On multi-GPU systems, Windows 11 allows you to change the default GPU for any app or game so that you can prioritize performance or battery life.
By default, Windows 11 automatically decides which graphics card it should for an app or game. For instance, on my laptop, I have two GPUs—a dedicated graphics card and an integrated graphics card. Depending on the app, Windows 11 automatically chooses the best GPU for the use case. For instance, if the app is a game, Windows 11 will choose to use the dedicated graphics card for better performance.
However, there might be times when Windows 11 chooses incorrectly or you might want to change the default selection to get better performance or battery life. In such situations, you have the option to manually specify which graphics card an app should use using the Settings app.
In this guide, let me show you how to make an app use a specific graphics card on Windows 11.
Change the default graphics card on Windows 11
To set the default graphics card, use the steps outlined below:
- Open Settings.
- Go to the System tab on the sidebar.
- Click/tap on the Display option.
- Scroll down and click/tap on the Graphics option.
- Select the app type from the Add an app dropdown.
- Press the Browse button.
- Select the app or app’s exe file.
- Click/tap on the Options button.
- Select one of the below options to choose the GPU.
- Power saving
- High performance
- Press the Save button.
Let’s see these steps in detail:
Open the Settings app. You can do this by clicking on the Start button and searching for Settings, or by pressing the Windows key + I on your keyboard. In the Settings window, locate and click/tap on the System tab on the sidebar. This will open the System settings.
Within the System settings, click/tap on the Display option. It should be listed on the right pane. Next, scroll down the Display settings page until you find the Graphics option under the Related Settings section. Click/tap on it to access the graphics settings.
Under the Graphics settings, you will see an Add an app dropdown menu. Select the appropriate app type from the dropdown. If the app is downloaded from Microsoft Store, select the Microsoft Store app option. Otherwise, select the Desktop app option. After that, click on the Browse button and select the app.
After selecting the app, click on the Options button. Next, select one of the below options to choose a default GPU for the app and press the Save button.
- Power saving: Uses integrated GPU and gives better battery life at the cost of performance. This option is useful if you value battery backup time over performance.
- High performance: Uses discrete GPU (dedicated graphics card). Gives better performance at the cost of battery bac5kup time and power consumption. This option is useful for demanding applications like games and 3D applications.
That is it. With that, you’ve changed the default GPU an app should use on Windows 11.
If you want to reset and let Windows 11 choose which graphics card to use, select the “Let Windows decide” option after clicking on the Options button.
I hope this simple and easy Windows how-to guide helped you.
Related GPU how-to guides: