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How to force Microsoft Edge to use the best GPU on Windows 10

Modern browsers often offload graphic-intensive tasks to the GPU to improve your web browsing experience, freeing up CPU resources for other tasks. If your system has multiple GPUs, Windows 10 can automatically decide on the optimal one for Microsoft Edge to use automatically — but that doesn't necessarily mean the most powerful one. Now with the April 2018 Update (version 1803), you can manually select the default GPU that Edge uses to improve its performance.

The new Graphics settings page available in the Settings app that allows you to manage the graphics performance preference per application. The best graphics card manufacturers like Nvidia and AMD have their own control panel apps with similar options, but now you can do it directly from the Windows 10 settings.

In this Windows 10 guide, we'll walk you through the steps to force Microsoft Edge to always use the most capable graphics processor with the new options available starting with the April 2018 Update.

How to set default GPU for Microsoft Edge to improve hardware acceleration

If you want Microsoft Edge to use the best and more capable graphics engine on your computer, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on System.
  3. Click on Display.
  4. Click the Graphics settings link.

  1. Use the "Choose an app to set preference" drop-down menu and select the Universal app option.
  2. Select Microsoft Edge using the second drop-down menu.
  3. Click the Add button.
  4. Select Microsoft Edge from the list.
  5. Click the Options button.

  1. Select the High performance option. (If you want lower performance to save battery, then select the "Power saving" option instead.)

  1. Click the Save button.

Once you've completed the steps, open Microsoft Edge and it should now be using your PC's discrete graphics card for rendering tasks.

If you end up experiencing problems, such as high GPU utilization or another performance issue, you can also use these steps to change the Microsoft Edge graphics preferences to troubleshoot and fix hardware acceleration issues. Bear in mind that rendering issues can also be caused by other problems, such as graphics driver issues. If this is the case, you also want to update your video card driver to resolve any graphics problems.

If you want to revert the changes, or you're experiencing other issues, you can always follow the same instructions, but on step No. 5, make sure to click the Remove button for Microsoft Edge.

More Windows 10 resources

For more helpful articles, coverage, and answers to common questions about Windows 10, visit the following resources:

Mauro Huculak is technical writer for WindowsCentral.com. His primary focus is to write comprehensive how-tos to help users get the most out of Windows 10 and its many related technologies. He has an IT background with professional certifications from Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTIA, and he's a recognized member of the Microsoft MVP community.

11 Comments
  • With the 1803 april update, edge seems to freeze on me playing videos with not being able to close it or via task manager. Not all the time but still.. Bit like what's happening with chrome. Anyone else have this issue?
  • I'm not having any problems playing videos
    have you tried to reset edge?
  • Have you upgrade your video card drivers to the latest ones?
  • Whats wrong when there is the same graphics card displayed for Power saving GPU and high performance GPU?
  • That's the expected behavior if you have only one GPU.
  • Yeah, but I have two, one onboard on one dedicated NVIDIA
  • You can't use onboard and dedicated at the same time. But you can use iGPU (integrated into the CPU) and dedicated at the same time.
  • Is there a way to choose this globally? I don't have much of any use for the iGPU on my Core i7 4771.
  • I was trying to set Edge to use GPU (just for testing purpose) on my Surface Book.
    The detach icon shows it's using the GPU but Edge is still using the CPU, for example when watching YouTube videos in 4K or on 3D rendering website.
    Using HWInfo I measure a stable 0% on GPU usage and a lot on iGPU/CPU.
    I've checked Internet settings on inetcpl.cpl and the Use software rendering is already unchecked.
  • If your iGPU doesn't support 4K (H.264/MPEG-4 or H.265 or VP9) video decoding in silicon with the correct driver support, Windows will not send the workload there. If you're sure your iGPU supports 4K, try updating the driver for the iGPU in addition to your discrete.
  • This is a GREAT tip! Thanks. This is important when you have multiple GPUs on the mobo.