Hardware acceleration in Windows allows apps (browsers, messengers, media players) and games to utilize more power for better performance and features. For example, a browser may access your GPU to render more taxing and interactive web pages. At the same time, hardware acceleration can cause weird issues and problems, especially on aging or failing hardware. You can frequently find a recommendation to disable hardware acceleration in Windows when troubleshooting different problems and bugs. It is probably the first thing you need to try when experiencing issues in browsers, Microsoft Teams, or other apps.
This article will show you how to disable hardware acceleration in Windows using Chrome and Edge, as these browsers are the most popular. Other browsers use similar ideas.
Tip. This article applies to all Windows versions that support the latest Chrome and Edge releases. Those are Windows 11, 10, and 7.
When you troubleshoot issues in browsers for Windows, always ensure you have the latest updates installed. To update Chrome or Edge on Windows, use the chrome://settings/help and edge://settings/help.
Disable Hardware Acceleration in Edge
- Launch Microsoft Edge and press the button with three dots.
- Click Settings.
- Go to the System and performance section.
- Find the Use hardware acceleration when available option and toggle it off. Alternatively, you can open edge://settings and use the search box to find the option that allows you to disable hardware acceleration in Windows.
- Restart Microsoft Edge to apply the changes.
Note. If the issues you are trying to troubleshoot refuse to go away after disabling hardware acceleration in Windows, repeat the steps above and turn hardware acceleration back on. We do not recommend using a modern browser without hardware acceleration due to degrading performance.
Turn Off Hardware Acceleration in Chrome
- Open Google Chrome and then click the button with three lines in the upper-right corner of the screen.
- Click Settings. Alternatively, type chrome://settings.
- Click Advanced in the left sidebar to expand the additional settings section.
- Open the System section.
- Toggle off the Use hardware acceleration when available option.
- Restart Google Chrome.
Disable Hardware Acceleration in Firefox
Firefox is not as popular as Chrome or Edge, but it still has a decent chunk of users, so it is worth covering. Firefox uses a slightly different approach to managing hardware acceleration in Windows, so the procedure is somewhat different from Edge and Chrome. For example, you cannot use search in the Firefox Settings to find the hardware acceleration toggle.
- Launch Firefox and open its settings from the main menu. Alternatively, use the about:preferences#general link.
- Scroll down and find the Performance section.
- Uncheck the Use recommended settings option to reveal the toggle you need.
- Now you can disable hardware acceleration in Firefox by unchecking the Use hardware acceleration when available option.
- Restart Firefox to apply changes.
That is how you disable hardware acceleration in browsers on Windows. Note that other apps may have different logic when managing hardware acceleration, so this article will not apply to them.