Have you started to experience weird behavior when you are using a program like Firefox, Chrome, Excel, Word or Powerpoint? Sometimes this behavior can be something like a mouse that is lagging, delayed clicks, or features that aren’t working at all, or are taking forever to finish.
Many times this is occurring due to a feature in those programs called “Hardware graphics acceleration.” This means that the application is using the hardware on your computer (such as your video card) to complete some of the processing work that the program needs to complete. Often this can help the program to run smoother but, occasionally, it can result in the behavior that is making the program difficult, if not impossible, to use, and which ultimately led you to this article.
Our guide below is going to show you where to find the hardware graphics acceleration options in a number of popular programs so that you can turn them off as a troubleshooting step.
All of the programs below in which we are disabling hardware acceleration are installed on a computer running Windows 7. However, these steps are very similar if the programs are installed on Windows 10.
Quick Links – click one of these links to jump to the program for which you would like to disable hardware acceleration:
- Turn off hardware acceleration in Firefox
- Turn off hardware acceleration in Chrome
- Turn off hardware acceleration in Excel 2010 or 2013
- Turn off hardware acceleration in Word 2010 or 2013
- Turn off hardware acceleration in Outlook 2010 or 2013
- Turn off hardware acceleration in Powerpoint 2010 or 2013
- Turn off hardware acceleration in Photoshop CS5
- Turn off hardware acceleration in Windows 7
Disabling Hardware Acceleration in Firefox
We have written a more in depth guide for turning off hardware acceleration in Firefox here, but you can find this setting by following these steps:
- Open Firefox.
- Click the Menu button at the top-right corner of the window. (It’s the button with the three horizontal lines.)
- Click Options.
- Click the Advanced tab.
- Click the General tab.
- Uncheck the Use hardware acceleration when available option.
Disabling Hardware Acceleration in Google Chrome
- Open Google Chrome.
- Click the Customize and Control Google Chrome button at the top-right corner of the window.
- Click the Settings option.
- Scroll down and click the Show advanced settings button. (It’s at the bottom of the screen.)
- Scroll to the System section at the bottom of this menu, then uncheck the box to the left of Use hardware acceleration when available.
Disabling Hardware Acceleration in Microsoft Excel, Word, Outlook, Powerpoint 2010 and 2013
- Open Microsoft Excel.
- Click the File tab at the top-left corner of the window.
- Click Options at the bottom of the column on the left side of the window.
- Click the Advanced tab at the left side of the window.
- Scroll down to the Display section, then check the box to the left of Disable hardware graphics acceleration.
- Click the OK button at the bottom of the window to apply your changes.
How to Disable the Graphics Processor in Adobe Photoshop CS5
- Open Photoshop CS5.
- Click Edit at the top of the window.
- Click Preferences, then click Performance.
- Uncheck the Enable OpenGL Drawing option.
- Click the OK button.
- Restart Photoshop.
How to Turn Off Hardware Acceleration in Windows 7
- Right-click on the desktop, then click the Personalize option.
- Click Display at the bottom of the left column.
- Click the Change display settings option in the left column.
- Click the Advanced settings link at the center of the window.
- Click the Troubleshoot tab.
- Click the Change settings button. If this is grayed out, then you display adapter settings are being handled by another program, such as the ATI Catalyst Control Center and you will need to change the settings in that menu instead.
- Drag the Hardware acceleration slider to the None side, then click the OK button.
Kermit Matthews is a freelance writer based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with more than a decade of experience writing technology guides. He has a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Computer Science and has spent much of his professional career in IT management.
He specializes in writing content about iPhones, Android devices, Microsoft Office and many other popular applications and devices.