Enable Google Chrome hardware acceleration

We have seen how to enable Mozilla Firefox hardware acceleration on Linux and this time we will see how to enable Google Chrome hardware acceleration; this guide will work on any major Operative System since the steps indicated are fully contained within Google Chrome’s settings.

Hardware acceleration is the use of specific computer hardware, like the graphic card for graphic related tasks, to perform some functions faster than is possible in “software-mode” running on the more general-purpose CPU. In order to benefit from hardware acceleration, the application must be programmed to support it and such support must be enabled at runtime (when the application is run by the user); the major browsers, like Mozilla Firefox and in this case Google Chrome, are programmed to support hardware acceleration, but not always they are enabled to use it.

How to enable Google Chrome hardware acceleration

To check if Goole Chrome is using hardware acceleration, open a new tab, type “chrome://gpu” (without the quotes) in the address bar and look under “Graphics Feature status“. If any of the the features reports “Software only, hardware acceleration unavailable“, like the following screenshot, it means that hardware acceleration is not enabled.

Enable Google Chrome hardware acceleration - 01

To enable Google Chrome hardware acceleration open a new tab and type “chrome://flags” (without quotes), search for “Override software rendering list” and enable it.

Enable Google Chrome hardware acceleration - 02

Restart Google Chrome and return to the page “chrome://gpu”; now the “Graphics Feature status” section should look like this:

Enable Google Chrome hardware acceleration - 03

To test Goole Chrome hardware acceleration you can try these WebGL Experiments.

If the Google Chrome hardware acceleration is causing any issue, simply revert the change in “chrome://flag” to disable it.

A side note: this guide should also work with Chromium, the open-source browser from where Google Chrome is developed.