Disable Hardware Acceleration in Windows 10/8/7

In simple terms, the term Hardware Acceleration means using computer’s hardware for performing a certain task and function faster than would be possible using a software. This also allows for smooth rendering of graphics. In most processors, instructions are executed sequentially, i.e., one by one, but you can perform them faster if you modify the same process a bit using some technique. The idea is to move all graphics and text rendering from the Central Processing Unit to the Graphics Processing Unit. The idea is to speed up graphics performance and the rendering by moving it from the CPU to the GPU, thereby getting better performance.

Sometimes loosely called as graphics accelerators or floating-point accelerators, hardware accelerators can improve the performance of an application significantly. The term Hardware Accelerator has now been loosely replaced by more common and less descriptive terms such as graphics cards and video cards.

While the settings are best left at their default values in Windows, you can if you wish to, turn off or disable Hardware Graphics Acceleration or reduce Hardware Acceleration. Turning off the Hardware Acceleration completely will run the application in software rendering mode’.

Disable Hardware Acceleration

The Hardware Acceleration tab in Windows allows you to specify the performance of the graphics hardware present on your PC. To disable or reduce Hardware Acceleration in Windows 10/8/7, first, right-click on the Desktop and from the context menu, choose the Personalization option.

Then, select Display from the left panel of the window and click on ‘Change display settings’.

Next, click on ‘Advanced settings’.

turn off Hardware Acceleration

This will open the Graphics Properties box. Now open ‘Troubleshoot’ tab. If your current display driver does not allow you to change the settings, you will see the Change settings button grayed out, and you will not be able to change the settings.

disable hardware acceleration

If your current display driver allows you to change the settings, you will be able to see the Change settings button. Click on it.

disable hardware acceleration

Now, the Display Adapter Troubleshooter will appear on your computer screen. Move the pointer to the extreme left to disable or reduce the hardware acceleration and click on OK. If you are having problems with your graphics hardware, these settings can help you troubleshoot display-related problems.

That’s it!

This is how you can disable or change the level of hardware acceleration in Windows  10/8/7.

UPDATE: Things appear to have chnaged in Windows 10 1803 and later. Right-click on the desktop, select Display settings.

The Display Settings will open. Scroll down a bit and you will see Advanced display settings.

Disable Hardware Acceleration

Click on Display adapter properties link.


This will open your Monitor and Graphics Properties box. You can then follow the latter part of the instructions given above via its Troubleshoot tab..

Disable hardware acceleration button greyed out

If you find that the option is grayed out, check if your hardware permits it and ensure that you have updated drivers. You may also see if DWORD DisableHWAcceleration exists in the following registry key and that it has a value 0.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Avalon.Graphics\

If it does not exist, create a new DWORD DisableHWAcceleration. A value of 1 disables hardware acceleration. A value of 0 enables hardware acceleration, provided the system meets hardware acceleration requirements.

You can use the above Registry method to disable hardware acceleration in Windows 10.

The new settings could not be saved to registry

The new settings could not be saved to registry

If you receive an Unexpected error, The new settings could not be saved to registry message box; then you may try the following:

  1. Visit the manufacturer’s website to download and install the latest drivers
  2. Run Display Quality Troubleshooter
  3. Run Hardware and Devices Troubleshooter.

Related reads:

  1. How to disable Hardware Acceleration in Firefox and Chrome
  2. How to enable or disable Hardware Acceleration in Internet Explorer
  3. How to turn off Hardware Graphics Acceleration in Office.
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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.

37 Comments

  1. Samit Tandukar

    so what to do in case if change settings in troubleshoot is grey out….

  2. Anon

    I dont have a troubleshoot tab.. what do i do then??

  3. Update your driver and see f it helps.

  4. Jaime

    Ok, so the change settings in troubleshoot is grey out. This is the problem I would like to find a solution to. How to enable the change settings? My client requested to lower the setting! How to do that? Please help!!! Is any other way to reduce the setting? Many thanks.

  5. You may need to check your registry settings. I have updated the post towards the end.

  6. I did not get it clearly! I have very good configuration in my Desktop & Laptop. Everything runs smoothly with high speed. Why should I reduce or disable that? is this tutorial for low configuration hardware?

  7. You don’t need to disable it then 🙂

  8. shiv

    sir i dont have the troubleshoot tab it has every other
    so is my hardware acceleration set to full or what???

    please help me….

  9. J.R. Herbaugh

    If you’re having trouble with flash, try right-clicking the video and click Settings…,
    click the folder icon and slide Local Storage to Unlimited, and
    click the monitor icon and uncheck Enable hardware acceleration.

  10. Ethan Scott

    I have an amd windows 8 pc, how do I do it?

  11. blah

    Tried it didn’t work!

  12. rick

    I don’t have the troubleshoot tab using windows 8?

  13. J.R. Herbaugh

    Then you shall be forever without flash, and I envy you.

  14. Stefano Capanna

    I Anand how can I create Avalon.Graphics folder on Regedit?

  15. ighfar

    i cant find “troublesoot” menu in my PC

  16. 2

    Worked for me.Thanks

  17. Dominik ?oja

    how to turn off on WIN 10??

  18. Right-click Start button to open WinX menu. Select Control Panel > Display, etc.

  19. Cat dog

    Well whats the etc?

  20. It’s detailed in the post.

  21. sachin singh

    there is no avalon graphics in my microsoft folder in
    regedit

  22. sachin singh

    what should i do

  23. Justin Tung

    So i’ve got no troubleshooting tab, its not even there. I dont have the avalon graphics folder in registry either. Driver has been uninstalled and reinstalled multiple times with display driver uninstaller, operating system has been reinstalled multiple times with drives reformatted before every reinstall. Tried multiple graphics cards, same result.

  24. Mansgame

    None of this applies to Windows 10. You lie in your title.

  25. Mansgame

    I have a driver that’s 3 years newer than what you have and it’s still not there. Try again genius.

  26. Paul Gray

    Doesn’t work in windows 10

  27. urbanman2004

    I’ve been using this trick for yrs to help improve performance on older computers

  28. Gee I knOw

    For some reason I can’t click on the Advanced settings on the display settings. I’ve updated the settings and all but it won’t work. Help.

  29. BFeely

    Isn’t this completely removed from Windows 8 and newer, as it was a feature of legacy (XDDM and older) graphics drivers, and Windows 8 and newer do not allow XDDM drivers due to the forced Desktop Window Manager.

  30. BFeely

    In Windows 8 and newer, legacy graphics support was removed in favor of the WDDM driver model.

  31. Kyle

    So hardware acceleration is on full blast by default if the key is missing on Windows 10?

  32. amit verma

    In my pc there no option for Troubleshoot ,so how can i enable my hardware-acceleration-windows-8

  33. TB

    Windows 10 does not have a Display tab under control panel.

  34. Gates2Aion

    This dose not work for Windows 10 as its missing troubleshoot tab. I shouldn’t of done that fat updated on windows 10 last year now I can’t use any 3D software or play quick time videos on my 2nd monitor

  35. Windows 10 – literally none of these menus exist. I cannot even find the screen you’re talking about.

  36. I have updated the post for Windows 10 1803 now.

  37. pijal

    these hardware acceleration settings is for generic driver and have very poor performance like software raster. shouldn’t work on oem driver that directly using HAL

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