How to set default GPU for apps on Windows 11

Windows 11 lets you choose the preferred GPU an app should use to improve battery or performance.

Windows 11 set GPU for apps
Windows 11 set GPU for apps

On Windows 11, you can choose the preferred GPU an app should utilize using one of the available control panels from AMD or NVidia. However, if you have a system with multiple graphics cards and want a particular app to use the high-performance card (or least powerful to improve battery life), you can also control this feature through the “Display” settings page.

In this guide, you will learn the steps to choose the GPU an app should use on Windows 11.

Change preferred GPU for apps on Windows 11

To change the default GPU for apps on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings on Windows 11.

  2. Click on System.

  3. Click the Display page on the right side.

  4. Under the “Related settings” section, click the Graphics setting.

    Open Graphics settings

  5. Use the “Add an app” drop-down menu and select the kind of app you want to set: 

    • Desktop app — traditional (Win32) desktop programs.
    • Microsoft app — apps available through the Microsoft Store.
  6. Click the Browse button to select the application.

    Select application

  7. Click the Options button.

    Change app GPU settings

  8. Specify the GPU for the app:

    • Let Windows decide (default) — the system automatically determines which GPU to use.
    • Power saving — runs the app on the GPU that uses the least power, usually the integrated graphics processor.
    • High performance — runs the app on the most capable GPU, usually an external or discrete graphics processor.

    Set preferred GPU for app

  9. Click the Save button.

Once you complete the steps, the app will use the specified graphics card the next time you launch it. You may also need to repeat the steps to configure other applications.

When using the “Graphics preference” on Windows 11, the settings will take precedence over the same settings available in other control panels, such as the one available from NVidia and AMD, which you can continue to use to configure additional features.

Although Windows 11 makes setting the default GPU an app should use easier, it can always choose which graphics card. So, if you change the graphics settings and the application defaults to another GPU,  you will need to adjust the settings within the app.

If you no longer need the feature, on the “Graphics” page, select each application using a custom setting, and click the “Remove” button.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].