Most modern computers come with a separate Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) which is used to process graphics at a faster pace. This enables the CPU to be dedicated for other computations. Hardware acceleration is a feature which makes use of GPU processing in addition to the CPU to make tasks perform at a faster speed.
Most modern browsers including Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Vivaldi and other Chrome and Firefox based browsers enable hardware acceleration by default. This makes loading graphics and videos enhancing the browsing experience.
Sometimes, hardware acceleration makes videos load in a jerky manner. In this case, you can easily disable hardware acceleration in your browser to open videos smoothly. Let’s go through disabling hardware acceleration for each browser one by one.
In Firefox 55, Mozilla has introduced a new performance sections under settings which lets your control performance settings like no. of content processes allowed to be created and using hardware acceleration when available. You can disable hardware acceleration from there. For your ease, here are the steps involved for disabling hardware acceleration in Firefox 55+:
Open Firefox and select Options under Firefox Menu
At the end of General tab, uncheck “Use recommended performance settings” (keyboard shortcut = Alt + U). This will open more options under Performance.
Uncheck “Use hardware acceleration when available” (Keyboard shortcut = Alt + R)
This should disable hardware acceleration in Firefox. You may need to restart Firefox for the changes to take effect.
Sometimes the 3D graphics and videos will not work even after disabling hardware acceleration in Firefox. In that case, you will need to disable WebGL too. Here are the steps for disabling WebGL:
Open Firefox and write about:config in Firefox address bar.
Click I accept the risk! button to continue to about:config page.
In the search box at the top of the page, search webgl.disabled.
Double-click webgl.disabled to switch it to true.
Regard Firefox for the changes to take effect.
Disable Hardware Acceleration in Opera
Opera is also a popular browser which is especially useful when laptop battery is draining out. Opera has a feature to save battery while using the browser on battery for better laptop performance. You can also disable hardware acceleration in Opera if videos are distorting or not running fine. Just follow the steps below to disable hardware acceleration in Opera:
Open Opera browser and go to Settings from Opera menu
From the left hand pane, select Browser
From the right hand pane, uncheck “Use hardware acceleration when available” under System.
Restart the browser for the changes to take effect.
Disable Hardware Acceleration in Vivaldi
Vivaldi is a new promising browser with many features which aren’t available in popular browsers like Google Chrome and Firefox. It is based on Chromium but boasts a lot more features. Although based on Chromium, Vivaldi gives a lot of customizations options in the settings window. Unfortunately, enabling or disabling hardware acceleration in Vivaldi is not as easy to find as in Chrome or Firefox. But after following the steps below, you’ll be able to disable hardware acceleration in Vivaldi without any issues.
To disable hardware acceleration in Vivaldi, follow the steps below:
Click on the Disable link below Accelerated 2D canvas to disable hardware acceleration.
Restart Vivaldi for the changes to take effect.
Hopefully this will help you disable or enable hardware acceleration for your browsers. We have covered the major browsers. Almost all other browsers will have their settings similar to one of these. So it will be easier for you to change the setting comfortably. If you have any issues with hardware acceleration settings, please do let us know through comments below.