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Turn Off Hardware Acceleration in Google Chrome

High CPU Usage in Google Chrome on a Remote Desktop Server

Sometimes, on a Remote Desktop server, Google Chrome misbehaves and starts using a huge amount of the available CPU resources. It can get to the point where new users are unable to log in.

The issue arises when Google Chrome tries to use your GPU for processing, which would be great on a physical machine where there is almost always a dedicated graphics processor. Unfortunately this is not usually the case on a server, especially a virtual server, and the result is that Chrome obliterates the CPU instead.


We can fix this issue in a number of ways:

1. Run Chrome.exe with the -disable-gpu switch




2. Create and Run a ChromeHWAcc.Reg file with the following contents:

  • Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
  • [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Google\Chrome]
  • [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Google\Chrome\Recommended]

(Note: I have also added in an entry to also disable Background mode - This is where Google Chrome keeps running in the background after you have closed it)

Please also make sure you have a backup of the registry before you do this




3. In a Domain, use Group Policy with the following templates:





4. Manually change the settings in Chrome


  • Click on the three dots in the top right of Google Chrome
  • Select Settings


  • Scroll down to the bottom
  • Click on Advanced


  • Scroll down to the bottom and find the System section
  • Click the switch next to "Use hardware acceleration when available" to turn it off
  • Note: Blue is ON - Grey is OFF


  • You will now be prompted to restart Google Chrome
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