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When you launch a video game, a BSOD error could throw up on your screen. It says “application has been blocked from accessing graphics hardware.

This a video card issue where an app is unable to use the graphics card present in your Windows 10 PC.

This error is commonly faced by gamers using Windows 10, so let’s find out more on why an application has been blocked from accessing graphics hardware on Windows.

What Does “Application has been blocked from accessing graphics hardware” Mean?

This issue arises when you are using an app that runs advanced graphics or while launching software entailing high GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) usage.

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The error comes in the form of a cryptic message, which reads –Application has been blocked from accessing graphics hardware.

It means – an application (which is currently running) is unable to display visuals and render images. It is unable to use the installed GPU card and its driver software.

Why Does This GPU Error occur in Windows 10?

Out of all video card problems, this error seems to be the most common on Windows 10. You can face a graphics card error while launching a high-end game or playing high-quality video with a digital media player app.

Why has an application been blocked from accessing graphics hardware on Windows 10?

  • outdated graphics driver
  • high CPU usage
  • low GPU processing power
  • too many apps running in background
  • graphics hardware acceleration enabled on multiple apps

Besides this, you may also face this error when your Windows 10 is unable to run advanced graphics for web browsers, video games, media players or other apps.

Here’s How to Fix Windows 10 “Application has been blocked from accessing graphics hardware” Error

Try out each of the solutions presented below, and select the best possible fix for this Windows 10 graphics hardware error.

1. Use Hardware Troubleshooter

First, I choose to use an inbuilt tool from Windows – the Troubleshooter. This program can detect hardware issues, find a possible fix and automatically solve the issue on your Windows 10 PC.

When a Windows 10 application has been blocked from accessing graphics hardware, user can use the Hardware Troubleshooter and fix the video card problem.

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To run Hardware Device Troubleshooter,

  • Open the Start menu
  • Click on the gear icon to open Settings window
  • In the Settings window, go to Update & security

Use Hardware Troubleshooter

  • Here, click on Troubleshooter link
  • Now, select Hardware and Devices
  • Click on ‘Run the troubleshooter’ link

Follow the onscreen instructions and allow the Troubleshooter to detect problems. This may take a couple of minutes.

The Hardware Troubleshooter detects issues and offers you a possible fix. Click on Apply this fix and allow Troubleshooter to solve the error automatically.

Troubleshooter tool can help you out every time you face an error where an application has been blocked from accessing graphics hardware on Windows 10.

If this fixes your graphics card error, then you don’t need to try out any other solution.

2. Scan for Corrupted Files with SFC and DISM Tools

Troubleshooter and several other ways can help you fix this graphics card issue. But, none of them can help you avoid a situation where a Windows 10 application has been blocked from accessing graphics hardware.

Repair corrupted system files – this is the most effective way of preventing a hardware issue like this. Damaged system files and hardware components infected with virus or malware can cause this error.

So, to fix this, you need to scan your Windows 10, but with two inbuilt tools.

  • Scan your PC with the System File Checker (SFC) tool

SFC is a great program to detect corrupted files and fix them automatically.

  • Go to the Start menu search box
  • Type “command prompt
  • Right-click on the first result – Command Prompt program
  • Click on ‘Run as administrator
  • Click on ‘Yes’ when the UAC prompt throws up
  • In the Command Prompt window, type “sfc /scannow” command

C:\Users\IPOAdmin\Desktop\2019-01-15 18_36_42-Administrator_ Command Prompt.png

  • Press the Enter key
  • Allow the scan to complete
  • Restart your computer later

After the scan is complete, you’d see the results on the Command Prompt window. Here, it shows the number of corrupted files detected on your system, their successful repairs, and even some un-fixable broken files.

  • Repair Windows 10 Files with DISM Scan

Alternately, use the Deployment Image Servicing & Management (DISM) program for scanning your Windows 10.

  • Type “powershell” in the Start menu search box
  • Right-click on ‘Windows PowerShell’ program from the search results
  • Click on ‘Run as admin

Repair Windows 10 Files with DISM Scan

  • Click on ‘Yes’ to confirm the UAC prompt
  • Now, in the Windows PowerShell window, type “DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Scanhealth” command-line

Repair Windows 10 Files with DISM Scan

  • Press the Enter key
  • Now, type “DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth
  • Allow the scan to complete and then, reboot your PC

Similar to SFC scan, the results of this DISM scan are displayed on your Windows PowerShell screen.

From all the solutions presented here, I would suggest you to follow these scans in particular. It is more of a precautionary fix for the “application has been blocked from accessing graphics hardware” error.

3. Restore Your Graphics Driver

If the above two fixes didn’t work, then try reinstalling the graphics card driver on your Windows computer.

Uninstall the active graphics card driver on your Windows 10 PC. Then, reinstall the driver to load its default version.

There are two ways to restore graphics driver –

  • Get updated driver software (from your PC)

Download the .zip file (compressed) of your graphics driver software and extract its contents on your C: drive.

Now, uninstall the driver software manually as follows –

  • Open the Run dialog (press Windows + R key)
  • Type “devmgmt.msc” and click on OK
  • In the Device Manager window, expand the list for Display Adapters
  • Right-click on your default driver
  • Click on Uninstall

devmgmt.msc

  • To confirm, click on Delete the driver software from this device

Follow the onscreen instructions to uninstall the driver from its setup wizard. Do not restart your PC yet.

Open the zipped file and setup the new graphics driver software. After the installation is complete, restart your computer.

  • Use an installable (.exe) file

Download an installable file of Intel graphic driver software. Follow the above steps and open the Device Manager window.

  • Go to the list of Display Adapters
  • Right-click on the driver software
  • Click on ‘Update Driver Software…’ from the menu

Use an installable (.exe) file

  • Follow the onscreen instructions
  • Choose – Browse from my computer for driver software

C:\Users\IPOAdmin\Desktop\2019-01-15 18_47_04-Update Driver Software - Intel(R) HD Graphics 3000.png

  • Navigate to your Downloads folder
  • Select the installable .exe file (graphic software)
  • Click on Next to complete installation

Follow the onscreen instructions and restart your PC thereafter.

In both these methods, restarting the PC midway would result into automatic installation of the factory default graphics driver software.

Hence, don’t restart your Windows 10 until the manual installation of your new graphics driver isn’t complete.

This method generally works when a Win 10 application has been blocked from accessing graphics hardware due to some driver updates.

4. Customize Graphic Settings for Apps

If only a specific Windows 10 application has been blocked from accessing graphics hardware, then you provide the access manually.

Here’s how to allow access to graphics hardware for a specific app.

  • Open the Start menu and click on the gear icon
  • In the Settings window, go to Display
  • Click on Graphics Settings link

Customize Graphic Settings for Apps

  • Under the Graphics performance preference window, click on Browse button

Customize Graphic Settings for Apps

  • Select the troubled app

This fix helps you customize the graphics performance preference for specific applications on Windows 10. Additionally, this method saves battery life for Windows 10 laptops by optimizing the hardware (graphics) acceleration for specific apps.

5. The Registry Fix

Windows Registry has an entry for graphics drivers and its functions. You can adjust the value for Timeout Detection and Recovery (Tdr) feature. Increasing the value can cause high CPU usage from graphics driver and solve this error.

  • Open the Run dialog (Windows + R)
  • Type “regedit” and hit the Enter key

The Registry Fix

  • In the Registry Editor, navigate to following folders –
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
  • SYSTEM
  • CurrentControlSet
  • Control
  • GraphicsDrivers
  • In this folder, click on Edit menu
  • Go to New>Key>DWORD (32-bit) value

The Registry Fix

  • Name this key “TdrDelay
  • Set the value to 8

The Registry Fix

  • Click on OK to confirm and save changes

Restart your PC and open the app that doesn’t have access to graphics hardware. It won’t find any video card problems after this solution. This is the trickiest fix for Windows 10 when an application has been blocked access to graphics hardware.

Still Facing Graphics Card Problems? Here are some Troubleshooting Tips

After fixing your Windows 10, follow these simple tips to troubleshoot such GPU errors.

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  1. Use simple Screen Capture apps to take screenshots
  2. Run 32-bit version of video games
  3. Make your browser faster by disabling hardware acceleration
  4. Use driver updater tools or manually upgrade your display adapters
  5. Play high-quality videos in normal sample rate

Follow these pro tips to avoid any instance where a Windows 10 application has been blocked from accessing graphics hardware.

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