Turn On/Off Chrome’s Hardware Acceleration

Are you experiencing glitched graphics in Chrome on your desktop?

Chrome is famous for its easy to understand interface and stable working. However, sometimes it can get a little buggy, especially if you are using an old machine.

It can sometimes fail to load website graphics properly. The problem usually appears when you have a more robust CPU compared to other computer hardware.

This article will go in-depth about the reason behind it and see how hardware acceleration is a part of the problem.

So, without much raving, let’s begin. 

What is Hardware Acceleration?

In computing terms, hardware acceleration uses computer hardware to perform tasks more efficiently than on software. It is possible because some hardware is designed to perform calculations faster than the software.

Chrome uses your computer’s graphics processing unit (GPU) to perform some heavy graphic related tasks like playing videos, games, or loading a high fidelity website. Thereby, your CPU can focus on other tasks and wouldn’t tire. Meanwhile, GPU would be doing what it does best.

Usually, it works for the best by allocating the necessary space for other tasks to run in the CPU. However, if your machine has a better processor than the graphics unit, it may cause Chrome to work improperly. Otherwise, it becomes an issue for faster battery consumption. 

The problem may vary from machine to machine. So, if you are experiencing buggy processes on Chrome, turning off the hardware acceleration might solve the problem. Let’s see how to do that.

Turn On or Off Chrome Hardware Acceleration

Time needed: 5 minutes

Chrome keeps hardware acceleration active by default. The browser uses it whenever available. So, let’s see how we can disable it first.

  1. Firstly, click on the “Menu” button.

  2. Then, go to “Settings.”
    open Chrome settings

  3. Scroll down and click on “Advanced.”
    Advanced settings in Chrome

  4. The hardware acceleration function is available under the “System” section.

  5. Toggle the button so that the circle slides towards the left, disabling the function.

  6. Finally, relaunch Chrome to bring the changes into effect.
    disable hardware acceleration in Chrome

Note: Chrome will reopen any active tabs after the relaunch. However, it won’t save your work. Therefore, make sure you aren’t in the middle of an important task while doing this.

If you are not ready to close the window yet, don’t worry. Chrome will automatically update the changes whenever you restart it.

Chrome also provides a way to check if the function is enabled or disabled. 

Enter “chrome://gpu/” in the Omnibox and hit “Enter.” You can notice that most features under the “Graphics Feature Status” will show “Software only, hardware acceleration disabled.” Look at the below example to know the difference. 

Difference in Graphics Feature status due to hardware acceleration

If this didn’t solve your problem, then I recommend re-enabling the feature for the best. Head back to the function control by following the steps as mentioned earlier. Or you can quickly go to the following address for the same result.


Now, toggle the switch to the right to re-enable the function.

Enable Chrome hardware acceleration

Wrap Up

Chrome may sometimes become unresponsive or find it difficult to load graphics elements properly. The cause is often related to hardware problems rather than the software itself. This guide showed one of the possible ways to tackle the issue. If you want to look at other possible scenarios for improper working, read our Chrome keeps crashing guide. 

Leave a Comment