Having a dedicated graphics card and associated hardware for your Windows 10 computer is a fantastic way to boost your computer’s performance output. Sadly, some Windows 10 users have enthusiastically installed a graphics card to only find out that their favorite application has been blocked from accessing graphics hardware. This is an error that can pop up when trying to play visually demanding video games or using programs for graphic design, video rendering, and editing. When an application is new and your graphics drivers are not up to date, this error is likely to pop up, but it’s not the only reason why you may have your graphics hardware blocked. Read on to find out how this error can be fixed, so you can jump right into using your favorite software.
7 fixes to the “Application Has Been Blocked from Accessing Graphics Hardware” error
A Note Before We Begin: Always make sure that your computer is updated before trying any fixes. A lot of the time, if your computer is running outdated operating system software or security updates, you are more likely to get errors. Head to your settings, update and security menu, and check to make sure your PC doesn’t have any updates. If it does, run them and reboot when done.
Fix 1: Try the Administrator Method.
Sometimes a program will require you to tell the computer that it is safe to run. When this happens, running the program as an administrator will tell the computer that a) it is safe and b) it gives the program the administrator privileges needed to execute the run. While this is an unlikely fix, it has been known to work and only takes a few seconds to try.
- Search your program up in the computer’s search menu or right-click on the program’s shortcut on your desktop.
- Choose the “run as administrator” option from the pop-up menu.
- See if the program opens and runs without the graphics error.
Fix 2: Run the System File Checker & DISM Tool.
One of the most common reasons why the “application has been blocked from accessing graphics hardware” error pops up is because the program you are trying to run has corrupted system files. You can discover if this is the case by running a system file check.
- In your computer’s search bar, type in Command Prompt.
- Right-click on Command Prompt and choose “run as administrator”.
- When prompted for permission, hit yes.
- Type in “sfc /scannow” into the command prompt window and hit enter.
- Wait for the scan to complete.
- Once the scan is complete, if there are no problems reported, close the command prompt window and reboot your computer
Note: If you run into an SFC /Scannow error when starting the scan, we have written a dedicated article on how to solve “Windows Resource Protection Could Not Perform The Requested Operation“.
If errors are found, you want to fix them. To do this, you will need to run a series of DISM command-lines. The Deployment Image Servicing Management (DISM) will repair any corrupted Windows image files.
If you have already closed the command prompt window, reopen it and follow the steps above until the scan completes again. Otherwise, if you are sitting at a complete scan on the command prompt window, we will directly type in the following commands. Keep in mind you will need to wait between each command line for it to quickly scan.
- “DISM/Online/Cleanup-Image/CheckHealth” and hit enter.
- “DISM/Online/Cleanup-Image/ScanHealth” and hit enter.
- “DISM/Online/Cleanup-Image/RestoreHealth” and hit enter.
Fix 3: Use the Troubleshooter Utility to Run System Maintenance.
Sometimes errors can elude the system checker and DISM if they are not Windows 10 image errors. You can use the troubleshooter utility tool to locate the “application has been blocked from accessing graphics hardware” error and fix it with a passkey.
- Hold down the Windows key on your keyboard and hit “R”. This pulls up the “Run” program. You can also find this by right-clicking your Windows home button (start button).
- Type in “msdt.exe” and hit Enter.
- Use the system maintenance tool to detect issues.
- Wait for it to scan your computer and present any findings.
- Follow the on-screen instructions if errors are found.
If no errors are found, move onto the next fix.
Fix 4: Update or Reinstall Your Drivers.
From time to time, graphics drivers can become corrupted, damaged, or installed improperly. This is the most common reason for you to see the “application has been blocked from accessing graphics hardware” error. To update your graphic drivers, do the following.
- Search “device manager” in your computer’s search or find it under the control panel and open it.
- Find your dedicated graphics card under the “display adapters” option in the list and right-click it.
- Click the “update driver” option from the list.
- Choose the “search automatically for updated driver software” option.
- Follow the on-screen instruction to install the updated driver.
If you have the option to uninstall the driver from the list, you can do this to automatically reinstall your drivers. Simply, hit the uninstall button from the list and then reboot when the process is done. However, updating your drivers should be more than sufficient as it is usually outdated drivers that cause the “application has been blocked from accessing graphics hardware” error.
Note: if you are a bit more tech savvy, you can download the graphics drivers manually from your dedicated graphics card manufacturer (most likely AMD or Nvidia) and update your driver using the same method above. Instead of automatically searching for the updated driver, hit the browse option instead.
Fix 5: Use Compatibility Settings to Run the Program.
If you want to get around the error for the time being, you can try running the software with compatibility settings.
- Right-click on your desktop shortcut and choose the properties option. Or find the .exe file where the software is installed and right-click that to find the properties option.
- Click on the compatibility tab at the top of the properties window.
- Check mark the “run this program in compatibility mode” and choose Windows 7 or 8 from the drop-down menu.
- Click apply and run your software.
Please note that this isn’t a direct fix but will get you into your software asap. You will need to come back to the problem and fix it.
More Advanced Solutions
Fix 6: Edit the Registry.
If you are planning on editing your computer’s registry, please make a backup of it first! We only recommend editing your registry if you understand what the registry does and how it works.
- Open your run program from the start menu or by hitting the Windows key + “R”.
- Type in “regedit” and hit enter.
- Find the “Hkey_Local_Machine” folder and click it for a drop-down menu to appear. Then find the “system” folder and click it and finally, the “ControlSet001” and click it. Under the “control” sub folder, find the GraphicsDrivers folder and click into that.
- Right-click anywhere into the empty area and create a DWORD (32-bit) value or a QWORD (64-bit) value if you are running a 64-bit system.
- Name this TdrDelay (for Timeout Detection and Recovery).
- Double click the TdrDelay to modify it and change the value to 8.
- Close the registry and reboot your system.
In doing this, it will delay your windows operating system response to the graphics driver problem. After the delay, it will reset your graphics card.
Fix 7: Use a System Restore Point.
Using a system restore point to revert to a previous version of Windows 10 can solve the problem, if your graphics hardware is suddenly experiencing the error due to a Windows operating system update. Sometimes updating your Windows 10 system can cause new drivers to be installed that still have some stability issues or bugs, and reverting can solve the problem while you wait for the latest update to be patched. To use a system restore point, do the following.
- Open up your “file explorer” and find the “My PC” in the left-hand menu.
- Right-click the “My PC” and choose properties.
- In the system window, find “system protection” on the left-hand side.
- Click “system protection” and click on the “system restore” button.
- Choose a date and time when your Windows 10 computer was free from the “application has been blocked from accessing graphics hardware” error. Follow the on-screen instructions.
Please keep in mind that you will need to have created a system restore point prior to the error occurring for this to work. Also keep in mind that your system will be rolling back, which will cause any applications and Windows updates that were installed past the roll back date to be uninstalled. Any personal files created will remain intact.
While the “application has been blocked from accessing graphics hardware” error is pretty tame and doesn’t represent any serious threat to your system as a whole, it can be very frustrating to deal with when you want to run a visually demanding piece of software. We recommend that you use the first 5 methods first as they are quick to do and require very little technical know-how. If you are still receiving the error, then try a system restore point before resorting to a registry edit. However, simply updating your drivers to the latest version should be sufficient enough to fix the problem!