In this post, we examine this video-gaming specific error and list a bunch of fixes and video guides to clear it.
So you got the “application has been blocked from accessing graphics hardware” error. Now what?
There’s nothing like coming home from school or work and unwinding a little bit by playing video games. You’ve likely been looking forward to it all day.
Suddenly, upon launching your favorite title, you’re hit with the dreaded “application has been blocked from accessing graphics hardware” error message, preventing you from gaming to your heart’s content.
This particular error is especially frustrating since it can occur without you having necessarily changed the game settings or anything else on your computer, leaving you bashing your head against the wall in frustration.
We’ve seen this error recently occurring with games like Minecraft and Fortnite and various Steam games.
What Is It?
This gaming-related error occurs whenever you initiate a video game on your desktop or a browser that’s able to run online games.
In all honesty, there’s a lot of conflicting information about what this error means. It seems to be Windows-10 specific.
One of the best explanations we’ve found came from a TechPowerUp forum member who said that the reasons behind it vary from ‘a faulty or GPU overclocking not stable enough, buggy GPU driver, GPU overheating, CPU overheating, a game incompatibility with Windows 10 (for example, a scheduler internal error BSOD), a graphics card being placed in the wrong PCIe slot, incorrect bios settings, or general system instability.’
That sounds really complex- but our recommendation is to try some of the fixes below and see if they can help clear the error.
How To Fix
Now here’s the good news; many gamers just like you have successfully been able to resolve the problem in the past, even those with little to no technical knowledge.
A Popular YouTube Fix
Today, we’re going to present a couple of solutions that have successfully resolved the issue for a myriad of Windows 10 users:
Solution #1: Update your graphics card driver
This is the first thing that comes to mind (and the first fix you should attempt, since updating your graphics/display driver on a regular basis is something you should be doing in any case).
Since the exact process depends on the type of graphics card that you’re using, it’s easy to see why we cannot outline the exact step-by-step process for every single model in existence.
Here’s a video tutorial demonstrating how to do a Windows 10 graphics card update:
Generally speaking, however, you can do this either from the graphics card’s control center (if you have one installed), or, alternatively, by visiting the manufacturer’s official website where you can download the appropriate set of drivers for your particular graphics card.
If you don’t consider yourself tech-savvy, there’s a third way; by using dedicated software like Driver Easy, for which we’re going to be describing the step-by-step process. It really makes things incredibly easy:
- Open up Driver Easy and click “Scan Now” (since it’s a big green button right in the middle of the window, it’s hard to miss).
- The great thing is that even the free version can automate the process of installing the latest drivers just fine, and it will essentially do all the heavy lifting for you, so go ahead and update the other drivers too while you’re at it. The only difference between the free and the paid version is that the latter allows you to update everything with a single click, so don’t fret.
- Finally, reboot your PC and see if that made things any better. If not, head on over to the next section where we tackle the other most common reason for why you might be getting the error.
Solution #2: Repair corrupted or damaged system files via the System File Checker
Repairing damaged or corrupted system files is easier than you might think.
Here’s a video guide- we have a step-by-step below the video.
Even if you’re not technically inclined, there is a step-by-step process you can follow:
- Go to Start and type “cmd”. Now, the trick here is to run it with administrator privileges (very important), so don’t just straight up run it like you normally would, otherwise, the process may not go through. Instead, you should right-click on it and select “Run as administrator” (confirm any security prompts that come up on your screen).
- Input “sfc /scannow” and hit the ENTER key. The process is going to take a while, so make sure not to interrupt it while it’s still running.
- Then, input “DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Scanhealth” and hit ENTER. Follow it up by inputting “DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth” (press ENTER again).
- After everything is done, reboot your computer and try running the game again to see if it has helped resolve the problem. If not, proceed with solution #3.
Solution #3: Try intentionally downgrading your system’s graphics drivers just to see if it helps
This goes against some of the advice we gave you above, but keep reading – there’s a method to our madness, promised!
You see, sometimes, there’s an issue that persists with the latest graphics driver releases and intentionally installing an outdated version might actually resolve the problem.
The trick here is to identify the freshest outdated version of the driver that solves the problem, so you’re not sacrificing too much. As you can probably guess, some trial and error might be unavoidable.
How to Roll Back Nvidia Graphics Driver in Windows 10
Solution #4: Other case-specific solutions to try
- If you’re an AMD user, make sure that the “Chill” feature is turned off, since it can cause the error (otherwise, its intended purpose is to reduce GPU when a game is idle to save on resources).
- Replace your RAM. This has helped resolve the issue for many Windows 10 users. Since a video probably describes the process better than an article ever could, here’s a good one to study:
Graphic Card Re-Seating
- Re-seat your graphics card. Sometimes it falls out of the original position; it just happens. So try re-inserting it and see if that helps.
Reset Overclocked Graphics Card
- If you’ve ever overclocked your graphics card in the past, try resetting it to factory settings, as this could be the reason why you’re getting the error.
Ryan is a computer enthusiast who has a knack for fixing difficult and technical software problems. Whether you’re having issues with Windows, Safari, Chrome or even an HP printer, Ryan helps out by figuring out easy solutions to common error codes.