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What is Hardware Acceleration in Chrome? How to enable or disable it?

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Chrome is one of the most popular browsers around and has been for quite some time now. The browser is available on pretty much every platform and works smoothly. It also offers features like sync between your devices that help provide a comprehensive browsing experience.

The browser also has added features on the PC to help you make the most out of your internet browsing experience. In this article, we’re talking about hardware acceleration on Chrome, and you can enable or disable the feature. 

Also read: How to fix Err_Cache_Miss in Google Chrome?

What is hardware acceleration in Chrome?

The term essentially refers to when a program, in this context, Chrome, uses your PC’s hardware to perform better a function than it would if it only used software. 

Chrome uses this by utilising your GPU to tackle graphics-heavy websites or handle other graphics-intensive tasks such as playing browser-based games, high-definition videos or even speeding up mathematical calculations. This allows the CPU load to lessen while the GPU gets used for the tasks it was designed to perform. 

While hardware acceleration helps, it can also cause all sorts of lags, freezes and crashes in Chrome. If you’re using Chrome on a laptop, it will also add to the overall battery drain significantly. 

Now Chrome’s crashes, lag or freezing could be caused by several issues like corrupt drivers, broken Chrome installation or even broken system files; disabling hardware acceleration often helps resolve the problem. 

How to switch off Hardware Acceleration in Chrome?

Step 1: Click on the three-dots icon on the top-right and click on the Settings from the options below.

How to fix the 'Chrome PDF Viewer Not Working' issue?

Step 2: Search for Hardware acceleration. You’ll find the setting under System. Just toggle the switch off and then use the Relaunch button to restart Chrome. 

How to fix the 'Chrome PDF Viewer Not Working' issue?

If hardware acceleration is disabled in your browser, you can activate it from this menu as well. 

Also read: 8 ways to stop Google Chrome search engine changing to Yahoo

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah is a Computer Science graduate who writes/edits/shoots/codes all things cybersecurity, gaming, and tech hardware. When he's not, he streams himself racing virtual cars. He's been writing and reporting on tech and cybersecurity with websites like Candid.Technology and MakeUseOf since 2018. You can contact him here: