How to Turn off or Disable Your Graphics Card? (Integrated or Dedicated)

Graphics cards are one of the most important components of a computer. There are many reasons why you might need to turn it off. You might want to set up a new graphics card that you just bought. In this case, you have to turn off the old one.

You might be wondering, “Can I turn off a computer’s graphics card?”

Yes, that’s correct. You may quickly disable the dedicated graphics card. It’s a little harder to disable the integrated graphics, and it might cause some problems.

So then, how do you do that? In this post, we’ll talk in more depth about these things. Read all the way to the end to find out everything you need to know to stay out of trouble.

To begin, it’s important to grasp the differences between integrated graphics, dedicated graphics cards, and external graphics cards.

What Does Integrated Graphics Mean?

11th gen intel core processor 1

Integrated graphics are the CPU-integrated onboard graphics that can handle basic graphics works such as rendering images and playing video and audio.  They are in charge of putting everything on a computer screen.

The memory on these cards is shared with your computer system, which makes them a bit slower and less powerful than dedicated graphics cards.

What Does Dedicated Graphics Card Mean?

geforce rtx 2070 founders edition
GeForce RTX 2070

Dedicated graphics cards are on board GPUs with greater speed and functionality than integrated graphics. They have their own memory, which makes it easy to store more graphics data.

If you’re doing graphics-intensive tasks like video editing, architectural rendering, or simply playing high-resolution games, you’ll need one of these GPUs.

What Is an External Graphics Card?

razer core x external gpu enclosure
Razer Core X External GPU Enclosure

External graphics cards are extra parts that connect to laptops through USB. You can’t change or upgrade a laptop’s integrated or dedicated GPU. External GPUs help with this by giving games the boost they need.

Most of the time, it’s easiest to turn off the external graphics cards. Since it’s connected with a USB cable, all you have to do to turn it off is pull the USB cable out. It’s that simple!

In this article, we’ll talk about whether or not it’s possible to turn off integrated and dedicated GPUs.

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Can I Turn Off Graphics Card?

It is possible to disable a computer’s dedicated or integrated graphics card.

If you know what to do, the process is safe.

Let’s look at a few things you need to know ahead of time to keep you from getting into trouble.

Things to Ensure before Turning off Graphics Card

If you want to disable a dedicated graphics card, just make sure you’ve enabled the integrated graphics card.

On the other hand, when disabling the integrated graphics card, you’ve to ensure that a dedicated graphics card is enabled.  This must be done. If not, you can’t move on to the next step.

You are now ready to start turning off or disabling your computer’s graphics card.

How to Turn Off the Graphics Card?

It’s very easy to turn off or disable the graphics card from Device Manager. Let’s take a look at how you can do this.

1. Type Device Manager in the search box and open it.

Search windows device manager

2. Click on Display adapters. This will create a dropdown menu with options. You’ll see here all the available graphics cards on your computer. Find the one you want to disable.

Device Manager display adapters

3. Right-click on it and click Disable device.

device manager display adapters disable graphics card

4. A popup with some warnings will appear. Select “Yes”

disable device warning

Your video card has now been turned off.

The screen may now go blank for a few seconds.

You’ll notice a disabled icon next to the graphics card you disabled when the display reappears.

disabled gpu icon

After disabling a graphics card, the display layout may change, and you must return to the display settings option to fix it.

However, disabling the integrated graphics card in Device Manager won’t switch your system permanently to the dedicated GPU.

If you want to permanently switch your PC from using the integrated GPU to the dedicated GPU, you must do it using the BIOS.

This method is a little harder for beginners.

The BIOS version varies from PC to PC, therefore the BIOS menu on my PC may not be the same as yours.

Also, some BIOS versions, particularly those found on laptops, remove so many useful features that the menu for disabling the integrated GPU may be missing entirely.

Now, let’s see how to disable the integrated GPU from the BIOS menu.

1. Restart your PC and enter the BIOS settings. If you don’t know how to access the BIOS setting you can read this guide. Generally, you can enter BIOS by pressing any of the keys: Delete, F2, F9, or F10.

2. As soon as you’re in BIOS, look for options for integrated graphics or VGA settings. You may need to go into the “Advanced” settings for this.

3. Once you’ve found the right settings, turn off the integrated GPU, save your changes, and then exit BIOS.

You can also do the job easily by watching this video.

Note that changing the settings in BIOS can cause problems and unwanted results, so it’s not a good idea, especially if you’re not sure if you’ve found the right settings for the integrated graphics or not.

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How Can You Tell If a GPU Is Integrated or Dedicated?

If you have both a dedicated GPU and an integrated GPU, it might be difficult for a new user to tell which one is integrated and which one is dedicated.

For example, my laptop has both an Intel HD Graphics 620 and an NVIDIA GeForce MX250. But which of the two is integrated graphics?

If you have a basic understanding of the graphics card industry, you would know that the Intel HD Graphics 620 is an integrated GPU, whereas the NVIDIA GeForce MX250 is a dedicated GPU.

Integrated GPUs are basically all Intel GPUs, such as Intel HD graphics, Intel UHD graphics, and Intel Iris graphics cards. NVIDIA GPUs, on the other hand, are all dedicated graphics cards.

AMD makes both dedicated and built-in GPUs, which can make things a little bit confusing for new users.

If you are unfamiliar with the GPU, it will help if you just Google the brand and model of the GPU, as displayed in the Device Manager.

What Will Happen If You Turn Off Graphics Card?

Disabling Dedicated Graphics Card

If you disable a dedicated graphics card, nothing bad will happen.

Graphics cards, as previously said, are in charge of producing various images and videos on a laptop or computer’s screen. Without it, a computer won’t be able to do its job right.

But this doesn’t matter. When you turn off your dedicated graphics card, your computer’s onboard graphics will take over.

Pictures and videos don’t take much work to display, and the built-in graphics card can handle these simple tasks with ease.

Disabling Integrated Graphics Card

The main problem comes up when you want to turn off the integrated graphics card. It’s not a good idea to turn off the built-in graphics. When you do this, you must make sure that a dedicated card is turned on.

If you turn off the computer’s integrated graphics and don’t have another graphics card to back it up, Microsoft Basic Display Driver software will take over video processing.

microsoft basic display driver

You will notice a significant decrease in performance due to the fact that the Microsoft Basic Display Driver software uses the CPU for video processing.

Disabling All Graphics Card

If you turn off both the integrated graphics card and the dedicated graphics card on a laptop (if it has one), the screen will not go black. Instead, software-based rendering via the CPU will take full control.

Software-based video rendering is significantly less powerful and can cause unacceptably long performance lags.

Software-based rendering will take over on desktops as well, but your monitor must be connected to the motherboard’s video output port for it to function.

So, before you turn off your graphics cards, double-check that you’ve done everything we’ve discussed so far. That will keep your computer safe.

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Can a PC Work If It Doesn’t Have a Graphics Card?

You may be wondering if a PC can work without a graphics card.

Yes, it’s safe as can be. You don’t need a dedicated graphics card to do things like surf the web, watch videos on YouTube or answer emails. In these situations, the built-in graphics can easily handle the work.

So, if you have integrated graphics turned on, you can run a PC without a dedicated graphics card.

But you can’t run a PC without any graphics card. And it’s the graphics card that makes this work possible.

A computer can’t show these things right without a graphics card. You won’t be able to see anything since the screen will go black.

So, you can run a computer well without a dedicated graphics card as long as you have at least a processor with a built-in graphics card.

Can You Play Games If You Turn Off Your Graphics Card?

Technically, you can, but you’ll get really low performance and a poor gaming experience.

If you don’t have a dedicated graphics card, your PC’s built-in graphics will have to do everything.

And we’ve already seen that integrated graphics aren’t that powerful. They’re good for displaying images and playing videos, but not for heavy intensive work like playing games.

The built-in graphics will have a lot of trouble running the game. It might still work. Check the game’s requirements and specs to see if your built-in graphics card is up to the task.

But you should know from the start that this will hurt your performance and frame rates.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I upgrade my laptop’s graphics card?

Unfortunately, laptop graphics cards cannot be replaced or upgraded. They’re all set. When you buy a laptop, you need to pay close attention to the GPU specs. You can easily get a good gaming laptop with a powerful graphics card for under $1000.

Can I connect external graphics cards to laptops?

Yes. Most laptops don’t allow you to add extra graphics cards as PCs do. But you have a unique way to deal with them: external graphics cards.

External graphics processing units, or eGPUs, are GPUs that are made for laptops and are connected to the laptop with a USB cable. So, you can easily connect an external graphics card to your laptop to improve its gaming performance.

What should I do if my screen goes black after I disable my graphics card?

In this case, you have to manually reset the BIOS. The simplest method is to remove the CMOS battery, which looks like a watch battery and is located on the motherboard.

Can I change my integrated graphics card?

Unfortunately, you can’t change the integrated graphics card. Since they are built into the CPU, they are there for good. Because of this, they can’t be changed.

Final Words

You should now know the answer to the question “How to turn off the computer’s graphics card?” We’ve talked about how to turn it off and how to do it in a safe way.

You may easily turn off your graphics card by following the precautions outlined in this article. We wouldn’t recommend turning it off for too long, as it can make the graphics worse. Everyone wants the best performance, and so do you.

Chris Martin is a professional tech writer. He's been covering tech tutorials, hardware reviews, and more as a professional writer for over seven years now and it doesn't look like he'll be stopping anytime soon! In addition to writing about the latest gadgets on the market, he also covers topics such as how to set up your home network or troubleshoot any computer problems you may have.

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