Application has been blocked from accessing graphics hardware in Windows 10

Many a time it may so happen that programs on your Windows 10 PC get denied of accessing graphics hardware. The message says that an application has been blocked from accessing graphics hardware. One of the common scenarios is when your PC is stuck for some reason when playing a game. This somehow misconfigures the driver, and when an application tries to access the graphics driver, it just fails. In this guide, we share how you can fix Windows 10 application has been blocked from accessing graphics hardware error.

In my experience, the problem majorly happens where the driver is not compatible with your existing Windows 10 version, and mostly fails post a major update. This causes the GPU to take more time to respond to graphics request and mostly fails. Let’s take a look at the possible solutions.

Application has been blocked from accessing graphics hardware

Application has been blocked from accessing graphics hardware

1] Uninstall and Re-install the graphics card driver

Update, Rollback and Disable Drivers on Windows 10

This is the first thing you need to try. Many a time the drivers downloaded from the Windows Update misconfigures. The best way is to download the latest drivers from the OEM site. You will need to search on the website using details of your graphics card name. Check out our post on Uninstall and reinstall the drivers. When installing driver, make sure to run the program compatibility mode for Windows 10.

2] Run the Hardware Devices troubleshooter

Hardware Troubleshooter for Windows 10

Windows comes with an inbuilt tool to troubleshoot any hardware devices. It is available under Settings > Update & Security > Troubleshoot. Run it, and if there a problem which the application can fix, it will do so. Read more about how to use the Hardware Devices Troubleshooter.

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3] Give access to graphics hardware to applications

Fix Windows 10 application has been blocked from accessing graphics hardware

Windows 10 Graphics settings now allow you to dedicate applications to use a graphics card. This will work if you are having a problem with specific applications accessing graphics hardware. It works for both WIN32 Applications and Apps from the store.

You can find this specific option under Settings > Display > Graphics Settings. Using this will not improve performance, but also can save a lot of battery life. Read more about using Graphics settings in Windows 10.

4] Disable TDR checker

TDR stands for Timeout Detection and Recovery. This feature first appeared in Windows Vista and then has been there till Windows 10. The system is built to recover system graphics when the OS fails to receive a response within a certain amount of time. The default is set to 2 seconds.

It may so happen that graphics card takes more time because of an intensive task, and OS feels there is some problem and restarts the graphics as a recovery method.  The solution which we are suggesting now increases the TDR time to more than 8 seconds. This gives more window for OS to react.

Note: In case you cannot find these keys, we suggest you create this by following the guide on docs.microsoft.com.

  • Exit all the applications on the PC.
  • Type regedit on the search box, and launch it with admin privileges.
  • Browse to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet002 \Control\GraphicsDrivers or HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001 \Control\GraphicsDrivers whichever is available.

Depending on your Windows version i.e. 32-bit or 64-bit do the following:

For 32 bit Windows:

  • Select DWORD (32-bit) value.
  • Type TdrDelay as the Name and click Enter.
  • Double-click TdrDelay and add 8 for the Value data and click OK.

For 64 bit Windows :

  • Select QWORD (64-bit) value.
  • Type TdrDelay as the Name and click Enter.
  • Double-click TdrDelay and add 8 for the Value data and click OK.

Restart your PC after this so the changes can take place.

The registry change we did adds another 8 second of delay to the Tdr checker. So if the GPU responds back in 10 seconds, it still works. You may have to change this value to see what exactly works for yours.

If it still doesn’t work, you may have to take an aggressive step, and completely turn of TDR. You can do this by changing the “TdrLevel” enter the data value as 0, and then delete the TdrDelay key.

Restart your PC once again.

I am hoping all these suggestions help you. If you find something that solves your problem, do let us know in the comments.

Posted by on , in Category Windows with Tags
Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.