Google Chrome is equipped with hardware acceleration, a feature that takes advantage of the computer's GPU to speed up processes and free vital CPU time. Sometimes the driver's incompatibilities can cause this feature to malfunction and disable it can save some headaches.
What is hardware acceleration?
Hardware acceleration refers to when a program uses a computer's hardware to assist in performing certain functions more efficiently than capable in the software. The hardware is designed to perform certain functions faster than the software running on the CPU alone.
In Chrome, hardware acceleration utilizes the computer's graphics processing unit (GPU) to handle graphics-intensive tasks, such as playing video, games or anything that requires faster mathematical calculations. Managing specific tasks gives your CPU a chance to work tirelessly on everything else, while the GPU handles processes it was designed to run.
Although this sounds great in most cases, sometimes hardware acceleration can cause Chrome to store, freeze, or crash ̵1; it can even cause your laptop battery to drop much faster. Because everyone's computer is a little different, the problem may lie in the GPU or driver associated with it. If you suspect the hardware acceleration is due, it is best to do so if you want to disable it and see if it resolves the problem.
How to enable or disable hardware acceleration
By default, hardware acceleration is enabled in Chrome, so let's look at disabling it first.
Turn on Chrome, click the menu icon, and then click "Settings." Alternatively, write
chrome: // settings / in the Omnibox to go directly there.
On the Settings tab, scroll down to the bottom and then click "Advanced."
Scroll down to the System section and find the setting "Use hardware acceleration when available". Switch the switch to the "Off" mode, then click "Restart" to apply the changes.
Warning: Make sure you save everything you work with. Chrome resumes the tabs that were opened before restarting, but does not save any of the data contained in them.
If you'd rather wait for Chrome to finish and finish everything you work on, close just the tab. Chrome will apply the change the next time you close and open it again.
To confirm that it is completely disabled, type
chrome: // gpu / in the omnibox and press Enter. When hardware acceleration is disabled, a majority of the objects under "Graphics Feature Status" will read "Software Only, Hardware Acceleration Disabled".
To enable or enable hardware acceleration, return to
chrome: // settings and select "Use hardware acceleration at available" setting to the "On" mode.