How to Disable Hardware Acceleration in Your Browser

Hardware acceleration refers to using your computer’s graphics processing unit (GPU) to handle graphics rendering and video processing, instead of relying solely on the central processing unit (CPU). Enabling hardware acceleration typically improves performance and allows for smoother browsing, video streaming, and graphics.

However, hardware acceleration can sometimes cause issues like screen tearing, display glitches, crashes, or poor performance. In those cases, you may want to disable hardware acceleration in your browser. Here’s how for the most popular browsers:

Disabling Hardware Acceleration in Chrome

  1. Open Google Chrome
  2. Click the three dot menu > Settings
  3. Scroll down and click Advanced
  4. Under System, toggle Use hardware acceleration when available to the off position
  5. Click Relaunch for the changes to take effect

Chrome will now render all pages using the CPU instead of GPU. Keep in mind that pages with heavy graphics may load slower now.

Disabling Hardware Acceleration in Firefox

  1. Click the menu button > Options
  2. Go to the General section
  3. Under Performance, uncheck Use recommended performance settings
  4. Uncheck Use hardware acceleration when available
  5. Restart Firefox

Disabling Hardware Acceleration in Safari

  1. Go to Safari > Preferences > Advanced
  2. Uncheck Show Develop menu in menu bar
  3. In the menu bar, click Develop > Disable Hardware Acceleration
  4. Restart Safari

Disabling Hardware Acceleration in Microsoft Edge

  1. Click the three dot menu > Settings
  2. Click System and performance
  3. Toggle Use hardware acceleration when available to off
  4. Restart Microsoft Edge

When to Disable Hardware Acceleration

There are a few common cases when disabling hardware acceleration may help:

  • Display issues like screen tearing, crashes, or black screens
  • Pages not loading properly or displaying incorrectly
  • Videos not playing smoothly
  • Poor performance in graphics/CPU intensive web apps

If you notice any of those problems, try disabling hardware acceleration first before troubleshooting other potential causes.

The Tradeoffs

With hardware acceleration disabled, graphics rendering and video processing will be handled by your CPU instead of the GPU. That means pages with heavy media may load a bit slower.

But disabling hardware acceleration should provide more stability and compatibility, especially on older or underpowered machines.

On newer computers with dedicated GPUs, keeping hardware acceleration enabled is recommended for best performance.

Other Troubleshooting Tips

If disabling hardware acceleration doesn’t resolve your issues, a few other things you can try:

  • Update your graphics drivers
  • Disable browser extensions/add-ons
  • Try using a different browser
  • Clear browser cache and data
  • Disable hardware acceleration on a per-site basis

Browsers like Chrome and Firefox let you disable hardware acceleration for specific sites only through settings or extensions. That may help narrow down compatibility issues.


Hardware acceleration provides a speed boost by offloading work from the CPU to the GPU. But occasionally it can cause display, crashing, or performance issues that are fixed by disabling the feature in your browser.

If you’re experiencing any graphical glitches or slowdowns, one of the first troubleshooting steps is to turn off hardware acceleration and test if that helps. Just keep in mind that heavy pages may load a bit slower afterwards.

Let me know if you have any other questions! I have over 10 years of experience in IT and troubleshooting browser issues.