How to force enable hardware acceleration in Chrome, Chromium

Without Hardware Acceleration, full HD video playback in Chrome / Chromium is sluggish

Chrome and Chromium Browsers work great with hardware acceleration enabled. If the browsers sees incompatible graphics card (GPU) in your computer, hardware acceleration gets disabled by default settings, meaning all the load goes on CPU, when running a full HD video content in the browser. The result is a super sluggish performance of PC in responding to other applications.

Having said that, it is still possible to force the browsers to use the hardware. Before doing that let’s first check if your browsers are already using hardware acceleration or not.

Checking if Chrome/Chromium is using hardware acceleration

Step 1) Launch browser and type chrome://gpu in the address field.

Step 2) Check “Graphics Feature status” section. It should say for most of features “hardware accelerated”.

Chrome Hardware Acceleration enabled
Hardware Acceleration enabled

Here is how a software-only acceleration looks like:

Software only acceleration
Software only acceleration

Forcing Chrome/Chromium browser to use hardware acceleration

Step 1) Type chrome://flags in the address field and press enter.

Step 2) Look for “Override software rendering list”, and enable it.

Step 3) Click “Relaunch now”.

Override Hardware Acceleration settings using Chrome Flags
Override Hardware Acceleration settings using Chrome Flags

Now try opening a full HD or 4K video from YouTube or some website. Do you see improvement? Do let us know in the comments below.

Kiran Kumar
Hi there! I'm Kiran Kumar, founder of FOSSLinux.com. I'm an avid Linux lover and enjoy hands-on with new promising distros. Currently, I'm using Ubuntu as a daily driver and run several other distros such as Fedora, Solus, Manjaro, Debian, and some new ones on my test PC and virtual machines. I have a day job as an Engineer, and this website is one of my favorite past time activities, especially during Winter ;). When I'm not writing for FOSSLinux, I'm seen biking and hiking on scenic trails. I hope you enjoy using this website as much as I do writing for it. Feedback from readers is something that inspires me to do more and spread Linux love!. If you find a time, drop me an email or feedback from the 'Contact' page. Or simply leave a comment below if you found this article useful. Have a good day!

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