrease temperature of your PC
It's great to reduce power consumption of your PC or LaptopLets background apps utilize GPU lowering your in-game FPS
May introduce stuttering, freezing and even crashing in games

Why Disable Hardware Acceleration?

Enabling Hardware Acceleration should improve the performance of your PC, in theory. However, at certain times, an app with this function enabled may stop responding, or the video playback and display might freeze, among other problems[1]. In certain cases, it may even improve things like a browser’s performance in general.

Since each user’s PC is different and has different hardware components, the problem of running the fully functioning app may be associated with Hardware Acceleration. At that point, it would be wise to turn off this feature and see if your PC runs more smoothly.

I can list several forums that contain reports of experienced users warning others about how problematic hardware acceleration become for them. They all suggested others disable it to avoid issues with their PC.

Here are some of the forums I came across:

How to Disable Hardware Acceleration in Windows?

Disabling Hardware Acceleration in Windows is recommended when day-to-day tasks like opening files, playing videos, or launching applications become slow[2]. There are two methods of doing so, and both are quite simple, so just follow the steps listed below!

Windows Display Settings Method

This one’s easy, and it only requires you to access Windows display settings. 

Here’s what to do:

  1. Press Win, and search for Settings.
  2. After that, click on System.
    How to Open System Settings
    Open System Settings
  3. After that, you will automatically be in Display Settings. Now, find Advanced Display Settings. It will be on the bottom.
    How to access Advanced Display Settings
    Navigate to Advanced Display Settings
  4. After that, click on Display Adapter settings.
    How To access Display Adapter Properties to Disable Hardware Acceleration
    Click on Display Adapter Properties
  5. Next, Click the Troubleshoot Tab beside the Color Management Tab.
  6. You will be greeted with the Hardware Acceleration section. Just move the pointer fully towards the left and Press OK.
    How to Disable Hardware Acceleration in Windows 10
    Disable Hardware Acceleration
  7. Restart your PC.

Now that you have all these steps, simply start using your PC again and feel the difference. We are positive that the experience will be much better. 

Registry Editor Method

This method is more suited for people who are a bit more tech-savvy. You will be required to open the Registry Editor of your PC, which is relatively a bit more complicated.

Here’s what you got to do:

  1. Press Win + R. This will access your PC’s run application.
    How to access Run
    Open Run
  2. Next, enter regedit, and press OK. 
  3. You will be greeted with a “Do you want this app to make changes to your devise?” message. Press Yes. 
  4. The Registry Editor will have a design like it’s from the 1980s, but there is no need to be intimidated. Just find HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\GraphicsDrivers on the left side of the screen.
    Registry
  5. Next, right-click on GraphicsDrivers and then click on New > Dword(32) Value.
  6. Set the Value name to be DisableHWAcceleration.
  7. Set the Value Data as 1.
  8. Set the Base to Hexadecimal.
  9. Click OK and close the editor.
  10. Restart your PC.

We are confident that either one of these two methods will work for your device. 

For Google Chrome

In Chrome, boosting hardware acceleration means your PC will use your GPU to play games or stream videos. However, this often causes Google Chrome to freeze and sometimes even crash. This also reduces the battery significantly if you are using a laptop.[3]

Disabling this feature on Google Chrome is quite simple; the steps are listed below:

  1. Press Win, and search for Google Chrome to fire it up.
  2. Next, find the Options for Google Chrome on the right-hand side of your screen. It will be right next to your profile picture. 3 dots represent it.
    How to navigate to options of google chrome
    Options for Google Chrome
  3. Next, after hovering on this options icon, you will be presented with all the available options. Press Settings.
    How to Open Settings in Google Chrome
    Settings for Google Chrome
  4. After pressing Settings, navigate to the System option.
    How to Access System in Chrome
    Access System in Chrome
  5. You will be greeted with an option to Use Hardware Acceleration when available via a toggle bar. Press the toggle bar to disable it.
    How to Disable Hardware Acceleration in Chrome
    Disabling Hardware Acceleration in Chrome

Now that you are done with all these steps, we recommend you close Chrome and fire it up again. We are sure this will make a difference, and your Browser performance will become smoother. 

For Discord

Disabling Hardware Acceleration on Discord can increase the performance of your device significantly. It may also improve FPS in gaming applications.

Discord does not seem like much, but it consumes much system power. It also automatically turns the app Overlay on once it is installed. 

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Press Win, and search for Discord.
    How to Open Discord to Disable Hardware Acceleration
    Open Discord
  2. Next, open settings in Discord.
    How to Open Settings in Discord
    Open Settings
  3. Next, navigate to Appearance. It will be under the App Settings section.
    How to access Appearance in Discord
    Appearance in Discord
  4. Next, locate the Hardware Acceleration toggle bar at the bottom. Simply switch it off.
  5. Press Okay when Discord asks you to confirm. 

You are all set; we are confident this will fasten up your PC if Hardware Acceleration in Discord was the issue. 

For Microsoft Edge

Disabling Hardware Acceleration in Edge is the easiest of them all.[4]

With these simple steps, you will be done:

  1. Firstly, press Win and search for Microsft Edge.
  2. Next, locate the options icon on the right side of the screen, represented by 3 dots.
    How to Open Options in Edge
    Options in Edge
  3. Once you are done with that, an array of options will appear. Select Settings. This will open a new tab with all settings in Microsoft Edge.
    How to Open Settings in Microsoft Edge
    Open Settings in Microsoft Edge
  4. Now, you only need to search Hardware Acceleration in the settings. A toggle bar will appear, allowing you to Disable Hardware Acceleration. Simply press it to disable it.
    How to Disable Hardware Acceleration in Microsoft Edge
    Disable Hardware Acceleration in Microsoft Edge

With these simple steps, you can disable this feature in Microsoft Edge.

Disabling Hardware Accelerated GPU Scheduling in Windows

This feature allows the GPU to schedule its tasks effectively without interference from any other hardware component. This reduces the time it takes to process each task and also helps in improving system response time. 

However, there are many reasons, like compatibility issues, increased power consumption, and Performance Issues that arise once you turn this feature on.

It made my PC slow when I enabled it, and disabling it made it much faster:

  1. Access Windows Settings.
  2. Next up, click on System. 
  3. After that, you will automatically be greeted by all Display Settings. Scroll down below, and you will find the Graphics Settings option.
    How to Open Graphics Settings
    Open Graphics Settings
  4. Finally, you will see the Hardware-Accelerated GPU scheduling option. Click the toggle bar to disable it.
     How to Disable Hardware Accelerated GPU Scheduling in Windows
    Disable Hardware Accelerated GPU Scheduling in Windows
  5. Restart your PC.

Once restarted, you will see a massive difference in performance. 

Final Words

I have addressed almost every way to disabling Hardware Acceleration on all platforms. We are sure that if your PC is facing performance issues, disabling this feature is the way to go. If we missed any platform, do let us know in the comments below! 

Frequently Asked Questions

Does turning off Hardware Acceleration improve performance?

Every PC and its combination of Hardware Elements is unique. If your PC is lagging in launching simple apps and browsers, disabling this feature might improve your system’s performance.

Does Hardware Acceleration affect RAM?

Yes, your apps consume more RAM when Hardware Acceleration is enabled.

If my PC is not lagging, should I still disable Hardware Acceleration?

No, if your PC is working fine, we recommend keeping this feature enabled, since its main purpose is to boost performance.

References

  1. GeeksForGeeks: “How to Disable Hardware Acceleration on Windows 10?.”
  2. Paulding County School District: “Disabling Hardware Acceleration to Improve Computer Performance.”
  3. OrgChart: “Turn Off Hardware Acceleration in Chrome.”
  4. GeeksForGeeks: “How to enable or disable hardware acceleration in various browsers.”
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Ayyoun is a Senior Writer & Editor for Error Fixes, and Game Settings guides on eXputer. He’s been passionate about games and technology since he got his hands on the PlayStation 1. He has a software engineering background and loves to play games from a technical perspective. He has a knack for uncovering solutions for the latest games and presenting them in easy-to-follow guides for his audience. You can keep up with his gaming activity on his Steam profile.

Experience: 7+ years || Worked For VeryAli Gaming and IGN || Education: B.S Software Engineering, Google IT Professional Certificate, Editing Mastery from Udemy, and Digital Journalism.

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