How to Check What’s Using Your GPU in Windows 10

One of the more hidden-away features within the recent update ¬†Windows 10 is the ability to check which apps are using your GPU and how much each one is using. If you’ve ever used Task Manager to look at your CPU usage, you’ll know how useful it is to see which apps are processor hogs. The recent updates have added a similar function but for GPUs instead. This makes it useful for seeing how intensive your software and games are on your GPU without needing to download any third-party software.

Can You Use It?

Unfortunately, not all graphics cards will be able to give Windows the stats it needs to read GPU usage per app. In order to make sure the following steps actually apply to you, you can quickly use the DirectX Diagnostics Tool to ensure your GPU has the technology to perform this action.

To do this, first click on Start, then type dxdiag, and then press Enter.


The DirectX Diagnostics Tool will open. Click the Display tab.


On the right under “Drivers” look for “Driver Model.” If it says “WDDM” and a number that’s equal to or greater than 2.0, congratulations! You can see your GPU usage within Windows 10.

Opening Task Manager

In order to see the GPU usage per app, you have to open the Task Manager. If you don’t know how to reach it, you can access it by pressing Ctrl + Shift + ESC all together. If key combinations skip your mind, you can also right-click the Start button and click Task Manager.


Viewing Usage Per App

You’ll see the Task Manager with all its apps and statistics. You may not see the GPU statistic yet; if you can’t, right-click the categories at the top and ensure that “GPU” is ticked. You can also tick “GPU engine” as well if you want info on which GPU is being used.


Once ticked, scroll to the very far right to see the GPU usage. Just like CPU usage, each app is listed with a percentage of how much GPU the app is using. This makes for a quick and easy way to see how hard specific apps are on your graphics processor.


Viewing Total Usage

While viewing each app’s individual use is handy, you may want to monitor the overall usage on your GPU to see how it holds up with the pressure you put on it. In this case you can see everything you need to on the Performance tab.


When you click this, you can see an overall summary for your hardware, including the GPU. If you click “GPU” on the left, you can see all the details.


Each element of the graphical processor is split up into individual graphs to give you even more insight into how your GPU is being used. If you want to change what’s being displayed, you can click the small arrow next to the name of each task.


This screen also shows you your driver version and date, which is a nice alternative from using DXDiag or Device Manager.


If you’re running the latest version of Windows 10, and your GPU can handle it, you can now see GPU usage right from the task manager. This makes for a quick and convenient way to see how your GPU is being put to use.

Does this make your life a little easier? Let us know below!

Image credit: MSI Nvidia 460 GTX Cyclone graphics card

Simon Batt
Simon Batt

Simon Batt is a Computer Science graduate with a passion for cybersecurity.

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