Application blocked from accessing graphics hardware error in Windows 10/11

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Experiencing issues with your applications being denied access to graphics hardware on Windows 10 can be frustrating. This problem often arises when a system crash or a misconfigured driver prevents an application from accessing the graphics card. The error is particularly common during intensive tasks like gaming. This updated guide provides comprehensive solutions to fix the ‘application blocked from accessing graphics hardware’ error.

Uninstall and Reinstall Graphics Card Driver:

The initial step is to uninstall and then reinstall your graphics card driver. Drivers from Windows Update may not always be optimal. Download the latest driver directly from your graphics card manufacturer’s website. Ensure that you are running the program in compatibility mode for Windows 10. For detailed steps on uninstalling and reinstalling drivers, refer to our dedicated article.

Run Windows Troubleshooter for Hardware Devices:

Windows 10 includes a built-in troubleshooter for hardware devices. Access it via Settings > Update & Security > Troubleshoot. This tool can automatically detect and resolve certain hardware-related issues.

Configure Graphics Hardware Access for Applications:

Windows 10 allows users to specify which applications can access the graphics hardware. This setting is useful for both traditional desktop and store applications. Adjust these settings under Settings > Display > Graphics Settings. This not only potentially resolves access issues but can also enhance battery life.

Adjust TDR Settings (Timeout Detection and Recovery):

TDR helps the system recover graphics when there’s no response for a set duration. However, intensive tasks might require more time, leading to false triggers. Increase the TDR duration by editing the registry:

  • Open regedit with admin rights.
  • Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMControlSet001ControlGraphicsDrivers or HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMControlSet002ControlGraphicsDrivers.
  • For 32-bit Windows, create a DWORD (32-bit) value named TdrDelay and set its value to 8. For 64-bit Windows, use a QWORD (64-bit) value.
  • Restart your PC for the changes to take effect.

If increasing the TDR duration doesn’t work, consider disabling TDR by setting TdrLevel to 0 and removing the TdrDelay key, followed by a system reboot.

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Run System File Checker (SFC):

Corrupted system files, especially those related to the graphics card, can cause access issues. Run the System File Checker to repair such files:

  • Open the Start menu, type cmd, right-click on Command Prompt and run as administrator.
  • Type sfc /scannow and press Enter.
  • Restart your computer after the scan completes.


Adjust Graphics Performance Settings:

Customize graphics performance preferences for individual applications. Go to Start, type ‘graphics settings’, and press Enter. Select the application using the Browse button and adjust the settings as needed.

Update or Perform a Clean Install of Display Drivers:

Sometimes, a simple update of the display drivers can resolve the issue. Alternatively, performing a clean installation of the drivers can eliminate conflicts with older versions.

Modify Application Compatibility Mode Settings:

Run the problematic application in compatibility mode. Right-click on the application, select Properties, go to the Compatibility tab, and choose a previous Windows version.


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