How To Disable Hardware Acceleration in Windows 10 & 11

If you think it’s a problem or hindrance, you can disable hardware acceleration in Windows 10 and 11. Here is how to do it.

Hardware Acceleration is a built-in feature of Windows which improves the overall graphical performance. Generally, Windows and other applications on your system are pretty good at judging whether to use hardware acceleration. Often, it is prudent to leave the default hardware acceleration settings.

However, if you think the Windows hardware acceleration is causing unnecessary problems or stability issues, you can disable it with just a few clicks.

This easy Windows how-to guide shows you how to disable hardware acceleration in Windows 10 and 11 operating systems.

Table of contents:

What is hardware acceleration

In simple terms, hardware acceleration allows the operating system and applications to offload graphical processing to dedicated hardware like a discreet graphics card. This reduces the CPU’s processing load, allowing it to work on other tasks.

As you can guess, rendering graphics using dedicated hardware is far better in terms of scalability, efficiency, and performance than software rendering.

Though hardware acceleration is good in most situations, it can sometimes cause issues like system freeze, crashes, application incompatibility, etc. In those cases, you must turn off hardware acceleration in Windows.

The steps below work the same in Windows 10 and 11.

Disable hardware acceleration from Settings

You can disable hardware acceleration from the Windows Settings app. Specifically from the Advanced Display options. Let me show you how.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Click “System” on the sidebar.
  3. Press the “Display” option.
  4. Click on the “Graphics” option.
  5. Click the “Change default graphics settings” link.
  6. Turn off the “Hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling” option.
  7. Close the Settings app.
  8. Reboot the computer.
  9. With that, you turned off hardware acceleration in Windows.

Steps with more details:

Since we need to open the Setting apps, use the “Start + I” keyboard shortcut. You can search for “Settings” in the Start menu.

After opening it, go to the “System > Display” page. As the name implies, this is where most of the display options are found. Here, scroll down and click on the “Graphics” option.

Click on the “Change default graphics settings” link under “Default Settings” on this page.

change default graphics settings

Now, turn off the “Hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling” option.

Note: If you can’t find the above option, your computer may not support hardware acceleration or has no discreet graphics card.

disable hardware acceleration from settings

Finally, close the Settings app and reboot the computer.

After rebooting, the hardware acceleration feature is disabled in Windows 11 and 10.

Turn off hardware acceleration from the Registry

If you can’t find the hardware acceleration option in the Settings app or looking for an alternate way to turn off hardware acceleration, you can do it from the Registry Editor. Here’s how.

Back up the registry before making changes. The backup helps in restoring the registry if something goes wrong.

  1. Launch the Start menu.
  2. Search and open “Registry Editor.”
  3. Go to the following folder.
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\GraphicsDrivers
  4. Right-click on the “GraphicsDrivers” folder.
  5. Choose the “New > DWORD (32-bit) Value” option.
  6. Type “HwSchMode” as the new value name.
  7. Double-click the “HwSchMode” value.
  8. Type “1” in the Value Data field.
  9. Press the “Ok” button.
  10. Close the Registry Editor.
  11. Reboot the computer.
  12. With that, you turned off hardware acceleration in Windows.

Steps with more details:

First, open the Registry Editor. You can use the “regedit” run command or search for “Registry Editor” in the Windows Start menu.

open registry editor

Go to the following folder in the Registry Editor. You can copy the path, paste it into the Registry’s address bar, and press Enter to go to the folder.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\GraphicsDrivers
graphicsdriver folder in registry

Once you are here, we need to create a new value. For that, right-click on the “GraphicsDrivers” folder and choose the “New > DWORD (32-bit) Value.” Name the value as “HwSchMode.”

create hwschmode registry value

Double-click on the “HwSchMode” value you just created. Type “1” in the Value Data field. Press the “Ok” button to save changes.

turn off hardware acceleration from registry

Finally, close the Registry Editor and reboot the computer.

After rebooting, hardware acceleration in Windows 10 and 11 is turned off.

That is it. It is that simple to disable hardware acceleration in Windows.

I hope this simple and easy Windows how-to guide helped you.

If you are stuck or need some help, send an email, and I will try to help as much as possible.

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