How to Turn Hardware Acceleration On and Off in Chrome

Google Chrome is a high-end browser for the desktop that takes full advantage of the CPU and GPU to produce better viewing and acceleration. However, the company disabled the feature because they know that many people around the world don’t have a high-end CPU, and they don’t want to put stress on the GPU.

By default, the hardware acceleration is disabled, but you can enable it manually from advanced settings of the Chrome browser, and we will show you how to do it manually.

What is Hardware Acceleration & Its Downsides?

After enabling the hardware acceleration on your Chrome browser, it utilises your computer integrated or dedicated graphics properly. In short, it can carry out graphical intensive tasks graphical intensive tasks in the browser without any issues.

CPU = Central processing unit. (Processor, RAM, Motherboard, and Hard drive.)

GPU = Graphical processing unit. (Integrated graphics or dedicated graphics.)

For example, if you have 2GB of dedicated graphics, then it will view the long and lengthy PDF files and presentation with graphical Images & Pictures in it. You won’t face any lags, freezes, and disturbed clarity in the content inside.

CPU carries out the tasks, while the GPU helps in viewing the Images, Photos, Graphical content on the World Wide Web. The same theory also applies to the videos because integrated graphics is not capable enough to play 4K videos and your older computer may struggle to play 2K videos, but the browser makes most of the GPU to help you view the videos in a better way.

The hardware acceleration also has a positive impact on the CPU because it will depend on the GPU + CPU, so the CPU doesn’t have to everything on its own. The GPU takes a slice of the task and frees the CPU to another task.

Now, is GPU acceleration safe?

The hardware acceleration main purpose is to utilize the GPU, right?

Yes, the Chrome browser is going to take full advantage of the GPU. Thus it’s going to put some stress on your PC. But, you need to know that manufacturers like AMD, Intel, NVIDIA, and others made GPU’s to handle stress and graphics.

Don’t worry about the stress on the graphics card because it won’t damage it because the CPU & GPU designed to shut down when it reaches the maximum level of heat or stress.

Result: Hardware acceleration is safe.

Editors choice: How to Set Chrome as Default Browser

How to Enable Hardware Acceleration in Chrome?

You can enable the hardware acceleration in the advanced Chrome settings and allow us to take you through the steps.

  1. Launch the browser to look for the three dot setting, and click on the “settings” to open the settings tab. Or you can type this chrome://settings address in the address bar.

turn on hardware acceleration in chrome

2. You have to scroll down to the very bottom of that page and click on the “advanced” link.

turn hardware acceleration on and off in chrome

3. Now, you have to scroll down to the very end of the page, and you will find “system” heading, and click on “Use hardware acceleration when available” option.

C:\Users\kksilvery\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\INetCache\Content.Word\Enable - 3.png4. The “relaunch Chrome” button will appear, and you have to click on to enable the option, but keep in mind that it will close all pages, and websites.

turn off hardware acceleration in chrome

5. The hardware acceleration is enabled, but you have to double check, whether the changes have been made or not. So go to “chrome://GPU” and look for “Hardware accelerated” next to most of the items in the “Graphics Feature Status” section.

Hardware Acceleration turn on and off in chrome

However, in my case, it was already enabled, but I have disabled it to show you how to run hardware acceleration on and off in Chrome. But, the “Use hardware acceleration when available” was already on, then it means that we have force enable it.

Do not worry about the force use of hardware acceleration because the GPU and CPU will stop using it when things get hot in the hardware.

How to Enable Hardware Acceleration in Chrome?

It doesn’t override the settings in the core files, and Google developers team has added strong encryption to block override from the mainframe. But, it is a fair trial, so we can get our Chrome copy to use the hardware acceleration.

Step 1: Launch the incognito browser mode, and don’t open the regular mode. And, type chrome://FLAGS in the address bar, and hit enter.

Turn on and off in chrome

Step 2: On the first page, you can find the “Override software rendering list.”

Step 3: You have click on the drop-up option to change from “Disabled to Enabled.”

C:\Users\kksilvery\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\INetCache\Content.Word\Disable - 2.png

Step 4: At the bottom right, you can find the “Relaunch Now” button and click on it to make the hardware acceleration changes.

C:\Users\kksilvery\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\INetCache\Content.Word\Disable - 3.png

Step 5: Again, you have to revisit chrome://GPU page.

Step 6: By now, “hardware accelerated” will appear on most of the features.

hardware Acceleration turn on and off in chrome

There should be no problem in finding out whether it is working or not, but in case, “hardware accelerated” doesn’t appear in most of the features, then you should upgrade your graphics card or driver because it could be the cause of the problem. However, if you are using old graphics card hardware, then it might be unsupported.

Why is the Hardware Acceleration Disabled?

On my laptop manufactured by the Acer, and graphics provided by the AMD Radeon doesn’t seem to work properly for unknown reasons.

In the above snapshot, you can see that “Native GpuMemoryBuffers: Software only. Hardware acceleration disabled” is disabled.

So, what ‘s the issue?

Older Machines: Many of us are running the latest version of Windows 10 on older machines that came with Windows 7 OS pre-installed. These machines don’t support it because the graphics or GPU manufacturer doesn’t update the drivers, and they did not integrate the graphics for hardware acceleration.

New Machines: However, the laptop I am using manufactured in 2016 & 2017, and AMD designed Radeon graphics to take on hardware acceleration, but it failed to impress us because the latest drivers are not stable. It depends on the GPU manufacturer support and hardware capabilities.


The hardware acceleration can add value to the browsing experience, but if you are using Intel i7 (2GB video memory) or Intel i5 processor with NVIDIA dedicated graphics, then don’t worry about the boost because you won’t see much of the difference. Let us know what do you think about it in the comment section below.

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