How To Specify Default GPU for Games and Apps on Windows 10

Here is how you can set default GPU for games and apps on Windows 10 devices with multiple graphical processing units attached to them. Specifying the preferred GPU for an app helps improve performance and battery life.

If you use a Windows 10 device with multiple GPUs, you can easily set up the first-choice graphics processor as a default option apps can use with graphics control panels from different manufacturers, such as AMD and Nvidia.

set up default gpu for apps on windows 10

Microsoft introduced a new section in the Settings app with the April 2018 version 1803 update. This setting allows you to set the preferred GPU for Microsoft Store and traditional desktop apps.

Also read: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2018 Ti, 2080 & 2070 GPU [Price, Release Date & Where To Order]

In this guide, see the steps to specify the GPU for an app on your Windows 10 desktop or laptop with multiple graphics processors.

How To Specify GPU for apps in Settings

To set an application to use a discrete GPU instead of the integrated, or the other way round to get better utilization of system resources and enhanced battery life, follow these steps:

  • On your Windows 10 device, go to Settings.
  • Click on System and then select Display.
  • Under “Multiple displays”, click the Advanced graphics settings link.

win 10 display settings

  • Now select the app to configure it for a specific GPU using the drop-down menu: classic app use traditional Win32 desktop programs and universal app are those available through the Microsoft Store.
  • If you choose a Classic app, you will need to click the Browse button to search the .exe file to add the app. Otherwise, if you select a Universal app, a second drop-down menu will appear to select the app.
  • Now select the app that you want to be added to the list.
  • Click the Options button.

advanced graphics settings win 10

  • Here you can select from three graphics preferences: System default – this is the default setting, which Windows 10 uses as native GPU automatically. Power saving – this runs the app on the least power hungry GPU to save battery life, which is mostly your integrated graphics processor. High performance – this is the most power of the three options, which usually is the external or discrete graphics processor.
  • Once the GPU is selected, hit the Save button.

gpu preference for apps

That’s it. Once all the configuration settings are finalized, the app will use your preferred graphics processor to run at its optimum level. Also, these changes will get preference over the same settings in others control panels, which you can keep on using.

Moreover, while you can manually set a GPU for an app on Windows 10, the app will choose the processor itself. This means that if you make changes through the settings and the app continues to use a different GPU, you may have to change the preferences in the app. So be sure to check that the app is using the GPU you have set before using it.

To go back to the original state, or revoke the access an app has to a preferred graphics processor setting, select the app from the list, click the Remove button or go to the options page, select the System default option.

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