How to Turn Off Hardware Acceleration in Google Chrome: A Guide

Turning off hardware acceleration in Google Chrome is quite simple. You need to access the Chrome settings, scroll down to the ‘System’ section, and toggle off the option that says “Use hardware acceleration when available.” Afterward, you’ll need to relaunch the browser for the changes to take effect.

After you complete this action, you may notice that certain tasks in Google Chrome are not as snappy or responsive as before. This is because hardware acceleration allows the browser to offload some processing tasks to the GPU, which can handle graphics more efficiently than the CPU.


Hardware acceleration is a feature that’s been around for a while in web browsers like Google Chrome. It’s designed to improve your browsing experience by delegating some of the heavier lifting to your computer’s graphics card (GPU), rather than the central processing unit (CPU). This can result in smoother video playback, faster graphics rendering, and overall better performance when you’re surfing the web.

But why would anyone want to turn it off? Well, as great as it sounds, hardware acceleration isn’t always a good thing. In some cases, it can cause problems like crashes, glitches, or other strange behavior in your browser. It can also be a drain on your system resources, especially if you’re using an older computer or one with limited graphics capabilities. That’s why it’s crucial to know how to disable this feature if you’re experiencing any issues. This guide is particularly relevant to those who are troubleshooting performance issues on their computer or who want to optimize their system resources.

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Turn Off Hardware Acceleration in Google Chrome

Before you begin, know that disabling hardware acceleration might affect the performance of Google Chrome, especially if you’re playing high-definition videos or games.

Step 1: Open Google Chrome settings

Open Google Chrome and click on the three dots in the upper right corner to open the menu. From there, select ‘Settings’.

This will bring you to the main settings page for Chrome where you can adjust various options related to your browsing experience.

Step 2: Scroll down to the ‘System’ section

Once in the settings menu, scroll down to the bottom and click on ‘Advanced’ to expand additional options. Then, keep scrolling until you reach the ‘System’ section.

The ‘System’ section contains settings that can impact Chrome’s performance and how it interacts with your computer’s hardware.

Step 3: Toggle off hardware acceleration

You’ll see an option that says “Use hardware acceleration when available.” Toggle this switch off.

By doing this, you’re telling Chrome not to use your GPU for extra processing power, which could resolve some of the issues you might be experiencing.

Step 4: Relaunch Google Chrome

Once you’ve toggled off hardware acceleration, you’ll need to relaunch Chrome to apply the changes. Click the ‘Relaunch’ button that appears after you turn off the setting.

After relaunching, Chrome will start without using hardware acceleration.


Improved stabilityTurning off hardware acceleration can sometimes resolve issues like crashes and freezes, particularly on older computers or systems with weak graphics hardware.
Better CPU usageWith hardware acceleration disabled, your CPU might take on more of the work, which could be beneficial if you have a powerful CPU and a weaker GPU.
TroubleshootingDisabling hardware acceleration can be a useful step in troubleshooting where issues might be arising from within Chrome.


Reduced performanceWithout hardware acceleration, Chrome may not perform as well with graphic-intensive tasks like gaming or video streaming.
Higher CPU loadWith hardware acceleration turned off, your CPU may have to work harder, which could lead to higher overall system load and less efficiency.
Possible video issuesSome videos may not play as smoothly or at as high of a quality without hardware acceleration enabled.

Additional Information

When you turn off hardware acceleration in Google Chrome, it’s essential to monitor your browser’s performance closely. You might find that certain websites or applications run more slowly, or that your system’s CPU usage spikes significantly. If this happens, you may want to consider upgrading your computer’s hardware, or if possible, selectively enable hardware acceleration for specific tasks that benefit from it.

Another tip is to keep your GPU drivers up to date. Sometimes, issues with hardware acceleration can stem from outdated or corrupt drivers, so ensuring that you have the latest updates can improve performance and stability. It’s also worth noting that different browsers handle hardware acceleration differently, so if you’re still experiencing problems, you might want to try a different browser to see if the issue persists.

Finally, remember that turning off hardware acceleration is not a one-size-fits-all solution. It can be beneficial for troubleshooting, but for many users, the feature enhances their browsing experience. Consider your personal use case and system specifications before deciding to disable it.


  1. Open Google Chrome settings
  2. Scroll to ‘System’ section in settings
  3. Toggle off ‘Use hardware acceleration when available’
  4. Relaunch Google Chrome

Frequently Asked Questions

What is hardware acceleration?

Hardware acceleration is a feature that allows a program to offload certain computing tasks to specialized hardware components in the system, such as the GPU, to improve performance.

Will turning off hardware acceleration make Chrome faster?

Not necessarily. Turning off hardware acceleration can make Chrome slower for graphic-intensive tasks but may resolve specific performance issues or crashes.

Can I turn off hardware acceleration for specific sites or apps?

No, turning off hardware acceleration in Chrome applies to the entire browser and all websites and applications you access through it.

Should I turn off hardware acceleration if I have a powerful computer?

Not unless you’re experiencing issues that you suspect are related to hardware acceleration. Generally, with a powerful computer, hardware acceleration can enhance your browsing experience.

Will disabling hardware acceleration affect other programs?

No, disabling hardware acceleration in Chrome will only affect Chrome. Other programs on your computer have their own settings for hardware acceleration.


Turning off hardware acceleration in Google Chrome can be a vital step in troubleshooting performance issues with the browser. While it may not be the best solution for everyone, it’s an easy and reversible change that could potentially resolve your problems. Remember, the goal is to have a smooth and efficient browsing experience, so use this guide to help you achieve that.

If you find that disabling hardware acceleration improves your situation, great! If not, there are plenty of other avenues to explore in the quest for optimal performance. Keep experimenting, updating, and adjusting until everything runs just right.

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