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How to disable Hardware Acceleration on Windows 10? #ExpertTips

There are times when you may need to disable hardware acceleration on Windows 10 even when the hardware acceleration is set to improve your performance. The tutorial here should assist you in how to disable hardware acceleration on Windows 10 easily.

Using Hardware Acceleration can be quite a great option for any computer user. Opting for hardware acceleration on Windows 10 would be akin to boosting the PC performance drastically. Turning on hardware acceleration can help you run a few of your programs faster. This would be more useful in the case of videos and gaming in many cases.

But there are cases where you would want to disable hardware acceleration. How to disable hardware acceleration on Windows 10? Before we move on to the topic of how to turn off hardware acceleration on Windows 10, we will check out what is Hardware Acceleration.

What is Hardware Acceleration in Windows 10?

Hardware acceleration is a process in which the application offloads some of its computing tasks to specific hardware components available within the system. This s done to ensure that the applications are run at their best performance levels. This can either be done at the system level or application level. The hardware acceleration can be a great option in case of gaming. 

When you run an application on your PC or laptop, it uses CPU power to accomplish it. Imagine a situation where the application or the program you have been running requires heavier power than the CPU can handle. In such a situation, the application will begin to throttle which in turn affects the performance.

This is where Hardware Acceleration kicks in. It makes use of the other components on your PC to speed up the tasks. The major purpose of hardware acceleration is to boost the speed or performance of your application. The dedicated hardware that can be used for the purpose would include sound and video cards on your device. When playing a graphic intensive game, your CPU offloads some of its tasks to the dedicated graphics card and thus the resultant video performance would be much better.

Some computer systems come with the hardware acceleration turned on by default. A few other may need you to manually enable it. While most of the computers have a configuration where hardware acceleration is enabled when needed, there may be the cases where you would want to watch out if an operational glitch is caused by an enabled hardware acceleration or the lack of it.

Why should you turn off hardware acceleration in Windows 10?

Under ideal conditions, it is advisable not to turn off hardware acceleration. But, there are cases when the application designed to utilise the hardware acceleration does not handle the job properly. Even when it is designed to help you run your system more smoother, it may fail to do so at times. This is when you need to disable or turn off hardware acceleration. 

This can happen in several scenarios –

  • Your CPU is stronger enough and other components are not able to match it properly. In such cases hardware acceleration is insufficient and it would be wiser to let the CPU take over the tasks.
  • If you have the components that are overheating, turning on hardware acceleration can slow down your system
  • The software itself may not have been designed properly and may not be able to make the full use of hardware acceleration. In such cases, you can consider disabling hardware acceleration for those applications alone if possible.

How to disable Hardware Acceleration in Windows 10?

As we already stated, most of the computer systems come with hardware acceleration turned on. Maybe the hardware acceleration is causing issues in your case and you are looking to turn it off. So, how to turn off hardware acceleration on Windows 10?

Here are the steps on how to turn off hardware acceleration in Windows 10 –

Method 1 – Using Display Settings

  • Right click on an any empty space on your desktop and then click on Display Settings. This should take you to the settings options for your disaply.

how to disable hardware acceleration

  • Scroll down and click on Advanced Display Settings. This will provide the option to fine-tune your display configurations.

how to disable hardware acceleration

  • On the next screen, choose the option that reads Display adapter properties for display 1. This will open graphic properties window for your graphic card.
  • Locate and open Troubleshoot tab. This should provide you with the options to tinker with the issues you may be facing with your graphic properties.

how to disable hardware acceleration

  • Click on Change Settings option. This will take you to the options to change the settings for troubleshooting options on your graphic card.
  • On the next screen, move the slider for Hardware Acceleration to a level that you would prefer comfortable.

how to disable hardware acceleration

  • Click OK to save your changes and exit.

Method 2 – Using Registry Editor

There are cases where the Change Settings option on your Troubleshoot tab is greyed out. This would mean your configurations have been locked. You will need to enable hardware acceleration using Registry Editor.

Do note that editing registry entries is an irreversible process unless you have created a backup. Please note any wrong entry or changes here can make your PC function abnormally or may even stop it from working as well. Exercise caution when editing the right entries in the registry editor.

Follow the steps here below –

  • Launch Registry Editor by launching RUN dialog box and typing in regedit. 
  • When the Registry Editor launches, follow the below path

            HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft

  • Find the graphics card entry for your graphics card. Normally, it should be indicated as Avalon.graphics. However, check for the exact nomenclature.

how to disable hardware acceleration

  • Find the DWORD with the name DisableHWAcceleration and change its value from 0 to 1. If the entry does not exist, create one and give it a value of 1.
  • That does it. Exit Registry Editor and your settings should now be available.

That was all we had with it. You can follow any of those methods to disable hardware acceleration on Windows 10. In fact, if you want to enable hardware acceleration, just reverse those steps and you are good to go.

About the author

Chris Mitchell

Chris Mitchell

Chris was born in London, but he with his family migrated to the USA, and he has been here since his childhood. He holds a bachelors degree in Journalism. He is a tech geek, and that is why he only writes Technology news on this website. He has a range of gadgets at his home as he loves to try his hands on the latest gadgets whether it is a camera or a mobile phone or even Drones. He loves tech!

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